Testimonials are important but hard to get – especially if you want a good one. The last thing you want to do is harass or annoy your best customers into giving you one. So what’s the solution?
I recently experimented with a new technique with two of my clients who were having the same problem – getting their customers to provide their testimonials in writing. We got great results and we did it without alienating anyone.
Here are the steps I took:
- I asked my client for a list of email addresses of the customers I should contact – the ones who would have positive feedback.
- I sent an email to everyone on this list asking them when I could schedule a 10-minute phone interview with them.
- When they responded to the email I confirmed a time for our interview and sent them a thorough list of questions to look over BEFORE we talked. This gave them time to mull over their responses.
- During the interview I kept it brief, asked my questions and wrote down their responses.( I also asked them if there was anything I didn’t think of asking that they wanted to include.)
- Immediately following the interview, I wrote a well-crafted testimonial using the answers they provided. Whenever possible I used their words and their individual style of expression so that the testimonials sounded authentic, not canned.
- Then I emailed a draft of the testimonial to the person I interviewed and asked them to make any edits, corrections or additions they wanted. (Very few made changes to what I had written.)
- Once I had their approval I sent the testimonial to my client to post on their website.
Why did this strategy work so well?
For one thing my clients rock so they have customers who are eager to help them with a good testimonial. This is an element I have no control over. However, both clients had tried to get these favorite customers to write up their own testimonials with little or no response. Frustrating, isn’t it?
My approach worked like a charm. Almost EVERYONE responded to my request for a 10 minute interview. Most people would rather talk than write. I guess that’s why I have a job as a copywriter!
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. If you’re not comfortable interviewing your clients you might want to ask your assistant to conduct the interviews or consider hiring a copywriter to help. It takes some work to get red hot testimonials but it’s worth the effort!