Social proof is a crucial conversion factor, and testimonials are the best social proof and tools to lower the barrier of entry. So, it makes sense to wonder how to collect compelling testimonials that increase. In this article, I will share with you a proven framework you can start using today.
At Afropemesia, we like to be strategic with all our moves when helping our clients. When we talk to clients about collecting testimonials, instead of saying let’s ask your clients to send us testimonials, we sit down to discuss the outcome we want to get from it and lay down a blueprint. By blueprint, I mean we design a set of questions that paint the bright future awaiting potential clients; each testimonial will reflect the great transformation people are experiencing.
Let me run you through the mini framework we use.
1.) First, determine what you want to achieve with your testimonials
Whether you’re looking to increase your conversion rates or increase the number of social media followers who see your testimonials, it’s crucial to determine what you want to achieve before collecting them. But for this case, let’s focus on conversion rates.
Generally, any great salesperson, a great copywriter writing any sales copy, will tell you, “Benefits Sell; not features.” And the best way to sell benefits is by portraying clearly and precisely how a potential buyer’s life will change for the better. Put: compare how bad it was (or is) versus how great it will be by using your product or service. Simple as that.
Please think of the most common things your clients tell you that could benefit your company and find a way to craft questions that will make them talk about it in their testimonials.
2.) Ask your Customers for Testimonials
The best way to get testimonials is to ask your customers for them. You don’t just sit and expect your clients to send you testimonials out of the blue. A few might do, and when it happens, these testimonials may not always convey to kind of stories that captivate new buyers.
Hence, when collecting testimonials, all the questions must be designed to narrate stories. Each story will give a clear picture of how bad the person had it, how they felt after using your product or service, what their average day looked like, and how wonderful their life is today because they have your product, etc. The questions we used are inspired by the book “Story Brand by Donald Miller.”
Here are the 7 questions to ask your clients. Modify to adapt well to your company’s product and services; rephrase to sound like you.
- What was your absolute biggest challenge before you came across our company?
- How was that challenge making you feel?
- What changed after using [your company service/product]?
- What specific results can you share?
- What would you say to someone on the fence about [company’s product/service]?
- Would you like to add anything?
- Do you grant our company permission to feature you and this testimonial in our marketing materials?
As you can see, the structure of these questions lays down a story that will help lower the barrier of entry and increase your ROI substantially.
3.) Make it easy for customers to provide testimonials
Now that you have the questionnaire, how do you make it easy to provide you with the testimonials? Key phrase. Make it easy!
How? It depends. It depends on your company and where you want to use the testimonials. For example, if it is on print materials, written copy, on a website, email, etc., you can send the questionnaire via email or phone text message. All your company has to do later is to edit by removing the questions and making each testimonial a simple story.
You may also want to request video testimonials. In this case, you have two options. You can organize a video call with one person from your company to ask the client the questions, thus editing as per the text-only testimonials.
You can also send them the questions and ask them to record a video, they can read the question themselves or have someone else read it for them, and they respond. Again, edit to make it a smooth narration.
The great thing about the video testimonial is that you can transcribe and use both, which is our favorite way to do it.
Lastly, you can create a form on your website with the question and send it out with a great message and a perk that would entice them to sit down and give you their testimonial.
You may also use other alternatives such as google Forms. Easy, simple, and straightforward.
4.) Use customer testimonials on your website, in your marketing materials, and on social media
Make sure to use your customer testimonials on your website, your marketing materials, and on social media. Having them readily available will help you achieve your desired results.
Anywhere your potential clientele needs convincing, you need to show some testimonials. Be strategic about it. By that, I mean that audience X with XYZ pain point may find a testimonial that mentions a similar pain, issue, or helpful challenge and therefore be convinced to try your product or service because of this testimonial.
A dentist, for example, may do filling, teeth whitening, scaling, polishing, etc. Each of these services may display testimonials about that particular service.
On the other hand, you might benefit from testimonials and ratings on websites where you don’t have much control, such as google business reviews, yelp, niche directories, etc. you can and should still send your clients (if not all, choose your best results / happy customers) an email to ask them for a review.
5.) Thank customers who provide testimonials
Thank customers who provide testimonials with handwritten notes or personalized emails. Let them know how much you appreciate their feedback. When you share their testimonials, make sure you make them look good.
We previously wrote about why you should make your clients look good; click here to read it
Remember, testimonials can play a critical factor in your conversion. Not having any doesn’t mean no conversion is guaranteed; many things contribute, such as your credentials, demonstration of the product or service, etc.
Please don’t rely on only one factor in any area of your marketing efforts, but don’t overdo any of them either. Like stuffing dozens or hundreds of reviews on a block or page might be a turn-off. Instead, show a few and give the possibility to display more if you have more.