Getting Customer Testimonials without Asking

“Getting satisfied customers to post an online review is so much harder than getting that one customer who can’t be satisfied to post dozens of reviews around the web.” – V Miller

Every business wants and more importantly needs customer testimonials and referrals. The power of customer testimonials can never be overemphasized – it is social proof that is extremely potent and powerful. Customer testimonials work like a strong magnet – attracting the attention of potential customers, who view these reviews as a confirmation of a company’s ability to meet their demands too. Customers that do business with a company based on customer testimonials actually stay with it longer and become loyal – as per research. Irrespective of how hard a company may try and what the quality of their advertisements is, the impact of objective customer testimonials would always be greater. With so many social sites and digital reviews, what existing customers say would carry more weight than what a company might tom-tom about itself and its offerings.

So if customer testimonials matter and customers know it, why don’t they write reviews without being asked? Well, for one writing is hard. Another reason could be that it is an effort and takes up time – which ideally goes against the rule of ‘easy customer service’. Customers may want to extend a helping hand, especially if your company has been successful in pleasing them – but they could be put off when a company solicits a review and or they get too busy in sorting out their own matters. Requesting for customer testimonials via email would constitute spam for many and could result in some extremely detrimental consequences. Customers could get annoyed or your company could appear inefficient and incompetent and could even result in some customers signing off your company. The worst is that these customers would ignore even value-added messages from your company. For these reasons, your company could never know when it is the right time to solicit customer testimonials.

Everyone knows that customer testimonials can prove to be highly effective and persuasive and work well to attract other people. When customers are super happy with a company, they would write their reviews, which would have both facts and an emotional feel to them. Appealing to both these aspects can prove to be a highly effective method of driving people to your company. Customer testimonials corroborate and validate a company’s claims about its offerings, culture, values, and most importantly customer service. They make a company appear authentic, honest, and trustworthy. While happy customers might tell others about their experience by word of mouth, writing a review or testimonial rarely happens unless a company actually asks for it. To start with, a company may need to solicit reviews, but with time and consistently good service and products, customers would become accustomed to writing those testimonials without being asked.

We spoke about getting new customers on-board. By managing this process effectively, a company would be in a position to request their newest customers for a review. Given that the association is new, customers would probably, still be excited about the association and hence, would be more willing to providing the testimonials a company requests. Calling up new customers to check on whether the product or service is working well for them and checking on their views on the customer service, would solicit a response even without expressly asking them to write a review. If the customer expresses happiness in the association thus far, the company can request to use their statements as a testimonial to be shared with others. Your company makes the effort and in turn receives a great review and leaves the customer feeling even more pleased that your company took the trouble to check on them.

Regular and long-time customers would always some feedback to give or an insight to share. However, they may not always do so unless someone from the company asks them. Reaching out to these customers via a phone call would enable them to let you know what they believe needs improving and what is going well in the association. Ask them if may include their positive feedback in the testimonials section – most will not refuse. Your company now has another set of positive reviews with hardly any effort on the part of the customer.

As mentioned, most customers, even if happy, may not write testimonials, since writing is not something that is easy or comes naturally to all. For a company however, irrespective of the grammatical inaccuracy, testimonials that come from the heart of happy customers prove extremely powerful in attracting others and testifying to the authenticity of the company. Therefore, a company must make it easy in any way possible for customers to express their views. For example – some companies may have a form with incomplete sentences, which customers would need to complete with very few words. Such forms get customers thinking and allow them to ‘pen’ their views with surety, ease, and conviction.

If as a company you expect customers to write reviews, you must also make it a point to return ‘the favour’ by providing a testimonial, when you are approached by other companies for whom you are a client. Using social media is a great way to let people know that your company is open to helping others and this in turn creates reciprocity – others would be willing to provide testimonials for your company too. We are not suggesting that your company provide a review only so that it receives reviews in return. However, authentic and heartfelt messages and testimonials would not only benefit the company for whom you provide the review, but would prove advantageous for your company too.

The advantage for companies nowadays is that there are so many channels of communication and sharing. In order to gain more ‘views’ and customer testimonials, a company must ensure its presence on as many such sites as possible. This will allow your company to remain within the ‘radar’ of customers and would make your company appear ubiquitous and seamless. For customers, this would be extremely comfortable and an easy way to interact with the company – this aspect itself would make customers provide positive testimonials and reviews. When customers can do as they please, and do not feel pressured by a company, they are more amenable to expressing their views in a positive manner.

Whenever your company receives customer testimonials, it means that they truly care and have made an effort to express their happiness. Ensure that your company never forgets to thank them for doing this. Make your thanks public, sincere, and immediate – this will make customers feel valued and important – in the future they would be more likely to repeat the writing of testimonials, with even being asked. Customer testimonials that might lead to business from several others customers, must be given their due importance. It is wise to send such a customer a hand-written thank you note along with a small yet meaningful token of appreciation. The fact is that whatever efforts customers make, it is important for a company to acknowledge them – this is positive reinforcement leading to a repeat of such actions.

Customer testimonials are an extremely power weapon for any company – they are the best way to convince others that it would be a wise decision to associate with your company. The greater number of customer testimonials a company has, the more effectively it can portray its offerings and its values to a target audience. By creating top class experiences, providing great service, and consistently creating top quality offerings would enable a company to gain customer testimonials from their existing customers, leading to more business from other prospects.

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