5 Tips for Getting Testimonials to Build Referrals

Ever feel like word of mouth advertising is your best way to build the business? Then your business may benefit by gathering testimonials from your satisfied customers.

Of course the best way to get terrific testimonials is to do a wonderful job. If you haven’t done a great job, don’t ask for a testimonial, fix your service first!!

Here are a few ideas that work:

  1. You’ve done a great job for a great customer. They are happy and so are you. Now is the time to approach them for a testimonial.
  2. Offer a contest for your employees. A prize goes to the individual getting the best customer service rankings. Make sure your employees tell the owner of the company, someone will be calling to ask about your satisfaction with our services. They’re running a contest at work and we’re trying to win. We get a prize if we get the best satisfaction ratings. It also helps if the people delivering the service tells the client at the end of the service, we are having a contest at work about customer service, so you’ll probably get a call about how we worked together.
  3. Don’t just say, “Would you mind giving us a testimonial?” They’ll say yes, but never bother to write something or send you the form back. The key is to call the person that you have worked with or have the relationship with to do the interview. Ask customer service type questions. If the answers are positive, then ask if this could become a testimonial to put on the website.
  4. Call to get the testimonial =don’t make them write it! Interviewing is better. The best way to get a great testimonial is to call on the phone and interview them. Then ask “is that your comment for the contest? After they say yes, then the interviewer says ‘Do you mind if I wrote this up and get you to sign it to let us use it as a testimonial?”
  5. Immediately type it up. Then e-mail the statement to them for them to print out and fax back to you with their signature. Don’t make them write it up. If you’re not interested in going the fax route, mail them a copy and include a stamped self addressed envelope so it’s easy for them to return the testimonial.

Another way to get better testimonials is to use fill in the blank questions so your clients don’t have to write it all from scratch. Ask them to print it on their letterhead.  Try to use some open ended questions like these:

  • The best thing about _____ services was: ____________________.
  • The reason I selected ______ to be my ______ service provider was _______.
  • I would recommend _______ ‘s services to a friend who needed this service because ________________________________.
  • At the end of the project I felt ____________________________________.

Do you make getting testimonials part of your marketing program?  How do you get them?  How do you use them?

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

9 thoughts on “5 Tips for Getting Testimonials to Build Referrals”

  1. Hi Chris. I found you through Liz’s Blog-to Show. I was in the neighbourhood and thought I’d pop in to say hi.

    I like the look of your blog and it looks like you have some great material here. I’ll be back.

  2. Ivana: You always have such great ideas! I think you’re right… making a “brag book” with the original testimonials for the lobby would be a nice touch! Chris

    Davina: Welcome - It’s always nice to welcome new readers. Love your icon too! (avatar drawing!!) Chris

    Lolly: A genuine testimonial is like gold, but you’re so right… one that is part of an arm twisting isn’t worth it. Chris

  3. So I launch my product, and now I am getting feedback with letters & testimonials. Now what do I do with them? Post them on a board for consumers in the showroom?. Add it on my website? Do I need permission to post them publicly?

  4. Thx Chris, great post. One thing that I do is use a survey for clients to give us a grade on our work, and ask two questions near the end:

    1. Have you found excellent value in our work?
    2. Will you be mentioning our name and our work to others that you care about?

    Both have worked very well and have produced referrals.

    Thx for your great post!

  5. A great customer testimonial demonstrates your company’s value and why someone hired/purchased from you. Beyond showing that your customer is happy, the testimony explains their problem or pain point in some detail as well as the impact or opportunity cost of not solving it. Ideally the testimonial is persuasive to your best prospect; they identify with the situation and are compelled to reach for the phone or fill out that “contact me” form on your website.

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