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How Do I Ask for a Testimonial from a Client?

How do you ask for a face-to-face testimonial from a client you've just worked with?

This should be easy, right? After all, you've just helped them with your service.

But, does some part of that feel weird?

According to Stephanie Vozza writing in Fast Company.com

...less than a third of us ask customers for a review, and that’s probably because it feels a little like fishing for compliments–awkward and uncomfortable.

To overcome the weirdness and avoid awkwardness (what if they say NO?), here are five ways to ask for a testimonial when you are face-to-face with a client

As you ask for a testimonial, offer a compliment

I love Chelsei Henderson's 5 Non-Icky Ways to Ask for Testimonials.

#5 is pure gold...

"...Your opinion means the world to me — would you mind sharing your thoughts about the work I did for you?”

This request has to be authentic and it may work better for professionals whose services are more relational and personal - dental technicians, hairdressers, therapists and physicians - than for professions that are transactional - accountants and attroneys, for example.

The customer can still say no - the choice is theirs, however we've been transparent about our needs for a testimonial PLUS we've been the first to offer appreciation.

A testimonial highlghts the giver's expertise

Sharing the testimonial on LinkedIn?

Highlight the fact that, just being asked to give a testimonial implies specific content knowledge and expertise in the person being asked.

According to Jeremy Cohen, cofounder and general manager of the executive search firm The Talent Studios:

“The emphasis needs to be on the fact that you believe their opinion has gravity and you respect it to the point where you want it memorialized on the largest public forum of accessible career information on you,”

Make testimonials easy for your client

Fast Company's Vozza discusses pre-written testimonials to make the process easy for your client but the WOW Promoter testimonial app takes this to the next level - just show them the kiosk and have them push the button. Easy.

The app collects name, email and phone number (optional) and then they deliver up to a 2-minutes spoken testimonial on video.

Make a testimonial about other people, not just about you

This may apply most to the helping professions, like physicians and therapists - but could also apply to anyone who uses their specialized skill set to solve a specific problem:

"Other people like you - who have the same challenge you have - will see this video. You could help them find the answers to some of the same problems you face."

Offer testimonial prompts to your clients

Monique Alvarez of Forbes lists 12 prompt questions she uses to solicit testimonials from her customers - favorites to choose from:

  1. What was your problem before you bought/joined [our product/service]?
  2. What results do you get/have you gotten from [our product/service]?
  3. What kept you from buying[our product/service] sooner?
  4. What exactly did you like most about [our product/service]?
  5. Why would you recommend this to someone who might be on the fence?
  6. What was your main concern that would have prevented you from buying this, and what put your fears to rest?
  7. If you were to recommend [our product/service] to your best friend, what would you say?
  8. What made you choose [our product/service] over anything else you could have done?
  9. What are three benefits you've experienced as a result of buying/joining [our product/service]?
  10. What was life like before you started with [our product/service]?
  11. What is life like now that you've experienced [our product/service]?
  12. What surprised you the most or made you the happiest about buying/joining [our product/service]?

Great customer service practices should include these questions - if you can segue this into a video testimonial then you have hit the home run!