Need tips to get customer testimonials

freds86

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Hello, I'm having a plan to launch a new website business and I was wondering if anyone could offer some insight on how to get customer testimonials. Of course I'm willing to offer my help for free in exchange for this but how do I reach people that would be interested in this for free or no exchange?

Your tips would be appreciated.
 

ulterios

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One way that might help get some testimonials would be to offer something in return for someone to take the time to write out a short testimonial. You can offer things like discounts on future product or service purchases, helpful eBooks or anything else that you think that people would be happy to get in exchange for their time.

Tell them that you want honest testimonials and let them know what they will get in exchange for giving one.

Also, maybe have a box on your site somewhere or a pop-up for them to leave a testimonial.
 

Developer

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One thing I have started noticing lately is that tons of people
want to help by providing testimonials, but many don't know
what to write or where to start, so here is what I suggest...

First, flat out ASK for a testimonial. Explain that you're looking
for feedback (good or bad) and that you're willing to provide a
little something in exchange.

Secondly, suggest things to write about. Do this by asking a few
questions surrounding the product/service. This also tends to give
people incentive to write even longer testimonials (which is always
a good thing).

*************************************************
For example:

Not quite sure what to write about, how about...

  1. Write about how much weight you lost and how quickly the
    pounds shed off...
  2. Write about how much you learned from my course and how
    much money you were able to make within the first (cycle).
  3. Write about how how many sales my "ad copy" got you versus
    how many you were getting before...
*************************************************

Thirdly, be sure to reward them with any rewards you had initially
promised. Be true to your word and honor any promises you made.

Also, if you don't have any existing customers for the product/service
yet, then, obviously, find people who are in need of the product/service
and offer them a complementary copy in exchange for their feedback. If
you're offering a suite of products or services, do not give away the farm.

Offer each person who expresses interest a "sliver" or "portion" of what
you're offering in exchange for a testimonial related that particular thing.

For example, when I first started designing websites, a friend of mine
suggesting offer a complete website to 5 or 6 people in exchange for
their testimonials and links on their site.

Not wanting to give away the farm, I offered a few people a free logo
design, a few other people got free "content creation" and a few people
got a new order system.

This enabled me to get many more testimonials, each for different components,
plus, because I didn't have to do EVERYTHING for each customer, I was able
to deliver what I promised in much less time. PLUS, and here is the kicker, from
those initial people who I did FREE work for, 4 of them then went on to hire me
to do additional work on their sites (and of course, I obliged and gave a them a
decent discount) of which then led to even more testimonials. So, it was a
"win-win-WIN-WIN-WIN" for everyone involved.
 

Ron Killian

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Some great tips already.

Best way, that has already been kind of mentioned, is to offer a review copy of your product, with the expressed payment that they must provide a review. But be prepared, many won't provide a testimonial. Either they get busy, forget or just wanted the free product.

Or do like Developer said, just ask. Over the years I've have customer email me kind words and I'll ask if I can use it as a testimonial, or ask them if you would like to provide one. Of course, always get their permission to post it.

The other thing, you need to give it time, you need to get some sales and customers under your belt before you can start getting them. You can't expect to get them with no track record or reputation.

Related forums can be a good place to start. Helps to ask regular and reputable forum members, can give more credibility to your testimonials.
 

Developer

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One of the reasons I suggest to ASK for feedback is because many
people aren't even aware that you'd be interested in it. Too many
online "shop keepers" only care about you 'til they have your cash.
So, for many, offering a testimonial, or feedback of ANY sort, isn't
even a thought because they feel it's useless and a waste of time.

Once you have a few testimonials, you can EASILY "suggest" they
send you one as well by placing a link above AND below testimonials
you've posted, saying something like "Click Here To Have Post Your
Testimonial Below (Above)"

By specifically asking for their feedback, you're essentially:

  1. Opening the door to communication (which is ALWAYS good) AND
  2. Letting them know "HELL YES, I DO VALUE YOUR INPUT" AND
  3. Telling them "YES, I DO CARE ABOUT YOU, EVEN POST-SALE"
  4. Getting their permission to post it on your site
    (otherwise, they would not have "submitted" it)
Now, the most important part is to not worry so much about the
positive feedback, but more so the NEGATIVE ones. As odd as this
may sound, I LOVE when my customers send me negative feedback.

My honest goal is really to help my customers out, and when I receive
negative feedback, it's like their telling me "Hey pal, you screwed up,
but I'm willing to give you a second shot". It shows they are just as
interested in my success as I am in their happiness and satisfaction.

When my customers submit a testimonial or feedback, it's a win win
for everyone involved and most of the time, they would have never
bothered had I not directly asked for it in the first place.

Here's another tip as well. When looking for testimonials, NEVER ask
a friend or colleague. If you want a TRUE and ACCURATE testimonial,
you want to ask people you have never met (online or off), someone
who has no vested interest in you or your product/service, someone
who will have no qualms about telling the rotten, low down truth, LOL.

Friends and colleagues, many times, may tell you the truth, but they
may try sugar-coating it, thereby giving you the opportunity to see
the trees beyond the forest, sort to speak. Again, never ask a friend
or colleague for testimonials.

Just my 2¢ though...
 

iSixty

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I guess I'll weigh in as the "heavy" here with a word of caution for those of you planning to use testimonials. Testimonials are a hot button with the FTC and you see violations of the FTC requirements everywhere on the internet.

Basically, if you publish a testimonial, you are responsible for its content. So, the claims made by the endorser must be truthful and, here's the kicker, representative of what the average customer should expect by using your product. Not only that, you are required to have substantiation of all of these facts.

Sorry to throw a wet blanket in here. My intent is not to discourage anyone - only to suggest caution in the use of testimonials to be sure you don't cross the line and get yourself on the FTC's radar. :ertery:
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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Hello, I'm having a plan to launch a new website business and I was wondering if anyone could offer some insight on how to get customer testimonials. Of course I'm willing to offer my help for free in exchange for this but how do I reach people that would be interested in this for free or no exchange?

Your tips would be appreciated.
Charge them for your service. I am very against giving it away for free in exchange for a testimony. They always forget to write one. Of the 500 or so web development jobs I've had I've only gotten maybe 14 reviews this way.

What I've learned is that they tend to feel more invested in you and your process. You are on their mind more when they pay. When the service is complete and done well, especially when they haven't known you before, relief or gratitude sets in and that's when you call them and get them to tell you "what they think" about the completed service.

Then ask for a review. They will. Do it while you're still on the phone, it is not an inconvenience you them. Even if It is just fake it til ya make it.

I guess I'll weigh in as the "heavy" here with a word of caution for those of you planning to use testimonials. Testimonials are a hot button with the FTC and you see violations of the FTC requirements everywhere on the internet.

Basically, if you publish a testimonial, you are responsible for its content. So, the claims made by the endorser must be truthful and, here's the kicker, representative of what the average customer should expect by using your product. Not only that, you are required to have substantiation of all of these facts.

Sorry to throw a wet blanket in here. My intent is not to discourage anyone - only to suggest caution in the use of testimonials to be sure you don't cross the line and get yourself on the FTC's radar. :ertery:
At risk of publishing an easily removable post here, the FTC hasn't the time or resources to validate website testimonials. And quoting something someone else said is not even remotely illegal even of they ask you not to with exception of a gag order. Newspapers and reporters do this all the time. You could argue that, I suppose, but there is so much left to opinion, don't you think? For a web service, the customer should expect what is in the contract between customer and service provider.

If after that the customer says his opinion of your service is poor, is he going to file a suit against you because his opinion was different than another person's testimonial? I doubt that has very much legal weight.
 
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