How To Ask Your Customer For A Testimonial Without Looking Desperate

In today’s world where customers can let their voices be heard across multiple channels, it’s more important than ever for a business to go above and beyond by investing in customer service and responding appropriately to negative reviews. After all, a whopping 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a business.

To help give your brand a positive image, improve its trustworthiness, and quality, you should seek out quality testimonials from your customers that highlight the customer and your business solved a problem for them. While that’s a sound plan, how can you ask you customers for a positive review without coming across as desperate?

Here are some of the best ways to snag those important testimonials without pleading, begging, or being needy.

Provide an Exit Interview or Survey

When asking a customer for a testimonial it’s all about timing. And, what better time to ask them then following the completion of a project or sale? After all, they’re feeling good about your product or service and you’re satisfied because you’ve just landed a happy customer. Besides, it’s rather common for companies to send out exit interviews or surveys following a sale or customer service inquiry. That means that your customer won’t be totally caught off-guard if they receive some sort of survey or questionnaire.

When sending out an exit interview or survey, make sure that you ask the right questions. Copyblogger has put together six questions to ask if you want powerful testimonials – which I have slightly modified.

  • What obstacle prevented you from purchasing my product or service or working with my company?
  • What did you find as a result of buying this product or service?
  • What was the specific feature that you liked most about this product or service?
  • What are the three other benefits about this product or service?
  • Would you recommend this product? If so, why?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share?

If you want to create a survey to send out, there are more than enough options for you to try out, such as:

  • Survey Monkey: Free and easy-to-use. Can send up to 10 questions and embed in emails or landing pages.
  • Google Forms: Unlimited amount of of surveys and respondents that can be embedded into emails and websites. 100% free.
  • Survey Planet: The free version allows unlimited questions, surveys, and respondents. It’s also embeddable.
  • Typeform: The free plan, known as the CORE plan, offers unlimited questions and answers, but has the cool feature where you can the user by their first name if they provide it.
  • Limesurvey: A free, open-source platform loaded with features that include unlimited surveys sent to multiple users and multi-lingual surveys.

Make it Reciprocal

Another way to ask for testimonial without looking desperate is to return the favor. Instead of just straight-up asking for a testimonial you could ask previous and current customers, don’t forget former colleagues or bosses if need be, if they wouldn’t mind giving you a solid testimonial. In return, you’ll gladly give them a testimonial.

For example, if a customer left you a positive review on an ecommerce site like Amazon, you could also review them as a customer saying that they were an excellent customer and you would love to do business with them again. This way, both parties walk away with a positive testimonial that can help boost their trustworthiness.

Run a Promotion

This is kind of the same idea of giving a testimonial in return in that each party isn’t walking away empty-handed. In this case, you could run a promotion on your social channels or in your email newsletter asking for customers to complete a brief survey or questionnaire. For taking the time to answer the questions, the customer will be rewarded with a prize or discount. I recently completed a Twitter survey simply because there was an Amazon gift card attached if I completed the survey.

To make running your promotion easier, you can use a third party tool like Rafflecopter or OneKontest for your promotion on social media. And, don’t forget to follow the guidelines of your social media channel of choice.

Look For Already Published Reviews

If you listen to what others are saying about you or your business, you may notice that there are plenty of already published reviews on social media or review sites. For example, someone may be thanking you for your stellar customer service on Twitter or have written a flattering review of your business on Yelp. These organic conversations make for some of the best testimonials because they aren’t forced.

However, if you do use a comment left by a customer on social media or another site, make sure that you ask their permission to use their kind words. You could send them an email or direct message thanking them for the review and asking if you could use it on your site.

You could also take it a step further and use that opportunity to ask the customer for additional feedback.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to set-up your profile on as many relevant review sites as possible, such as Yelp, Google Local, TripAdvisor, LinkedIn, or CitySearch.

Make It Convenient To Leave Reviews

Since you’re asking your customer for a favor, the least you can do is make it easier for them to leave a review. If you send out a newsletter asking for a review, for example, make sure that you include a direct link in the email – that link should also be on your website, social channels.

If you have a physical location, or even if you’re attending an industry event, you could have a tablet kiosk so that customers can share their experience with your brand in an interactive way that doesn’t require them to go out of their way.