Do you often get a lot of praise from your customers as you work with them? They are happy with the product but when it gets to asking for a testimonial it feels like hitting a brick wall?
We all know that testimonials are a way of building a brand and telling prospective clients that you are trustworthy and that your clients generally have a good time working with you. So why is it so difficult for companies, especially marketing agencies, to ask their clients for a review?
Asking for testimonials is something most people would rather not do. Many agency owners have reported feeling awkward having to make this request for themselves although they readily do it for their clients. While others simply don’t make it a priority or often forget until it is requested by another prospect.
For a digital marketing agency to be successful today, testimonials or customer reviews are of utmost importance. Rarely does an agency get contacted, far less hired, without a client going through their Testimonials section on their website or other 3rd party sites.
Talking about 3rd party websites, the HubSpot Agency Directory happens to be one of the leading online sources for agencies to be found by prospective clients. It is one of the few, if not the only place, that has such a wide array of marketing agencies from all over the world accumulated in one place for the cherry picking of any client looking to outsource their marketing services to an agency.
Recently we completed testimonial projects for two clients where we doubled one client’s reviews and the other increased their reviews by 230%. This saw the latter company move from the 2nd page to the 3rd line of the 1st page of their HubSpot partner page. This action saw them triple the number of their leads in the last 2 months. This goes to show the importance of testimonials for a business.
Here are a few tips to help you begin collecting more of these testimonials.
1.Know when to ask
You do not want to ask too soon before your client has seen results and not too late to avoid your clients having forgotten the experience thus giving you a generic testimonial. Take into consideration their emotional phase. Waiting about two weeks to a month has been found to be effective. If waiting for a month it would be a good time to check the progress of the project you did for them before asking in order to make sure there are no sticky issues that may result in a negative review.
2. Not everyone is asked to give a testimonial
Let’s face it there are projects once completed you are happy to be done with them and are not willing to revisit them. So feel free to exclude such clients from your ask.
Make it simple for your clients – ASK. Get straight to the point in one email. Do not go back and forth. Ask them questions that are aimed at guiding them in writing the testimonial. When asked to give a testimonial, most clients wonder how to phrase it and what to talk about. This works as a guideline.
Be conscious of how you ask the questions, avoid the yes or no questions. Something like, ‘’did you enjoy working with the team at X company’?’’ will give a very different answer than ‘’How was your experience working with me/us? ‘’
Phrase the question in a way that leads them to an answer you want to hear. And if there is a star rating don’t be afraid to ask them to leave the highest rating with their review.
4. Set up reminder Emails
People are generally busy. It is very easy for emails to be lost in all the other emails. Like everything else, best practice suggestions, that you send up to 2 reminder emails to your clients without seeming like a bother. Setting them 5-7 days apart allows you to seem less pushy but also don’t hesitate to extend this time to even up to 2-3 weeks if you have a hint that your client is on vacation or super swamped with a big project.
5. Let them know earlier
When beginning your project with your client you can let them know lightly that you will ask for a review or feedback afterward. It lets them know beforehand and by the time you get to ask it from them, they are already prepared.
You must be thinking all these things are great but how do I ask for the review? Well, here it is;
1. Make a list of your clients, both present, and past
From this list select the clients you would like to ask the review from. Keep in mind the number of reviews you want to get from this project. Statistics have shown generally 25%- 30% of the client’s approached leave a review.
2. Write this list in an Excel sheet outlining the projects done.
State the phase it is in. If completed, what was the result? This makes it easier to personalize the email sent to the client requesting them for the testimonial.
3. Create the email nurtures to be used
Get about 5 different samples that cater to the different categories of clients you may have or projects. For instance, you may have a different email for past clients, new clients and returning clients.
You can feel free to contact us for our tried and tested email templates that we have used and proven work.
4. Send and track the responses received.
Send the emails out and track how many people responded and those that left a review the first time around. After a period of about 5 days send a second email to those not responded just a reminder. After a period of 7 – 10 days after the second email, send a third and final email to those that did not respond yet.
5. Show a little love
Do send a personalized thank you message to each and every one of your clients who left a review. If you have the budget include a nice gift card or something to show your appreciation for the time they took to write it.
It may sound like a lot of emails, but it is easy for your first emails to get lost in the bulk of emails your clients get. So, up to 3 emails aren’t going to annoy them too much.
If you are wondering what you will be writing in all those emails or need more assistance in the actual process of collecting these reviews for your website or HubSpot Partner Page contact us for further one on one assistance.
That’s it. It’s as simple that. Although asking for testimonials may not come naturally to you these few tips should make it smooth for you and take away the awkwardness that may come with asking for your clients’ reviews.