blog imageIs there anything more powerful than a personal recommendation? When you read a good review, doesn’t it just seal the deal?

Reviews and testimonials have a tremendous amount of value for a business—especially if they’re new in town. Brantford is a small community, and businesses here still rely heavily on old school methods of communication, word-of-mouth and compliments from their neighbours. Which is fine—good word-of-mouth is hugely important. But as this city continues to grow, newcomers are arriving in town and setting up shop, savvy people who understand that a good review is worth its weight in gold.

When we bring a new client on board, we check and see if they have reviews—and if they don’t, it’s clear that they don’t know how to ask for, and get, good ones. With this blog, I will show you how to build your reviews on Google, Facebook and other important sites, quickly. I’ll take you through the process, step by step, showing clearly how to help your clients write stellar reviews, ones that truly reflect the hard work that you put into your business, and the pride you take in your work.

Your business needs a large number of reviews—they’ll do your marketing for you. People who read reviews will turn to them before hiring you and becoming your client.

Please see below for our five best tips for getting good review, as well as two templates to help guide you as you seek to achieve the highest number of reviews and testimonials as possible.

1. Find the perfect timing

The first thing you’ll want to do is analyze your customer base and their background and journey with your service or product, to determine the very best time to ask for a review. You would ideally ask for testimonials after your product or service has been successful for your customer, so they are satisfied with your working relationship and their results when they film or write their testimonial. You want your customer happy—and then write about it soon afterward.

For example, if you work at a marketing agency, and you help a client exceed their goals—that’s the moment to ask for a review. Depending on the types of products you work on, the end of the year or quarter is another possible opportunity.

2. Give your customers a reason to say, Yes!

Nearly everyone has an email address. If you want your customers to not only to read the emails you send them, but also submit a review, you need to give them a good reason.

One easy way to do this? Provide an incentive such as a gift card or company swag, in exchange for submitting a testimonial. If offering rewards like these aren’t in the budget, make sure your email is very compelling, make the customer feel valued, and explain why you’ll both benefit from them writing a testimonial.

3. Make it easy for them by providing options.

Offer the option to film, or write, their review for your company’s website. Provide a variety of formats and platforms, so the customer can feel perfectly comfortable as they provide you with a glowing review!

4. Pose straightforward questions that will elicit simple but powerful customer quotes.

By posing good, to-the-point questions, you’ll challenge your customers to speak from the heart as to why they’re satisfied with your product or service. Their testimonial will then be likely to resonate with prospective customers.

To avoid one-word responses, use open-ended questions. Use queries that will not only reflect on how they felt working with you, but will also draw out a story: what made them choose you as a provider, the struggles that led them to search for a solution, what they hoped to gain from choosing you, and what their experience was like throughout the process.

5. Customize your template.

Make sure you are taking the time to customize each message for every customer relationship before sending off the email. Take the time to build a rapport with them—and make sure your email reflects that.

Check out the two effective email templates below to help get you started on building your testimonials.

1. The Formal Request

[Enter Customer’s Name],

Just a quick note to reach out and say thank you for being such a loyal [Enter Company Name] customer. I noticed you reached your goal of [enter milestone] this past month, wanted to personally congratulate you on all of your success! It’s been a pleasure working with you on this project.

We’re hoping to share success stories from our customers who have used [name of product/service] on our company’s website. I was wondering if you might be interested in being a part of a featured testimonial? To submit a video or written testimonial now, follow this link, and to say thanks for your time, I’ll send you a gift card for [enter item/store].

Once again, congratulations on achieving your goal, and thank you for your continued partnership. If you have any questions about submitting a testimonial, let me know.

Regards,

[Your Name]

2. The Quote Capture

Hi [Customer Name],

It was great talking with you earlier today, and we are absolutely thrilled that we’ve exceeded your expectations!

We understand that leaving reviews can be a challenge. So, if you need help beating writer’s block, here are a few questions to inspire you:

What was your life like before [name of service/product]?

What growing pains did you experience?

What drew you to choose [Company name]?

How has the product/service made a difference in your life or business?

What was most surprising about your experience with [company]?

We appreciate your feedback!

Cheers,

[Your Name]

Don’t make your marketing department do all the heavy lifting. Reviews, referrals and testimonials are invaluable to the growth of your company. This is an opportunity to dive into your existing customer base and turn them into your biggest boosters and fans.

For starters, know exactly when to ask—but as your brand grows, you’ll want to consider forming a referral strategy that best suits your company.