Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 15, 2009

How to Get a Great Testimonial

How to Get a Great Testimonial

Written testimonials can be a powerful way to spotlight your product, business or service.  The only problem seems to be that seemingly you need to rely on luck to get just the right relevant content.  This article discusses some of the traditional and non traditional ways of mining for testimonial gold

One of the exercises from our 58 Hour Business and Marketing Course for Massage Therapists

You can simply ask the person to write one up for you. There are a couple of problems with this approach: It seldom gets done. It’s not a real priority for your customer. They may have good intentions, but they are busy. So the job of writing a testimonial for you goes to the very bottom of their to-do list.  You have no control over what the person is going to say or what they may focus on. For example, you may want a statement relating the results that they’ve seen in your organization, but they may write largely about what a pleasure it’s been to work with you.

Another approach is to give the customer an evaluation form to fill out and ask for permission to publish their comments with attribution. There are drawbacks with this approach as well: It seldom gets done. It may be easier to do than writing a letter, but the return rate for evaluation forms is still quite small.  It may not elicit the feedback that you want to get. General feedback questions will get you general responses. Most comments that speak in a general way about the service are not very powerful. The answers may be vague or sketchy. We’ve found that even when we ask very open ended questions, we get very brief responses, often a couple of words or a single sentence. These don’t read well when published.

Probably the best approach is to write the testimonial for your client. I know that it may sound somewhat dishonest, but it’s not. Here’s how you do it.

After you complete the job and the customer’s excitement is at the highest level, follow up with them by phone or in person. You are following up to get their feedback. As you speak to your customer focus the conversation on some of the elements that are most important to you.

Make sure to take notes. Try if you can to capture key points in the customer’s words. You may also choose to record the conversation for future reference.

Then after you are finished the follow up, you can say something to the effect of, “I really appreciate your feedback. You’ve had some great things to say. Do you mind if I get a testimonial from you. I know you’re busy, so here’s what I’ll do to make it easy for you. I’ve taken some notes. I’m going to go back to the office and summarize some of what you’ve told me. I’ll type it up in a Word document and email it to you. If you could print it on your letterhead and send me a copy to use, that would be great. Feel free to edit it or make any changes you feel are appropriate. Would you do that for me?”

Almost everyone agrees. They would like to help you out and you’ve just made it really easy for them. Get the testimonial letter written right away (and I really mean immediately – within the hour) and email it to them. Try to use some of the expressions or wording they’ve used. If you’ve recorded the conversation you can actually use their phrasing or quotes.

Now, all they have to do to give you a testimonial is open your file, look it over and put a piece of paper in the printer. It’s no big deal for them. So you’ll find that you get a fair number of them printed and returned to you.

What’s really great about this approach is you can structure the letter to meet your needs. You can focus on the elements that will be of most interest to future customers. You’ll likely find that most customers will do very little if any editing to your testimonial. So the testimonial will remain largely as you’ve written it.

Be sure to follow up if they don’t respond to your request within a couple of days. Resend the letter with another request.

Sure it takes a little more time …. and if you are not happily engaged with providing your service you will have that time.  Its a great investment that you can use over and over online and off.

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post

rhett


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Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available

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  1. […] See the rest here: How to Get a Great Testimonial […]


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