Congratulations on launching your startup! You’re on your way to making millions, to negotiating that buy-out, to launching on NASDAQ…you get the idea.
Well, as you’ve probably already gathered, it’s not quite that easy.
Let’s take a look at the fundamentals. You’ve got everything in place: Your product works beautifully, your sales team is ready to roll, your website is beautifully designed and tells your story perfectly. Now, all you need to do is get some customers!
In order to get the ball rolling, you need endorsements and testimonials for your services or products.
The Best Ways to Get Customer Testimonials
How do you go about getting hold of those early adopters to provide testimonials?
There are a number of smart ways to get customer testimonials that aren’t all that difficult or pricey.
Here are a few tips:
Freebies and Giveaways
After launching your startup, create special offers or give limited-time discounts to new customers, and then ask them to write a brief testimonial or allow you to quote them on your website’s review page in exchange.
For example, if you’ve just launched a mobile app, offer a free trial period to your first customers in return for them writing a review about their experience in the app store. You can also use the tool Intercom to monitor the activity in your app and discover which areas may be causing issues for your users.
You can later reach out to those users who took advantage of the free trial and ask them follow up questions, such as:
- How was your experience with the app?
- What made you decide to start our free trial?
- What’s the main thing holding you back from upgrading to a paid account?
The answers to these questions can help you improve your product and sharpen the focus of your sales funnel.
Rewarding Customers Who Review
One of the most creative ways to get customer reviews is to offer customers a chance to win a prize for doing so. You can offer coupons, vouchers, or discounts to customers who provide testimonials. You can also promote a giveaway contest for customers who send in a testimonial video about your product. There are tons of ways to get customer reviews…you just need to get creative.
One way to implement this is by integrating customer reviews into your existing loyalty or rewards program. If you already have a rewards program in place, include writing a review as a behavior that awards your customer with additional points. This will help provide them with the incentive they need to share their opinion.
For example, Campus Protein has a loyalty program in place that rewards customers for more than just making a purchase. Every customer who leaves a review about their products earns 30 points, while following the brand on social media earns them 10-20 points.
Rewarding customers for behaviors other than purchasing, encourages increased engagement, and creates valuable customer reviews that can be used to persuade prospective customers into buying from Campus Protein as well.
One of the easiest ways to get customer reviews is by using a 360-degree testimonial platform that comes with a testimonial widget that you can embed in your website (instead of designing an old-fashioned reviews page).
The great thing about a testimonial platform is that it allows you to send emails to your customers asking them to submit testimonials. All they have to do is click the link in the email, write a few flattering sentences about your business, and then submit!
You can also copy any of your testimonials, reviews, or recommendations from other sites (such as LinkedIn, Amazon, TripAdvisor, etc.) and import them manually to your backend to consolidate and showcase them all together on your company website.
Prompt a review after a successful transaction
When customers buy something online, they should always get to a confirmation page. This is a great place where you can request comments and feedback on your service, product, and the buying experience. You can also send customers a follow-up email after purchase, asking for comments and endorsements.
For example, once a customer reaches the confirmation page after checking out, you can utilize this valuable online real estate to ask qualitative questions such as:
- What can we do to improve your experience?
- What led you to purchase here instead of at a competitor?
Answers to open ended questions is one of the best ways to get customer reviews and insight into what you can improve about your product. Avoid asking yes/no or one-word answer questions, so that you can collect as much detail from your customers as possible.
Monitor Brand Mentions
One of the many ways to get customer testimonials is to search for the ones that are already out there.
There may be a variety of unsolicited reviews on other review sites or personal blogs that you’re unaware of. To capture these valuable reviews, use a tool such as Google Alerts.
Google Alerts can help you keep track of brand mentions by sending you daily alerts for a number of relevant terms such as your name, business name, brand names, specific product names plus the word “review”. If you find reviews that you were unaware of, reach out to the writer and ask them if you can feature their comments on your website testimonials page.
Using social networks is one of the best ways to get testimonials from clients, especially for young companies, because it’s where your customers hang out and share ideas, opinions, and information. This makes it the perfect place for you to engage and interact with your customers and take advantage of the arena to get testimonials.
Here are some tips for getting customer reviews on the biggest social networks:
If you are a local business, your Facebook page now comes with a “Reviews” tab where your customers can go to write testimonials.
It is easy to request recommendations and endorsements for your skills and expertise from your contacts, both for your personal profile and your company page. You can also add products or services to the company page, and then request recommendations for each one.
YouTube video reviews:
Many times, customers create videos to discuss or review a product. You can ask your customers to review your products on their own YouTube channels and send you the link, so you can create a playlist of customer testimonials on your company YouTube channel.
Another idea is to keep a camera in your office (or use your smartphone) to film reviews when you meet customers in person, and add the videos to your company YouTube channel. Satisfied customers will be happy to express their support.
Twitter doesn’t have a formal recommendation feature, but you can still showcase testimonials or praise: Save your favorite tweets and use them as your personal highlights. Every time someone gives you a positive comment, “favorite” it to keep all of your recommendations organized together in one place.
Local search directories such as Google Places or Yelp are platforms where users can go to write a review about local businesses. If you’ve already compiled a number of reviews on one of these pages, you should begin sharing them as testimonials on your website as well.
You may be wondering why you’d want to encourage customers to write reviews on external sites as opposed to writing testimonials directly on your website. The answer is simple: It will help your business’ search engine traffic significantly increase.
Word-of-mouth is the most effective way to get new customers and spread knowledge about your company. Real testimonials from actual customers are extremely powerful tools of social proof that are guaranteed to increase your client base. So, don’t be shy when it comes to asking for testimonials or reviews – they could take your startup to the next level!
Are you looking for a tool to seamlessly collect and manage your testimonials? Give Spectoos a try, today!
Also published on Medium.