How to approach customers to ask for testimonials

Whether you are selling products or services, having testimonials featured on your website can increase your potential customers’ trust in your business. Testimonials can also be great stories, connecting emotionally with your potential customers. They can give your business an edge over your competitors and inadvertently, can be a great way to identify some previously undiscovered Unique Selling Points!

When to ask for a testimonial

Testimonials are best requested when you have had the time to build a relationship with your customers and when they’ve had a chance to experience your services, products and company first-hand.

For quick, one-off projects, you could ask for a testimonial a few days after the work is completed and the customer is seeing the benefit.  If your business is involved in longer-term projects, you should wait a bit longer, so customers have more time to evaluate the benefits of your good work.

What to say when asking for a testimonial

You don’t necessarily need to write a long explanatory email.   Keep your request short and to the point, especially if you know your customer well. If you’re writing to a customer you haven’t gotten to know that well, you can keep things more formal but keep length to a minimum.

Another great approach is to ask a short set of questions. This allows you to obtain more in-depth testimonials and customers don’t have to think very hard – they just have to answer questions! It’s also a great way to gather information on specific points you want to highlight.

Writing your testimonial request email

The best email will be the one that works best for you.  You can learn a lot with trial and error; try different subject lines, different approaches or different methods (survey, link, simple email) and see what works best.   For example, we’ve found that “Can you help me?” works well as a subject line and almost guarantees that the email will be read.

If you know your customers well and know when they tend to be in the office, you can also optimise when you send your email to make sure it gets read and acted upon.

Avoid sending testimonial requests at inopportune times when then won’t get the attention they deserve such as Monday mornings or Friday afternoons.

Following up on a testimonial request

If you don’t receive an answer within a couple of weeks, follow up with a short email simply asking them if they’d had the chance to give their testimonial some thought.

You can also try to give a soft deadline and follow up at the end of that deadline. You’d be surprised to see how well people respond to deadlines!

The deadline should be no longer than a week otherwise people will forget. Make sure you’re not pushy though, they’re doing you a favour after all! Mentioning that you’d like to update your testimonials on a certain day for example should be enough.

Want to see where all these tips can lead to? Head over to our testimonials page and find out what customers have said about us!