Best Practices - Obtaining Positive Customer Testimonials

Goals

To build a list of 6-8 “best practices” or “guidelines” surrounding obtaining quality customer testimonials (feedback). Specifically to understand what the best practice or guideline is, why it is considered a best practice/guideline, and why it matters. The end game for this research is to get these best practices so that a brand can get some positive testimonials that they can later use to acquire new customers. Hypothetical examples of best practices/guidelines could be to ask consumers immediately and/or make the feedback process easier for the customer. An ideal response would include any quantifiable statistics like X% of customers are more likely to give a testimonial if asked within X days of purchase/usage.

Early Findings

General Information on Testimonials

  • One reason people buy products and services is that they know other people have used them and liked them. That’s called social proof, and it includes testimonials.
  • Once testimonials are obtained they should be used on sales pages, landing pages and even within email marketing, and they’ll help persuade visitors and subscribers to become customers.

Best Practices/Guidelines

  • Ask Immediately. Curating good customer testimonials involves understanding timing. Ask for it immediately. For example, if a company or brand has gone above and beyond, offering a service or product that truly solves a customers problems, providing stellar customer service, and making customers feel like the brand has been there for them (and not the other way around), the customer is usually happy to give a good testimonial on the spot.
  • Follow the Customer Journey. There are several touch points within a customer’s journey when it is appropriate to ask for testimonials. The first one is typically 30 days after the purchase. A company could send out an asking for feedback based on the experience so far. This is especially effective if the company asking for the testimonial is a software as a service (SaaS) firm. In fact, offering a client a free upgrade if they provide feedback or even record a video talking about their experience can be very effective. Incentivizing a customer can be very effective and in the case of software and information, most upgrades have a $0 marginal cost, so it’s a win-win.
  • Make It Easy for the Customer. Often the best way to get a good testimonial is to not actually ask for a testimonial. Often when a customer is asked for a testimonial they freeze or overthink things, thereby making it a difficult path for them to provide the testimonial. Instead, a company should simply ask how a customer is getting on with the product or service, then when they reply in a positive way, the company representative should ask for more details and ask what results they’re getting from it. Then the representative can summarize what the client said back to them. At that point, the client can be asked if their testimonial can be used. This technique makes it super easy for people to give a testimonial. And, on a proactive note, if their first response isn’t positive, it gives the company a chance to fix the problems the customer may be having.
  • Follow Up Politely. When a customer is feeling the most grateful for the product and/or service, email politely asking for a testimonial. If the customer does not reply in 4-5 days, follow up with a reminder along with an offer to draft a template that they can edit. Don’t pester them, though. If the client never answers after the second reach out, move on. A firm can ask again if the customer makes another purchase.

Statistics Surrounding Customer Testimonials

  • More than 50% of respondents are likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program.
  • A 2014 study found customers spend 31% more with businesses who have good client testimonials.
  • According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or even more.
  • A 2015 study conducted by Market Force showed that 83% of all consumers had completed at least one survey in the past year. Out of those who completed more than one, most of them had completed several surveys within a short period.
  • According to FluidSurveys, the response rate for an email survey is roughly 24.8%. So it can be expected that one in four people will fill out a Feedback Survey sent through email.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • It is clear from the initial hour of research that there is plenty of publicly available data to fully answer the questions.
  • Our first hour of research provided 4 best practices/guidelines for obtaining quality customer testimonials (feedback), backed up by several sources all recommending the same things.
  • We also provided some statistics surrounding customer testimonials.
  • We assumed an agnostic geographic focus on this research, however, if a more targeted approach is required, for example, the United States only, that would clearly have to be communicated to us in any reply.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

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