In last week’s blog, we looked at the many benefits of using testimonials to market your training business.
Of course, knowing that reviews are a fantastic marketing tool doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically feel know how to ask for testimonials (or feel comfortable about it).
Many people worry about seeming too pushy if they ask for reviews or believe that, if the client feels positive enough, they’ll leave a review of their own accord.
Although this is true in some cases, most clients will appreciate (and need) a prompt.
The good news is that – according to the latest BrightLocal Survey – 72% of us will leave online reviews if asked.
So, how can you ask for testimonials without it feeling cringe-worthy?
How to ask for testimonials
My suggestion is to create a short email template that you can adapt for each client and send it out just as a training project comes to its end.
Reach out to clients while your services are still fresh in their minds but perhaps when they’ve had a few days to reflect on the positive outcomes.
Try saying something along the lines of:
Google is a good starting point for collecting reviews because it serves an SEO function as well as a marketing purpose.
To generate the link that will let your clients leave a Google review, you just need to:
- On your computer, search for your business on Google
- Find your business listing and click Get more reviews
- Either click to share the link on Facebook, Twitter or via email or choose the Click to copy link option
If you feel that the URL looks too long and cumbersome, you can always use a URL shortening service like bitly.
You can adapt the email above if you would prefer to collect reviews on Facebook, Yell or to use on your own website. Just briefly explain why reviews are important, what the client needs to do to leave the review and some pointers about what they might want to say.
Responding to reviews
If one of your clients takes the time to leave a review online, you should always acknowledge it, even if it’s to just say a quick thank you. Other people will like seeing that you care enough to respond.
When you’re actively asking for reviews from clients with whom you have good working relationships, negative reviews are fairly unlikely. If a negative review does happen though, please don’t panic or respond defensively.
People understand that negative reviews happen sometimes (and, in fact, can be distrustful of a business that only has five-star reviews) – it’s how a business reacts to them that is often the litmus test for trust.
Again, thank the reviewer for their feedback and, if appropriate, invite them to speak to you about their concerns. Or, if you were already aware of the issue that’s been negatively reviewed, you could reassure the reviewer that procedures have been put in place to address the issue moving forward.
Negative reviews can actually be a great opportunity to show that you care about feedback and honing your services.
Ask for testimonials as part of your admin process
People tend to most trust reviews written within the last three months because they recognise that businesses and services change and that the most recent reviews probably best reflect what they can expect as a client.
For this reason, build asking for reviews into your admin process for each client. Just as you might send out contracts, training materials or invoices, a quick email requesting a review should help you build up a current repository of reviews that you can use in your marketing.
Do you ask for reviews from your clients? Do you look at reviews before you buy? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.