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Do you regularly and consistently collect, analyse and utilise customer testimonials and feedback in your business?
Customer testimonials and feedback are great ways to understand what your customers think about your goods and services and to use to promote your business as part of your sales and marketing strategy. However, I have noticed that this is often a much neglected area in business. I therefore thought it would be good to have a think about how you may collect customer testimonials and feedback for your business.
Here are some ideas to try:
Ask for testimonials and feedback. Do you ask your customers for testimonials and feedback? The starting point in getting testimonials and feedback is to actually ask your customers. Don't be afraid to ask as you will find a lot of customers are happy to provide testimonials and feedback if they are asked. You will be surprised at how many businesses do not ask their customers for testimonials and feedback.
Ask when the customer is happy. The best time to ask for testimonials and feedback is when the customers are happy. This can be when you have just completed a service that has gone well or when the customer tells you they are happy with the goods or service your company has supplied.
Get them in writing. It is best to obtain customer testimonials and feedback in writing including the customer's permission to use them in your sales and marketing activity. They may be giving in writing by email or on an online questionnaire or hand written survey.
Use what customers are already saying. A good way to capture customer testimonials and feedback is when the customer has given you good feedback via email or social media. You can then ask the customer if you can use what they have said as a testimonial. By monitoring all communication, you can also pick up on negative feedback and take action in your business to improve your customer service.
Ask questions. Another way of obtaining customer testimonials and feedback is to ask your customers questions. These could be anything you choose, for example, from general questions such as 'What did you think of the service you received?' to more specific questions such as 'How did you find the report we issued?’
Use a survey or questionnaire. Where you want more detailed feedback or where you have a large number of customers you may prefer to use a customer survey or questionnaire. These may be a printed document or an online survey which are now very easy to set up.
Offer an incentive. You could offer an incentive to the customer in return for providing a testimonial or feedback. This can be anything from entry into a prize draw to a reduction off the customer's next purchase.
Provide examples. Some customers like to see existing testimonials so provide examples or direct the customer to testimonials you are displaying on your website or in printed material so they can see what you are looking for.
Respect your customer's privacy. Some customers do not want to have their name and personal details displayed with their testimonial so give them the option to remain anonymous. If you provide a private and confidential service (e.g. counselling) you will want to have all your testimonials anonymous anyway. Even if they are anonymous, as long as the testimonials are authentic, they will tell their own story to prospective customers.
Follow up but don't pester. After asking for a testimonial or feedback do follow up the customer with a further polite request. However, be very careful not to pester or harass the customer. Accept that not everyone will want to provide you with a testimonial or feedback.
Plan into your customer service process. Think about your customer service process, decide on when in the process you will ask for testimonials and feedback and plan this in. You may ask at more than one stage in the process. For example, you may ask for verbal feedback at several stages in the customer journey and then written feedback when the service is completed.
Say thank you. Don't forget to say thank you to your customers for providing you with testimonials and feedback.
Hopefully this article has got you thinking about how you may improve the collection of customer testimonials and feedback in your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: April 2019
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including anxiety management, communication, resilience, soft skills, stress management, time management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
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