Receiving positive feedback from clients feels good. Small comments can refuel your tank and motivate you to continue to provide great service. What do you do with the compliments you receive? If you aren’t compiling the feedback into a testimonial to use in your marketing materials, you’re missing an opportunity. By utilizing the steps below, you can create client testimonials that will be sure to impress prospective clients and referral sources.
- Decide who to ask for a testimonial
In some cases, the decision of who to ask for testimonials may already be decided by your clients. Every firm has a handful of clients who are “Raving Fans,” meaning they aren’t afraid to express how happy and impressed they are with their experience, and they tell anyone who will listen. In this case, you just need to ask permission to create a client testimonial based on the feedback they’ve given you.
For others who may not be as outspoken, look to your best clients. Clients who utilize multiple service lines of the firm are great opportunities to showcase the depth of your practice. Testimonials from new clients that have switched from a competitor can offer an insightful perspective. Be sure to gather clients from all service lines and ensure a mixture of client size and industry.
- Determine how to ask for a testimonial
For some, this step is where they get stuck. Some fear that asking for a testimonial will feel like digging for compliments. By being selective with who to ask, you’ve narrowed down your list to clients who are happy with their experience and wouldn’t mind expressing those feelings with their name attached. A personal approach is the best route to take in asking for testimonials. At the end of a client meeting, during a phone conversation, or better yet, when the client has just given a compliment, are great times to ask.
- Make it as easy as possible for the client
Once you’ve obtained verbal permission, identify who will be in charge of contacting the client and drafting the testimonial. Marketing professionals, firm administrators and sometimes administrative assistants are good options.
Draft a set of questions to help pull the information you’ll want to gather. Open-ended questions that are designed to identify what differentiates your firm work best. Consider, “Why did you choose ABC firm for your accounting needs?” or “Would you refer ABC company, why?” Allow plenty of time for clients to answer and probe further if you hear responses like “Jim is great to work with.” Uncover specific examples of what Jim does in his approach that the clients enjoy. Once the conversation has taken place, and the testimonial has been drafted and reviewed by the partner, the client will review as well. If the client has no edits, a permission form allowing the use of the testimonial for marketing purposes will need to be signed and filed.
Once you’ve gathered testimonials, there are many ways to use them. Stayed tuned for more on integrating testimonials into your marketing and utilizing online and social reviews for your firm. If you would like more information on gathering client testimonials, please contact us, we’d love to discuss the process further!