A Guide to Collecting Action-Packed Testimonials

Testimonials are an extremely valuable way to demonstrate your company’s credibility. Anyone can say their service or product is the best—but it’s what your customers say about it that proves it. Here are a few guidelines for capturing customer testimonials that tell your company’s story effectively.

Make asking a habit. Even better, make it an automatic habit. Whenever you finish a project, include in your closing email a pre-written request for a testimonial. Doing it immediately after a project is over ensures that the client’s interaction with you is still fresh in his or her mind. And making it automatic means that you never have to worry about doing it later.

Do it periodically. Then again, asking later on has its benefits, too. Every few months or so, contact past clients and ask for a testimonial. If you wait, the client may have had time to collect results on your past projects—and may be able to give you some strong numbers to include. In addition, getting in touch with a previous client gives you an opportunity to remind them that they have another writing project they’ve been meaning to talk to you about.

Ask the right questions. The strongest testimonial content includes specific results—with numbers, if possible—that show the value of your services. Here’s a list of the questions I typically use to jog that information loose:

_1. What was the situation before you hired Catalyst? What did
you need?

2. What was it like working with Catalyst?

3. What specific results have you seen from the work?

4. Any examples of Catalyst going “above and beyond” on this project?_

Choose the right people. Who you interview for testimonials makes as big a difference as what they say. Start with your favorite customers—the ones who clearly love working with you. Be sure you choose clients you’ve had a big impact on through your work—these are the ones who will have a dramatic story to tell.

Finesse the testimonial. You don’t necessarily need to repeat the words your client uses verbatim—be sure you tell your clients this and send them a copy of the finished testimonial for their approval. Keep it as close to their words as possible while making sure it’s compelling, grammatically correct, and easy to read.

Testimonials can be an extremely powerful way to promote your services—and it’s worth your time to collect them. Be sure to choose the right people and ask the right questions, and you’re sure to get testimonials that will add credibility to your business.

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