How to Gather Effective Testimonials

May 16, 2020

Today I want to talk to you guys about the process that I use for gathering testimonials. You can check out the full video here of me showing you exactly how I ask for testimonial here.

Getting the Right Information.

I want to make sure that I’m getting the right information for my clients because oftentimes our clients don’t know the right information to provide us with when it comes to giving us a testimonial. We could ask them to write a testimonial, but unless we kind of give them ground rules for how to do this, we’re going to kind of miss out.
I think that it’s important first that you get really clear on the questions that you need to be asking when it comes to your testimonials.  Essentially, you want to get information around what your client was really struggling with when they came to you.
Then, you walk them through a process. You provided them with a product or service in order to give them success or help them overcome that problem that they’re struggling with. You want to talk about how they were feeling before and how they’re feeling after. There’s a series of questions that you can ask people to get this information.

What my process looks like

  • I send my clients a Google Form and it asks them a series of questions just specifically about my process in general
  • then I asked them three to four questions about how they were feeling throughout the process so I can see how I’ve helped them overcome that and how I’ve solved their problems.

I can use that information in my testimonials for future clients. If future clients are resonating with how my past clients were feeling, then they can say “well, if she can solve the problem for her, then she can totally solve that problem for me too”.

There’s a series of questions that I ask in order to do this. I find that a Google Form with like a couple of quick “write this on a scale from one to five questions” and then 3-4 shorter questions is important.

Then I always ask people if they’re okay with me lightly editing their testimonial or just using pieces or phrases from it. People are not gonna read an entire four-page testimonial, so we need to cut it down to smaller sizes. We want to find the parts that’ll resonate with our ideal clients. We’re looking specifically for how they felt like, and transformed into a new person because we’ve helped them do that.

Another great piece to collect would be if they if talked about an objection that they had to working with us, and how after working with us, it totally didn’t even matter anymore because it was totally worth every penny of making the investment to work with us.

I’m walk you  through my testimonial Google Form so you can see exactly what it looks like in the video above, but here’s a summary.

As part of their wrap-up, they’ll get an email with that testimonial link and then they fill it out for me.

In terms of getting your clients to fill out testimonials, I know that it’s definitely something that a lot of business owners struggle with to be completely honest with you. I think timing is everything. It’s hard if you’re a wedding planner or some other vendor that doesn’t have a deliverable. If you can kind of ask your client about the process prior to the deliverable, or right after the deliverable is given to them, then that’s a great time to do it. If the majority of the work was done prior to that thing being given to them, that is definitely a struggle. It’s important to follow up with your clients, and really just make it super easy for them to do it. That’s going to be crucial.

I include the link to my Google Form questionnaire in the wrap up email. I’ve found that it’s super helpful in getting the information that I need because it guides people through the process.

Here’s what my questionnaire looks like for me, and the questions that I ask them:

  • the process in general. Did they find it helpful?
  • how clear are they on what they need to do next?
  • some short answer questions. These questions are basically going to give me the information that I need to put together an effective testimonial. Even if it’s just a sentence, it will give me some data that I can use to connect with other potential clients who may be feeling the same way.
  • what surprised them about working together?
  • is there anything I could have done to make the experience better, and any other feedback etc
  • some basic questions about the process and how they felt about it throughout
  • I ask people if they’re okay with me lightly revising the testimonial. This gives me the ability to take those sentences to mix and match, or put a phrase together with another phrase from a different question and make one complete sentence, which sometimes needs to happen. This way I don’t need to share an entire, long testimonial. I can just share the important parts.
  • I ask people about their preferences on where I share their feedback and then how comfortable they are with me including their information. I’ve had clients who wanted to be completely anonymous with no identifying information at all. I’ve also had clients who probably would have let me give out their phone number I needed to – which I would never do, but obviously I want to respect people’s preferences on that.
  • Lastly I asked them for a photo I can use and then if I should I credit a photographer with that photo

Simplify the Process for them as much as you can

This Google Form method is actually something that I learned from Elizabeth McRae V, who’s an incredible website designer. She had mentioned how she does her testimonial gathering process, and so I wanted to try it.

Honestly, I feel like it’s super helpful for my clients. I can just go through all the information I get, and pick what I need. Clients also know what I need. It simplifies it for them too because it’ll take them 10-15 minutes to fill this out. All of my testimonials are then stored in the Google Form. I can go back to it later and find everything all in one place.

I hope this was helpful for you guys. If you decide to institute this method for yourselves in terms of gathering testimonials, or if you think that this is effective for you, let me knowI If you found something that works better, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always looking to update my processes. Shoot me a message!

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