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Good Customer Testimonial Questions: How To Ask In 4 Ways

Customer Testimonial Questions

When it comes to testimonials, it’s important to have a prepared list of good customer testimonial questions. But, it’s equally important to know how and when to ask for them. Here are 4 with the how and when:

4 Ways To Ask & Get Answers To Customer Testimonial Questions

  1. Automated Email
  2. In-Person
  3. Handling A Negative Experience
  4. Check-In Email

 

Before considering the following options to ask for customer testimonial questions, it’s also important to put thought into the timing. Be sure you’re being mindful of this. The right timing can mean the difference for many things. I like what Hubspot has to say about getting the timing right. 

“Ideally, you ask for testimonials after the customer experiences success with your product or service — so they’re happy with their results and with your working relationship when they sit down to write or film a testimonial.”

 

Automated Email

 

If you have a rather large email list, then this can be a great option. This one is like casting your net out in a lake of ‘already interested’ fish. You’re bound to catch at least a few. You’ll want to write this the way you’d write a letter with a personal touch.

 

Hit the following points:

  • Subject – should be enticing since this is what will make them want to open.
  • Address your customer by name 
  • Keep it simple and real – tell them why you’re contacting them and what you’d like them to do. 

 

You can see some great advice for this below from Boast

Tell your customer what they’re looking for, why it’s important, and how they can quickly and easily help you out.  Here’s an email template from the

Loyal customers like you are really important to us and we appreciate your continued support. We were wondering if you could help us out today and write a (Google / Facebook / Yelp / etc.) review. This helps other customers like you find us and it really helps our business. Tell us about your latest experience, or something you love about {insert business name}. Go right to our page using this link – leaving a review takes less than a minute! {insert link here}. 

Thank you so much.

Then you want to sign out. 

  • Sign your name & title 
  • Sign business name 

 

In-Person

This can be tricky! It can be hard enough to find a way to do this online or in an email without coming across as pushy. The reality is that it is awkward to ask for something from someone you don’t know, which is why I think this is best done between a business that sees this particular guest frequently. They are the most willing to give you a boost. If you see them regularly, it means you’re obviously doing something right. You already have a relationship with this person and they will likely want to help you in any way they can. I would guess they’ve already been talking you up with family and friends. 

 

If you think about it, you don’t necessarily need hundreds of testimonials from people. Just a few well-thought-out and genuine reviews of your business will do the trick. I saw a TikTok recently with one of those voice-overs which highlighted the fear we all have of not having hundreds of views on social media content. I’m paraphrasing here, but the voice-over basically said, “sure, thirty views isn’t a lot, but if thirty people walked into my business I would be so overwhelmed.” She’d be overwhelmed with the interest people have shown in her business. 

 

We need to get to a point of being happy with pleasing even one person. When we arrive there, we’ll have returned to what I believe is the reason we went into business in the first place. To help people. 

So, in order to collect these few passionate and helpful testimonials, here’s an idea. 

Design some special VIP cards (email is ok, but cards are more personal), with a message of appreciation for their patronization, reminding them of what you’re hoping they’ll do for you, the questions you’d most like them to answer, and include your link. 

Notice above that I said ‘remind them’. I think it’s important to approach them with this card personally and explain what you’re hoping they’ll do to help you. The card merely serves as a reminder with the instructions. 

 

It is possible to present an opportunity to collect positive answers to customer testimonial questions even after a not-so-positive experience!

 

Handling A Negative Experience

In any situation that involves customer service and sales, complaints and unhappy experiences are inevitable. You can’t do anything to change that. So, what can you do?

One thing I feel is incredibly important is to train your staff properly. Any person who has contact with your customers needs to know how to properly handle someone who is unhappy with something. 

I was at a restaurant recently. My friend had ordered something sweet after lunch – a brownie sundae. The brownie was rock hard. I’m talking the kind of hard that would take a jackhammer to make any headway with this thing. Let’s not pretend we want to try our teeth on something like that. My friend mentioned the issue to the server and that started a back-and-forth about the fact that it shouldn’t be hard as she “literally See’s the kitchen make the brownies on a daily basis.” She walked off in a huff as if we had personally offended her. Maybe she made the brownie, I don’t know. 

She ended up coming back and apologizing for the hardness of the brownie and said she’d take it off the check. We hadn’t asked for that and I know my friend wasn’t expecting to have it taken off the bill, but it was the right thing to do. However, the fact that she walked off and was clearly offended was a problem and it should have never happened that way. 

The fact is that we’re all people here just trying to get through the day and ultimately survive. It’s important to train our staff to handle these inevitable situations and to remind them regularly that they will come up. If you keep this at the forefront of their minds they’ll likely handle things properly. 

Customer Testimonial Questions

I have to say here that if the server had asked for a review or testimonial (or even mentioned it), after this little hiccup, it wouldn’t have been received well. She was no longer in the position to ask for or mention an ‘opportunity’ like that. However, had things gone the way any reasonable and smart business owner would have hoped, she would have absolutely been in that position. In fact, within our first ten minutes at the table, I had already expressed that I thought she was a great server. How quickly things can change! 

Let’s talk about how she could have gone about this the right way. First, I think it’s important to point out that it’s better for a customer to complain about something directly to you than to read their negative review online. Make sure your staff knows that this is better! 

Once you know there’s an issue, you have the opportunity to resolve the issue. Not only that, but you can do it while they see you trying to resolve the issue. Make sure you or your staff know how to properly communicate the steps they are taking while they’re trying to figure out a resolution. It’s difficult for many, especially young people, to know how to communicate, let alone to understand the importance. 

For a restaurant situation, it would be great to have a link on the bottom of the receipt so that the customer can review if they’re so inclined. Once the issue has been resolved to the best of your knowledge, ask them directly if they’re happy with the way you handled the problem. Let them know you look forward to the next time you see them and remind them of the link. 

 

Check-In Email

I’ve said this before, but I don’t mind saying it again. Who doesn’t like to be checked in on? I’m not saying I want to see you at my door. Don’t do that. But, I do appreciate when a company goes to the effort of checking in after my visit to their establishment. I just had one of the best massages of my life at a chain I had decided I’d never visit again. But, I had a gift card and I was in desperate need. 

The massage therapist came in and introduced himself and asked about my specific needs. I expressed (probably not in the most polite way), that my prior experiences hadn’t been great. He responded perfectly. Without being (or seeming), offended, he assured me that he would do a good job, and boy, he came through. I woke up the next day feeling better than I have in months! 

The massage chain sent me a check-in email and I completed the survey. Here’s what I will say they could have done better with the survey. It asked all the basic questions. I am honest. While my therapist was out-of-this-world, the front desk employee (as always it seems), was not the friendliest or most hospitable. The survey asks how well they did in these two specific areas by asking you to use a scale from one to ten. I gave my therapist a ten. I gave the receptionist a three. The survey then apologizes for the experience not meeting standards (I guess mine), and then asks me if I’m willing to answer additional questions. 

Knowing I had this article to write was the only thing that made me curious to know what they’d ask next, so I agreed. This consisted of questions primarily related to additional sales items and services. Here’s the thing… I know I agreed to answer these additional questions, but if I’m already not as happy as I can possibly be, why are you still trying to sell me on anything? Shouldn’t you perfect the service I experienced first? 

What I like to see in a survey:

  • Straightforward questions that deal directly with my experience as a guest.
  • Questions should be easy to answer. I like the 1-10 scale questions.
  • Not too many questions
  • One open-ended question asking me if I’d like to add anything. This should be optional.
  • Consider adding a coupon or special offer for my willingness to take the time regardless of the outcome for your business. An offer can’t hurt you.

What I don’t like to see in a survey:

  • Do not ask too many questions. It should take no longer than 3 minutes for me to answer the basics (it should only be longer if I’m willing to answer the open-ended question)
  • Do not try to sell me anything if I’ve expressed anything negative. 

 

Try one of these and let us know how it worked for you. 

Still, have questions or feel lost? We’re happy to help! Schedule a call and we’ll show you how. 

 

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