In my experience, a customer is only too willing to help a business they enjoy working with to be successful. Remember this statement, as you think of the right way to approach a customer. If done in the wrong way, being asked to provide a testimonial for your business can be seen as an onerous task by a customer.
The solution is to frame it correctly and take all of the pain away.
So often people dislike working with ‘clean sheets of paper’ – they struggle to know what to say or write when put on the spot to come up with something creative.
Go out of your way to make it easy for them.
Harness your often overlooked, marketing pot of gold
Use your helpdesk team
Your MSP’s helpdesk is one of your best sources for testimonials.
99 percent of the time, to an untrained eye, ad hoc compliments (marketing gold) get buried 1000ft down inside ticketing systems and are lost forever.
In my Helpdesk Habits program, I talk about “Harvesting quotes and reaping testimonials.” Hundreds of people have downloaded this desktop wallpaper as a reminder …
5-steps to marketing greatness
Step 1) Create awareness of the marketing gold embedded within tickets
It’s time to make your team aware of the importance of those ‘throw away’ customer comments, when a technician has really helped someone out or gone out of their way to solve an issue.
“You guys are brilliant – I couldn’t run my business without you.”
This type of quotes are often seen in support threads. To the untrained eye – it’s a nice compliment at best.
Make your team aware of the fact that a comment like that could help to secure $/£000’s in business next week / next month / next year.
Prospects want to know that you’re a company who offers great services. There is no better person to tell them that, than your existing customers. It’s so much more powerful than when you say it!
Incentivize them to spot these ad hoc comments and not to smile and dismiss them – sending them to the bottom of the database table, to remain there forever.
In our consulting work – we used the desktop wallpaper shown below for a couple of months to ask technicians to be proactive in asking for reviews (it works).
Why not create your own and develop some great habits?
2) Technicians should copy relevant comments and send them to a nominated individual
Nominate an individual to run your testimonial program. Make it a thing. Call it just that – to raise the awareness and importance of it.
When there is an individual responsible for this – things will get done. When no one is responsible – this type of program will languish. Give this individual a target of drumming up 5 comments each month. Make them responsible for ensuring the teams keep delivering.
Create a simple shared spreadsheet – paste in the comment, the name and details of the individual and the date and place submitted, so that you have a record of where it came from.
3) Get permission and enhance
It’s important to get permission to use those words publicly. If they have originated from an ad hoc ticket comment, then they will have no clue that their words mean so much to you as a business.
If the comment isn’t quite fit for purpose – perhaps ask them to expand on it or expand on it for them (yes really) and ask them to sign it off – adapting the template below.
Let them know you’ve added to it or edited it a little (keep the meaning and sentiment of course) and ask them whether they’d put their name to it. Providing it’s truthful and doesn’t change their original meaning – it’s unlikely they will say no.
Create a simple email template and send it to the customer. There’s an example template below to copy/paste as a basis.
We were so thrilled to hear you’d enjoyed the service we are offering.
When customers write proactively and tell us how well we’re doing, it genuinely makes our day.
I know that you were working with [TECHNICIAN NAME] last week. They sent over the sentence you used when the ticket closed. We like to share words like that with the team, it really does make a difference to the team to know that they are appreciated – so thank you!
We would also like to use these brilliant words on our “Wall of Love” / Testimonials page on our website.
Would you be happy for us to add them to that page, alongside your name and company – to make it even more sparkly?
To remind you – the words we would use are here:
Just reply back with a yes – and we’ll get that done.
If we could ask one more thing – would you be able to copy and paste those words in a Google Review? It makes such a difference to our public profile and will help us to continue to grow and improve the business.
Simply click here <—- [INSERT GOOGLE REVIEW LINK HERE]
Expect a little thank you in the post next week – a small token for making a real difference to what we do.
[REAL NAME HERE – NOT “ACME WIDGET TEAM”]
Note you can find your Google Review link as shown below – it’s within your Google Business Profile page:
Click the “Ask for review” button (bottom right of the icons) …
You’ll see your unique link.
Note too – you should send that thank you gift- regardless of whether they leave a Google Review – it’s a thank you for the original words – NOT an incentive to leave a Google Review – that would be against the terms and generally bad practice.
4) Make the most of the words
I’m hoping you’ve got a testimonial page on your website. If not – we need to talk!
Make sure the comment is added there – but if it’s really lengthy – edit it down – make it as punchy as you can.
Use snappy sentences around your website generally. If a testimonial is about a particular service – then add it to that page. If it’s from someone in a particular industry – then use it on an industry page – get the context right.
Finally – use tools such as Trustindex.io to really make the most of your Google Reviews around your site. It demonstrates real credibility and trust if you’re a business with 20+ good reviews. Work hard to get them and then show them off.
5) Be consistent with your process
All too often I see MSPs conduct on a review campaign for a week or two, grab a few reviews, and they remain idle for a couple of years. This never looks good. It won’t help your rankings either.
Have a process in place to publish at least one or two testimonials on a monthly basis.
It does two things – it keeps eyes trained for ad hoc comments.
It also ensures your team are going out of their way to serve customers brilliantly on an ongoing basis.
And finally – how about a video testimonial?
To really go the extra mile – when you’ve got a willing customer – found through a process like this – the holy grail of testimonials is video. We can help you with that – whether recording remotely or face to face – drop us a line.
Simplify the process to get that ultimate social proof on your site and withing your sales process.
A small investment in time and money leads to building up an amazing bank of evidence that you’re the MSP to do business with.
Photo: Ken stocker / Shutterstock