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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

The Best Tips for Getting and Using Testimonials in Business

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on The Best Tips for Getting and Using Testimonials in Business

Nothing can boost your business’s credibility quite like testimonials from real customers can. However, actually getting those testimonials can be a real challenge, not to mention knowing how to use them effectively to garner more business. So, we have asked the CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share what they think are the best tips for getting and using business testimonials. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Overdeliver, Then Ask Directly

Clients are busy and will rarely send a testimonial even if they're delighted. The best way that I've found is to surprise them by overdelivering and then, ask them for a testimonial right after. If you get the timing right, you'll get some great comments.

If you feel uncomfortable about asking, you can ask "Do you have any feedback for my team?" This phrasing makes it less awkward. By using the word "feedback," it softens the request, and asking on behalf of the team shows humility.
Thanks to: Hrayr Shahbazyan of AIST Global.

2. Just Ask

One of the most effective ways to ask for a review and get one, is to just ask. Asking someone to take a few minutes out of their day to write a review if they received exceptional service is not a big deal and most people are willing to do it. Ask, and you shall receive. Reviews will help your business because this is one of the most effective ways to advertise to new customers/clients; it is the new "word-of-mouth" advertising that proves to be effective, time and time again.
Thanks to: Maricriz Rodriguez of Bin There Dump That.

3. Automate the Entire Process

Dealing with testimonials manually can be time consuming. My best tip is to automate the process as best you can.

For example, if you use WordPress, you can use a plugin like Thrive Ovation to create a page that allows your clients to submit testimonials.

You can then moderate those testimonials and choose whether to publish them on a testimonial page setup with the same plugin. It will also allow you to pull in testimonials from blog comments and social media posts.
Thanks to: Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard.

4. Just Ask

It astounds me that people do not ask for what they really want out of life. If you have added value to someone's life or business, and a testimonial would help you, ask for it.

Be polite, be humble, but ask. I have never been refused a testimonial, but if I was, it would enable me to ask the question why and then see what I can do to deepen the client relationship.

When I have it, I use it where it will be seen by the right people in the right way. Note, always give credit!
Thanks to: Ben Baker of Your Brand Marketing.

5. A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

My best tip for getting and using testimonials:

Sending a polite, direct email request “Testimonial for website” seems to work best for me. After doing a great job on their real estate transactions, clients normally happily oblige.

Using testimonials:
Re-purpose this great content across your website, social media, email marketing. For those that aren’t camera shy, I try to capture a photo together in front of their new home to go along with the written testimonial.
Thanks to: Melissa Okabe of Alta Properties.

6. Don't Ask, Don't Get

Asking for referrals may seem narcissistic, but we all need them. Business revolves on referrals, good and bad, but people are afraid to ask for them. When you make it part of your process, people are more than happy to give you a referral.

Clients know up front that I ask for a referral to use for website, marketing, and social media content. They know this benefits both of us; I get a great referral, they get shout outs, and we both get a bump in SEO.

If you don't ask, you don't get.
Thanks to: Laura Templeton of 30 Second Success.

7. Gamify the Review Writing

One way we've found to increase the number not only of reviews, but of high quality reviews is to gamify the review-writing experience by adding a dynamic meter that lets the reviewer know that longer reviews are better. An empty review field will leave the meter pointing in the red and as the writer adds characters to their reviews, the meter rises through yellow and eventually to green. This has increased our number of high quality reviews by gamifying the experience.
Thanks to: Jake McKenzie of Auto Accessories Garage.

8. Be Real

I shared this beautiful testimonial on a twitter post, it read: "Absolutely adore the way you live your life. Seems like social media persona is the same as real life for you. Amazing and bravo to you for being a soul that “gets it”! 2:54 PM · Jun 5, 2019" It doesn't get much better than that. A CUSTOMER is verifying how REAL you are. I've always been real with my social media, but when a customer verifies it, it becomes REAL to everyone. Share it and watch the true rewards!
Thanks to: Brian Weavel of Anna's Pizza & Pasta.

9. Ask and You Shall Receive!

I do a lot of public speaking and give workshops to build my business and when people email me after one of my events to share how much they learned or enjoyed it, I always ask them whether I can use their comments as a testimonial on my site or in my materials. Also, after completing a project when a client writes to show appreciation for our process or the deliverable, I ask if I can quote them, as well. I have never been turned down! Don't be shy when you succeed- celebrate!
Thanks to: Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls.

10. Ask and it is Given

There's no better way and place to get a customer review than GMB (Google My Business) listing. Reviews on GMB listing can make or break a local business. It is probably the easiest way to rank on top for your target local searches. All you need to do is to ask the happy customers when they are leaving, just like Uber drivers who request you to rate them after the ride.
Thanks to: Sadi Khan of Run Repeat.

11. Lead with a Marketing Project

Whatever you do, don't start off by asking for a Testimonial - instead, begin by telling them what you are working on: "We are working on a new home insurance marketing project demonstrating our success at getting hard to place structures-home insurance, naturally we thought of you. Would you mind providing a Testimonial for us?

You will find that this sort of specific request has a much higher chance of success.
Thanks to: Scott W Johnson of Marindependent Insurance Srvs LLC.

12. Tapping Testimonials

I do a free giveaway of a product and ask the recipients to provide feedback or I ask those who enjoy participating in my seminars to give me a quote. Once the individuals give me their positive comments, I add them to my testimonial page where my products are sold and I create pretty, colorful promotional pics that I share on my social media platforms.
Thanks to: Damon Nailer of Kitril.

13. One Tip: 1 Catchy BOX Insert!

Here's my one best tip for getting & using customer testimonials/reviews:

Our marketing & graphics team developed a square (4" x 4") card-stock box insert for shipped product, complete with the Federal Brace logo, contact info & social media handles asking for pics/reviews/testimonials of completed projects from Federal Brace products.

We then share these pics/reviews/testimonials (with permission) on our Federal Brace social media channels & in "Brace Blog" posts! #TestimonialTuesday
Thanks to: Christy Stucker of Federal Brace.

14. The Best Client Testimonials

Generally, we use Google Reviews; but, from time to time, we use Clutch. Clutch will reach out to our clients and interview them about their experience working with us. This is great because it has a more professional feel, makes it easy for our clients to express themselves completely, and adds a small layer of confidentiality.

With a third party asking the questions, our clients feel a little more comfortable answering honestly, and the responses will, in turn, feel less forced.
Thanks to: Juan Pablo Madrid of Online Optimism.

15. Don't Wait!

Do it promptly. People are most likely to give you feedback right away. The longer you go from the time of service or the purchase of your product to the time of request, the likelihood of getting reviews will drop. According to Ted Paff, CEO of CustomerLobby, a review service, “Comment card reviews solicited at the time of service can see completion rates of 80-90%” vs. much lower rates for other forms of review solicitation.
Thanks to: Zondra Wilson of Blu Skin Care, LLC.

16. Customer Tells Customer

Our best customer reviews go right up front on the 1st page of our website. New customers can read about what other customers have to say about us. Word-of-mouth is the most important piece of advertising you can ever receive. Let the customers read what other customers have to say about us 1st.
Thanks to: Gary Christensen of Christensen's Delivery Service.

17. They Inform and Drive Sales

When a satisfied customer emails me saying our medical device relieved their pelvic pain I ask if could post their testimonial for our website. I explain all reviews are confidential - we post no last names - but they help other women also suffering from pelvic pain. Almost all who contact us say the reviews both informed and influenced their decision to purchase. So, testimonials drive sales, but also assure women they are not alone, there are answers and there are solutions to their pain.
Thanks to: Tara Langdale-Schmidt of VuVatech.

18. Mindful Listening

The best way to make it easy for clients to submit glowing reviews is to intentionally listen to what they tell you. In that moment, tell them what you heard them say and show them how to post it. It shows that you are listening to them, and gives them content for writing an authentic review. Be present and take immediate action.
Thanks to: Levine Denise of Outside In Organizer and Makeovers.

19. Have a Strategy and Process

Have a strategy in place for testimonials in various formats such as written and video. Depending on your niche, it can be as simple as adding an email prompt. If you have an ongoing relationship with a client, it's well worth requesting a video testimonial. Remember, these are social proof of your value to customers, so use wherever possible in your marketing strategies including on web pages, social media posts, email marketing, proposals and offline channels, including any printed materials.
Thanks to: Natalie Athanasiadis of Ormi Media.

20. Follow-Up With a Personal Call

I like to call each client after the transaction is complete, which gives them a few days to settle in & discover anything they might have questions on. By calling them, I not only make myself available when other businesses are moving onto the next sale, but it also strengthens my commitment to service & mitigates any negative issues. This usually leads to a positive review, which I then share on my website, which helps future sales. The reviews essentially become part of your sales team.
Thanks to: Mike Stewart of Real Estate Specialist Mike Stewart.

21. Right on Your Product Pages

Most websites hide their testimonials on "testimonials" pages. That's fine for the odd person here or there who seeks out the testimonials. Most people are on a product page when they decide whether to buy or not. That's where a testimonial can help sway their decision. That's why you'll find several testimonials on https://thgmwriters.com/writing/ghost-writers/ and similar pages on my website.
Thanks to: David Leonhardt of THGM Ghostwriters.

22. Lock in Their Legacy

A great way to get testimonials is to ask only your top tier clients/customers. Communicate to them that they are part of a select few and that you are trying to reach more people that are high quality like them to build your business. Convey that you will be using their testimonials on your website, social media and/or marketing materials and it will lock in their legacy as an elite client/customer.
Thanks to: Mike Walsh of Mike Walsh Guitar Lessons.

23. The Fastest Rave Review Ever!

A customer makes an extremely positive comment about you or your business.
Ask her to post it online, but...
• Have the customer post it online right then and there while still on site.
• Bring up that ideal website where you want that positive comment posted.
• Have the customer come behind the desk to your computer or produce a tablet.
• Direct the person to type in that comment or review.
The key is to train yourself and staff to LISTEN hard for that comment.
Thanks to: Elliott Jaffa of Dr. Elliott B. Jaffa Associates.

24. Don't Ask for Testimonials

I tell clients that it's best not to ask their customers/clients for testimonials. It's better to ask them to document specific things the product or service helped them accomplish and how their lives have improved. When curating testimonials, I normally skim past everything other than details about real benefits, and real solutions to problems, that real customers have actually experienced in real life.
Thanks to: Tom Von Deck of The Miracle Writer Marketing.

25. Nothing Beats Caring

Growing a relationship with a buyer is the key to helping them choose the right products. Nothing beats genuine caring and thoughtful interactions. After creating a great foundation, you can simply ask how their journey with your products has been.

Which products do they like the best?
Which products would they like us to create in the future?
What are your favorite natural scents?

When people buy a product, they are investing in your brand; make your interactions impactful.
Thanks to: Adria Ali of Everyday Essence.

26. "Anonymous" is Not the Answer

"xxx company is wonderful." John S., an industrial company

While this generic, anonymous one-liner says little, it screams volumes about your lazy marketing and paints a very poor picture of your company and client relationships. It is not an endorsement.

Testimonials should be attributed to real people, in real companies. Ideally, they should be in video, proud to show support. Let a prospective client see animated individuals, sharing stories about how you exceeded their expectations.
Thanks to: Stacy Robin of The Degania Group.

27. Ask Them Personally

Reviews are critical, as many prospective patients are searching for a new partner in their (or their family’s) long term healthcare. Because of this value, we post testimonials to our website, which serves not only as community recommendations, but they also confirm that our skills match our claims. I’ve learned patients tend to review our practice if I ask them to do so personally in a follow-up email after their treatment, as opposed to impersonal requests from a mailing list or vendor.
Thanks to: Todd Minars, MD of Minars Dermatology.

28. More Reviews? Automate Asking!

Your customers are busy. They promise to write a review, then they forget and never do it. You have to remind them repeatedly. Beg them, even.

We use software to follow up with our customers via text message and then a series of 3 emails. Our first message provides contact information if they have any issues or questions with their service, along with an ask for a review. The follow up messages are reminders asking for a review.

Automating this with software has been a game changer for us!
Thanks to: Andrew Rohr of MSS Cleaning.

29. Video Testimonials in 2019

The manner that customers engage with brands is changing. With the average attention span being 8 seconds, a customer testimonial video can help create a relatable, human connection with the use of body language, voice, and emotion. Choose a customer who has a clear benefit from your product. Create a 90-second video on who the customer is, the problem they faced, and how your offering solved their problem. Distribute the video based on your demographic (Facebook, YouTube, email).
Thanks to: Daniel Joelson of Car Title Loans California.

30. Move Compliments to Referrals

Too often, we tend almost to ignore genuine compliments. We say ‘thank you’ and immediately turn to other matters. The better approach after thanking the person is to inquire what they most appreciate. Once the answer comes your way, two possibilities await. First ask, “Are you willing to use your words as a testimonial for my website?” Next, inquire if the person knows someone who can benefit from a similar service. Being attentive will move compliments to referrals.
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale.

31. Blog as Arena for Testimonials

Asking for a favor, such as to leave a testimonial on your website, sometimes, is all that’s needed to help you build up your brand awareness, obtain the users’ credibility and their word-of-mouth assistance.

Adding a brief testimonial within your blog content could drive your readers’ attention, overcome doubts and even change the minds of your prospects about your product or service. It’s a great idea to display your testimonials as a carousel in the sidebar of your blog.
Thanks to: Oksana Chyketa of Albacross.

32. Don't Wait! Ask Now!

How can you have the best chance of getting a great testimonial from your client? First, we'll assume that you delivered your best to the client and they are completely satisfied. Without that assumption, nothing else matters. Then, ask for a testimonial immediately. It's common that the client mentioned something specific they were happy about. Use that comment to guide them as they write or speak the testimonial. The best time to get a testimonial is while the excitement is hot. Ask now!
Thanks to: Royce Gomez of Royce Talks.

33. Have It Queued Up

If your business is heavily reliant upon reviews, have a dedicated tablet or two that has all of the popular review sites pulled up and ready to go. Put it on a stand by the checkout and, selecting target customers carefully, ask them if they wouldn't mind writing a review for you--and tell them why it would make a difference. Candor and honesty go a long way, particularly in soliciting cold reviews.

These can have a lasting impact on your business since online reviews don't expire.
Thanks to: Mike Catania of Mike Catania.

34. Put a Coupon on it

Do you want a coupon you can use right now for $5 off your purchase? Great, then take 30 seconds and write a review of our store on Yelp. A glowing review on Google--replete with five stars--is going to be worth far more than the coupons themselves.

The best time to make the proposition is upon completed service and immediately after the presentation of the bill or invoice. It works equally well in person or online and can help you build up a cache of five-star ratings for the future.
Thanks to: Robert Russo of PromotionCode.

35. Sprinkle on Instagram Stories

Use short excerpts from your customer testimonials as text image overlays in your Instagram stories. Images with text are proven to get greater engagement than plain images on social media. Get creative and add quotation marks with emotional words.
Thanks to: Marsha Kelly of Best 4 Businesses.

36. Testimonials That Sell!

A great way to get a convincing testimonial is to ask a two-part question of a satisfied buyer who achieved superb results from the usage of your product/service:

1. What was a challenge that you were seeking to overcome?
2. How did our product/service solve the problem and help you to achieve your goals?

This approach adds context to the testimonial, makes it relatable, and turns it into a powerful sales tool, since prospective buyers who read it are likely seeking similar solutions.
Thanks to: Rafe Gomez of VC Inc. Marketing.

37. Bi-Annual Surveys

My tip is for companies to implement Bi-Annual surveys, or something similar to it. From there, you can gauge which of your clients are the happiest and from those happiest begin garnering reviews and/or testimonials. For reviews, Google my business does a lot of the work for you. They make websites with more reviews more visible in search results. For testimonials, it helps to highlight them on your homepage in a prominent place.
Thanks to: Dylan Myatt of Advice Media.

38. Automated Testimonial Funnel

My #1 way to get testimonials on autopilot is to create an automated "testimonial funnel", in which you offer an ethical bribe (freebie) in exchange for a 100% honest review. The bribe could be a PDF, gift card, etc. and must be valuable enough to incentivize action. You need a series of simple pages and an automated review capture tool like Review Trust (I am not affiliated). When someone completes the process, you send them the freebie, and can then choose to use the review or not.
Thanks to: Sam Rexford of chillreptile.com.

39. Ask About Your Service-

Instead of directly seeking a testimonial, try asking your customers if they are enjoying your service or product. This is more appealing because asking for a testimonial feels like you are asking for a favor. Asking for feedback makes customers feel like they are doing something positive for themselves, as well. While not all feedback will be positive, you are certain to get some great quotes that you can use as testimonials.
Thanks to: Chane Steiner of Crediful.

40. Customer Testimonials Frenzy

Obtaining positive customer testimonials is a challenge. What has worked is informing customers that you want to interview them on video for your blog. They get to discuss their business and offerings, provide helpful tips to viewers, as well as discuss how working together has helped their business. We inform them that we will share the video on social media and encourage them to do so, as well. We also provide a link to their website. We now need to keep a schedule to keep up with the demand.
Thanks to: V. Michael Santoro of Vaetas, LLC.

41. Help Others

Go on a forum or Facebook group that talks about the things you do and offer free help. In return, ask for a positive review.
Thanks to: Filip Silobod of Honest Marketing.

42. Put it in the Contract

As a national professional motivational speaker, to receive a great testimonial, my contract states “Client agrees to provide a printed letter of reference on company letterhead about Nancy D. Butler’s presentation within 30 days after it has been delivered and has met or exceeded your expectations.”

Once receiving the testimonial, it is posted on my web site and placed in a leather album to use when testimonials are requested during an in-person meeting with potential clients.
Thanks to: Nancy D. Butler, CFP®, CDFA™, CLTC® of Above All Else Success n Life & Bus.

43. Make it Easy

My #1 tip for getting more reviews is to make everything as easy as possible 
for the customer. I email them a Google My Business link that 
takes them to the review section. I create a list of things to mention in
 the review. You want them to think about what they liked about working with 
you, what problem you helped them solve, and what it feels like now that
 you've helped them. Making things easy and fast will lead to
 more testimonials that are focused and high-quality.
Thanks to: Jacob Landis-Eigsti of Jacob LE Video Production.

44. They're Happy and You KNOW it!

When clients are happy and express it, ask them to put it in writing! I've got some of the most heartfelt, unique- and effective- testimonials that way! One celebrity I worked with said "You're the best publicist in the world- I love you to the moon and back!" and another client, Texas base author Toni Dupree recently told me I'd made her childhood dream come true when she was quoted in a magazine. People will tell you how they feel about your work- don't be afraid to ask them to tell the world!
Thanks to: Tracy Lamourie of Lamourie Public Relations.

45. Put Words in Their Mouths

Most people dislike writing. Most meeting planners also dislike extras after their events. Sending you a testimonial fits both areas.

Make it easier on them by, subtly, putting words in their mouths and testimonials. Here's how.

Ask for a reference straight out because "several audience members were very complimentary". Then, either indicate what some of them said, or, say something like, "A short statement is fine, like these that others have written." Add 2 or 3 of your best.
Thanks to: Delva Rebin of Success Mentors.

46. Don't Stroke Your Ego

Hunt for criticism, not positive reviews. Hearing how amazing your product is feels good but won’t help you get better. Work hard to ensure that you’re hearing from customers on ways to improve.

We use AskNicely's software, which measures our NPS score by asking customers: “How likely are you to recommend Fracture to friends or family?” If we get a poor score, the tool automatically notifies our Customer Support team to reach out to the customer and see how we could improve their experience.
Thanks to: Abhi Lokesh of Fracture.

47. Activate Your Mavens

You need to find customers who feel passionate about your company, and for reasons that are in line with your value proposition. Are there mavens out there who want to be seen as an insider for discovering your business? If so, these might be the ambassadors you’re searching for. You can brag all day about the thousands of customers that benefit from your products, but without customer testimonials to provide a human dimension to that number, your marketing messaging will always fall flat.
Thanks to: Dallin Hatch of Womply.

48. Glowing Customer Testimonials

The biggest factor in receiving glowing customer testimonials is timing. When we've finished a project and know a client is thrilled, we follow up immediately asking for a few kind words (with a link to our Google review page). Strike while the iron is hot.
Thanks to: Chris Stasiuk of Signature Video Group.

49. Have Them Sign a Release Form

If you are going to ask to use a customer's testimonial to help promote your business, make sure they sign a release form specifying how, when and where you can use their testimonial. Ask your lawyer to draft an easy-to-understand release form that won't scare that customer away.
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M. Barrows Advertising.

50. Use a Newsletter for Reviews!

We send out a monthly newsletter to our subscriber base, many of which include customers that have incorporated their businesses with us. The newsletters include a blurb that encourages customers to rate and review us on our Trustpilot page. We also link directly to that page to make the process easier for customers. All they have to do is click the link to visit the site and write a review. We welcome all feedback from our customers and look forward to what they have to say about working with us.
Thanks to: Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.

51. Think Ahead for Best Results!

Don't forget primary "usage" when collecting testimonials. As a podcaster, for example, it's much more powerful to have an audio recording than something in writing, because you can drop an audio testimonial just about anywhere within your show, much like a radio liner.
Thanks to: David Hooper of Big Podcast.

52. Need Testimonials? Just Ask

It might not be clever, but what works for my creative agency is to just ask. After completing a project and we have a happy client, we simply ask them if they'd like to provide a testimonial. It's part of our post-project survey, but we find that asking personally before submitting the survey works well. We then post the testimonial in our project portfolio along with the project information and images.
Thanks to: Shane Hebzynski of 3 Cats Labs.

53. Reviews are a Testament

We run a 6 month seo report on every client to see what targets and objectives we have achieved. If successful, we take advantage of the situation and ask clients for testimonials we can put on the website and also leave us a Facebook/Google review.

These reviews/testimonials give social proof & help convince potential clients on the website or facebook page to convert more readily into inquiring about our services.

We utilize and include testimonials in proposals sent to potential clients.
Thanks to: Brett Downes of HQ SEO.

54. Make it Easy!

My #1 tip is to make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave a review. Most are happy to give you one, but it just isn't top of mind. So, if you give them a step by step guide for whichever platform is the most helpful for your business, you'll see much more success. For example, Google generates most of our leads, so our preference is Google Reviews. We'll ask in person and follow up with a link to where they can leave the review and that usually does the trick.
Thanks to: James McGrath of Yoreevo.

55. Ask Each Patient

My personality is such that I'm not comfortable touting myself or asking others to tout me. However, testimonials are an important tool for new patient acquisition. The solution that works best for us is to seek feedback from every patient. We ask them to fill out a short questionnaire that asks about satisfaction with the results, the surgeon, and the staff. There’s also space for free text. This is a nice format for patients to express something they may not wish to express conversationally.
Thanks to: Michael Tantillo, MD of Clareo Centers- Aesthetic Surgery.

56. Listen and Ask

Keep your ears tuned for compliments. When you hear one, do not hesitate or be shy to ask about using it. Praise surfaced during everyday conversation tends to be the most sincere, credible, and impactful, especially when it's published next to the goods or services referenced. Listen attentively, say thanks, and politely ask if you can publish their testimonial on your website. Explain their words not only help you continue to provide great service, they also help others narrow their options.
Thanks to: Donna Duncan of B-SeenOnTop.

57. Testimonials and New Clients

When I ask a client who has had a great experience with my company for a testimonial, I like to focus on how they are helping us provide the same great experience for other clients. First, we ask the client to leave a testimonial on a review site such as Google or Facebook. We then add the review to the testimonial section of our website in chronological order. This process helps build trust with new clients, because they can see a recent experience of someone else that worked with us.
Thanks to: Daniel DiGiaimo of Baker Street Funding.

58. Highlight the Before and After

The key with testimonials is to show the transformation your company has provided. The weight loss industry does this remarkably well; they show you a before and after picture. As with all marketing, your focus should be on the client's problem and your solution. Therefore, ask your clients for a review and offer them a structure. This should highlight their concerns before hiring you, how you helped address them and the benefit they received as a result of your unique way of doing business.
Thanks to: Hannah Attewell of Force of Nature Coach.

59. Intriguing Testimonials

3 steps to compel your prospects to act through intriguing testimonials.

1. Ask for 2 value adds already delivered in the testimonial around a) personal development and b) client impact in their business/life.

2) Promote the testimonial and client's business across all social media on a regular basis.

3) Get a picture or video. I always have a picture with my yellow rubber duck. Why? Networking is all about creating intrigue. That's what a rubber duck does, all the time.
Thanks to: Gordon Jenkins of The Visible Guy.

60. Turn Your Rec Into a Graphic

When I ask for a testimonial, I always provide a link and say: “You can see my other testimonials here.” It gives the person something to go by, and points them in a positive direction. If you just park your testimonials on your site or your LinkedIn profile, they’ll get limited exposure. So, I make them “mobile.” I turn each testimonial into a small graphic that I can tweet, include in my email signature, and insert at the end of blog posts.
Thanks to: Mark Armstrong of Mark Armstrong Illustration.

61. Hashtags Prompt Social Reviews

You can’t buy reviews, but you can suggest hashtags on Instagram. For example, a golf course can run a contest giving away a free round of golf for a person who posts a photo playing next to some unique aspect of the course with a specific hashtag. Thus, you are not buying a review. The natural next step is to write about how you enjoyed the experience. By using the hashtag, you can urge others to see how much fun people had. Reviews on Facebook now can help to move you up on the Google maps.
Thanks to: Michael Goldstein of VRG Web Design.

62. Prime Your Clients for Reviews

During our client onboarding process (pre-event questionnaire) we ask: “assuming we are amazing, and you are thrilled with our services, will you be willing to leave us a review online?”
I’ve found this works psychologically because when we follow up post-event, they remember that they already promised to leave us a review and are less likely to ignore the request or forget.
I’ve seen a definite increase in results, as opposed to when we follow up with clients that were not already primed.
Thanks to: Lee Dyson of Hey Mister DJ.

63. Social Media Testimonials

After a product is sold, ask the customers to share their experience on any 1 social media in 7 days and they might get the next product for free & a guaranteed discount.

The chances of getting a customer testimonial by this technique are high, as the customer is getting something in return. The discount is guaranteed.

It is shared on social media, it acts as huge proof by the customers themselves & you can use that to attract more customers. It is marketing & customer feedback at the same time.
Thanks to: Rishit Shah of TallySchool.

64. Bring Testimonials into Action

The best way to collect fast and actionable feedback from your customers is by using delighted.com. You can send them a single question survey. They will rate your product and provide feedback accordingly. The same feedback will instantly appear on your dashboard.

We have created an attractive testimonial page using the feedback: www.angeljackets.com/pages/customer-testimonials.html

We have also placed the feedback at the bottom of our product page to encourage new visitors to purchase.
Thanks to: Ronald D'souza of Angel Jackets.

65. Monthly Feedback Emails

Monthly customer feedback emails that make use of automated personalization provide us with our feedback. Customers receive emails from the Nigel Wright employee that they dealt with. We ask them to fill out a 30 second questionnaire and at the end of the survey, ask them to submit a Google review. Personalization and requesting a Google review has generated a significant increase in reviews and testimonials. We use these extensively across our website, social media channels and client proposals.
Thanks to: Justin Barlow of Nigel Wright Group.

66. Community Is the Best Source

An incredibly rewarding and easy way to get testimonials and good reviews is to build an engaged community around your brand.

We very rarely have to dig for testimonials, as we have avid course members constantly updating their progress on Facebook using our products. All we need to do is ask if we can use their posts for sales.

As for reviews, most of the people recommending our products are members and experienced marketers at the same time, so our social proof is always really high.
Thanks to: Balazs Hajde of Authority Hacker.

67. Incentivize Reviews

Every time that we conclude business with a customer, we send them an email and a text with a link to our Google reviews. Our offer is that if they submit a review, then they will be added to the monthly drawing for a $250 Amazon gift card. We place a call to action on our website's sidebar with a link to our Google reviews so that people can easily go read them. This allows us to build credibility, especially when hardly any of our competitors have reviews.
Thanks to: Shawn Breyer of Atlanta House Buyers.

68. Conducting Case Studies

Whenever we conclude a big or unique project, we perform a "case study," which is an interview with our team and our clients about the project process. It is during this time that we collect testimonials, including what it was like to work with our team, why the client chose the solution they did, etc. We then showcase these case studies on our website and include the testimonials in every piece of relevant digital and print promotional material.
Thanks to: Keri Lindenmuth of KDG.

69. Highlight Their Success

Customer testimonials help you build trust with consumers before you even meet, but leveraging them properly is key to maximizing their impact. Craft content packed with direct quotes from your customers that highlight the success they've had with your company, and put it on your website, front and center. The content will provide SEO juice for both you and your customer (think backlinks), and once it lives on your website, you can use it to boost your email and social media marketing strategies.
Thanks to: Samantha Kohn of AutoVerify.

70. Awarded By Your Customers

As a commercial contractor, we have many opportunities to submit our projects for design and construction awards. Most require owner testimonials about the quality of our work, our schedule and meeting budget requirements. Our owners are typically very excited that their project is being nominated and are happy to say nice things about us. When we win, we take them with us to accept the awards, as it's a great chance for them to be reminded that they made the right choice in their contractor.
Thanks to: Scott Truehl of Friede & Associates.

71. Testimonials on Steroids!

JUST ASK: So often as business owners, we never seem to just ask for what we need. Not only is asking for testimonials not a part of our business plan, neither is having a system to make certain we request them on a regular basis. If you do a good job, as we do, your clients would be more than happy to provide you with a review. Then once you have asked, follow up, document it. Now is the time to share it. In all platforms, print, online, website, store front, office- share, share, share!
Thanks to: Chantay Bridges of Chantay Bridges, CNE, SRES.

72. Be Honest and Ask!

We have found the best way to get testimonials and reviews is to outright ask for them, and explain to our clients the difference that these reviews make when it comes to us attracting new clients. Being upfront and honest, and asking each client personally makes them feel more obliged and inclined to leave a great review (promptly!).
Thanks to: Rachael Jessney of Atelier Studios.

73. Testing the Review Waters

Reviews make or break us and we try to rank for digital marketing local, so google reviews are where our service is at. Being in the top 3 map listings with a # of quality reviews results in lots of qualified inquiries/leads for our services.

We offer a 50% off the first month of services, with the caveat of the client providing us with a google review. Reviews can be candid and it doesn't affect the price of the continuation of the service, should they wish to do so.
Thanks to: Tom Wills of Slickplan.

74. #GetJakt Photo Contest

We manufacture sporting goods accessories for the archery industry. We hold weekly photo contests asking customers to send in creative, wacky, fun photos of themselves using our products & a line or two reviewing the product. We have gotten some beautiful photos, hilarious photos (even one including a men's urinal... it's a "must see"). We select semifinalists & push them out on social media for our followers to vote. Winners receive a $50 gift card. We receive cool product shots with testimonials.
Thanks to: Karen Ellis of Jakt Gear.

75. Set Up a Referral Program

Our #1 tip to get reviews is to focus on transparency, while providing genuine & memorable service. Happy patients spread the word & to maximize their praise, we introduced a referral program that actually drives our new customer traffic from our existing base. By having these transparent "business discussions" with patients, we're able to include them in our success & we've seen many of them, both new & old, are more receptive to leave reviews. We then post these on our site for all to see.
Thanks to: Dr. Ana Ortiz of Madison Green Family Dental.

76. Ask Directly and Display Well

First, make sure your testimonial page (text or video) is well designed and prominently displayed. It must be easy for customer-participants and prospects to find it, read and/or watch. Second, approach your customers and ask them directly, "What do you like best about our product or service?" And, then ask if you may post their quote or if they would make a video so others will know you and your business are legit and can be trusted to deliver real results.
Thanks to: John Di Lemme of Di Lemme Development Group, Inc.

77. Offer a Truly Great Deal

Millennials are an untrusting generation. They have been burned too many times by advertising & branding, but they will trust reviews! Reviews are critical to business, so we over-incentivize our clients to offer great deals (i.e., a free dinner for two on days with less business) to generate more reviews. These online reviews can generate thousands of dollars in business from otherwise jaded millennials, who look at reviews before buying or using a service.
Thanks to: Mike Lash of Denver Advertising.

78. Where Did You Find Us Online?

We focus on tailoring our reviews to our source of customers. We track where our customers originate -- Yelp, Google, etc. -- then ask them via email after completed service to post a review in the same online review source where they found us. Their follow-up reviews strengthen our positive reviews and bring us more customers. Directing our customers this way has a trickle-down effect: We found you on Yelp and now we're praising your work on Yelp. Win-win.
Thanks to: Misty Johnston of 2 Sons Plumbing.

79. Video Testimonial Impact

If you can get customer praise through a video, this is one of the most effective means to obtain testimonials.

Video testimonials are more likely to create trust and be seen as authentic, in comparison to a written testimonial.

Video testimonials are more believable simply because you can see a real person communicating their experiences and telling a brief story. They can elaborate on what problem they had, how it was solved and most importantly, what impact it had on them.
Thanks to: Patrick Barnett of The Income Spot.

80. Timing is Everything

Build the "ask" into your monthly or quarterly client meetings - if the moment feels right. If you have a satisfied (or ecstatic) client, there is no better time to ask for a testimonial then right after you receive that positive feedback. Your achievements - and their results - are fresh in their minds. If you are doing a video testimonial, for example, they won't need to think too hard to provide examples that support their excitement. It'll come naturally, resulting in a genuine review.
Thanks to: Matt Erickson of National Positions.

81. Who Dangles Your Participles?

Like it or not, in my work as a corporate trainer, I am always being judged, usually in the form of written evaluations. I write down some of the best comments and use them when trying to sell classes to future prospects. (This is one of the funniest: a student in my Business Writing program once wrote: "She can dangle my participles any time." While I don't use that as a testimonial, I do like it.)
Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli.

82. Constant Improvement

We achieve a steady stream of reviews by providing our customers with a 5-star experience each time they visit our practice. From start to finish, customers know they're receiving the best service! This is so paramount that we have quarterly meetings with our staff where we brainstorm new ideas on how to improve our patient care and attention, while constantly innovating new ways to improve our processes and treatments to further benefit the patient. It's about constantly improving.
Thanks to: Dr. Andrea Santo DMD of Lakeview Dental of Coral Springs.

83. Testimonial Tip!

To incentivize receipt of testimonials, offer a customer contest where the most compelling testimony gets a reward. Make the prize worthwhile, such as a large credit to spend at your company. Require testimonials to be authentic accounts of experiences. Give optional bonus points to those willing to post publicly. Encourage the use of a branded hashtag to track and engage socially. Then, showcase testimonials on your company's social media or use the written ones in your lead-nurture emails.
Thanks to: Andy Zenkevich of Get A Copywriter.

84. Provide a Client Doppelgänger

A good testimonial accomplishes one thing; it allows a potential client to recognize themselves as a future client. The formula is simple: a succinct & specific description of the state of things before your involvement (the problem or pain point) followed by a description of the changed state after working with you (the promise or solution you offer). We are psychologically predisposed to mimic actions of people 'like us', so when pitching a client, point to the testimonial most like them.
Thanks to: Kristen Ruth Smith of k.ruth Consulting.

85. Involve the Customer

We encourage our employees to involve customers in our services. When our techs arrive at their home, they focus on providing 5-star & timely service. Once the job is done, the tech performs a clean & safety check. The tech verifies they met all customer expectations; if not, they go back & fix all issues. If so, the tech will ask for a review. We have a 6 step process to meet & exceed the expectations, from prep to wrap-up. We use the reviews to show future clients why they should use We Care.
Thanks to: Rusty Cochran of We Care Plumbing Heating and Air.

86. Incentivized Testimonials

One of the best ways I’ve found to get customer testimonials and reviews is to incentivize them. Making them quick and easy, as well as ensuring the customer gains something, will give you far greater success. For example, customers completing a training course must finish a review to graduate and print their certificates of completion. You can use the information gained as testimonials to further promote your business and as quality assurance tools to make process improvements.
Thanks to: Kayla Sloan of Kayla Sloan.

87. Simply Ask for it!

I would embed an existing selection of brief testimonials into the sidebar when publishing content on your website or in your blog. This will help to attract and retain the interest of visitors to your website, in addition to boosting your credentials in the eyes of these visitors. Additionally, to elicit a testimonial, I would ask recent customers to send you testimonials using a drip campaign to automatically send emails to recent customers after a set-time period - give it a try yourself!
Thanks to: Ollie Smith of ExpertSure.

88. Google Review Link Generator

We use the Google Review Link Generator to create a single link that can be shared with past customers. This link will take the customer directly to our clients' Google My Business review sections without needing to explain the various steps a customer would otherwise need to take in order to get there.

We also install the Google Reviews plugin on our clients' sites so that good quality Google reviews are prominently displayed on the site. This combination has proved to be very successful.
Thanks to: Alistair Dodds of Ever Increasing Circles.

89. Get a Raving Testimonial

Ask for a testimonial at the point of the initial signed contract. This is when the customer is the happiest about their decision to hire you. They can give a testimonial on why they choose you vs the competition!
Thanks to: Jennifer Murtland of Team Synergi - EXP Realty.

90. Customers Love Funny Reviews!

Our company is in the jewelry industry and we gather testimonials from in-store customers via email and online customers via a 3rd party review system. We then use these testimonials in our Google My Business postings, as well as posters in our store and on our website. Our favorite is through our email campaigns. Once a month, we send out an email with our favorite review, which is normally funny or creative. Our customers get a kick out of it!
Thanks to: Jeff Moriarty of Moriarty's Gem Art.

91. Timing is the Key

You can’t get the best and authentic reviews when the good experience fades out from your customers. You can’t get any reviews before the customer has a chance to enjoy your product or service. Hence, the timing is very important when asking your customers for feedback. Find the possible time your customer might be in the position to provide reviews and send them emails requesting fresh feedback to improve your services. The freshest experience provides the best reviews.
Thanks to: Andrei Vasilescu of DONTPAYFULL.

92. Business Testimonials

We have a quarterly customer satisfaction survey used to asses our vendor relationships. We use this information improve our business practices.
We are in the process of creating a customer testimonials/case study page that will be visible to our visitors and potential customers. We use testimonials in our marketing powerpoints to present at tradeshows & conferences. We value customer feedback. The industry is constantly changing & we need to stay up to date with customers' needs & technology.
Thanks to: Alexandra Tran of Hollingsworth.

93. Reviews Don't Come for Free!

We always encourage our hotel partners to get reviews when they can, as this can make/break them on booking.com and tripadvisor, etc.

Best tactic: we allow the 1st hour of internet free if/when they fill in an online review for the hotel. We ask them to be honest, so no bias, it just helps up the total reviews we get, est 40%+ rise.

All reviews are scraped by 3rd party sites and the higher ratings have allowed us to rise a a few rankings on the hotel comparison lists, resulting in more bookings.
Thanks to: Will Hatton of Hotel Jules.

94. The ACT Lady

As an entrepreneur myself, I know first-hand the power of using my clients' testimonies. One of the best tips that I have found myself is sharing testimonies over social media. My business is tutoring high school students with ACT-Prep. Sharing the testimonies that include raised ACT test scores is the absolute best. Seeing on SM a student's raised test score testimonial is better than anything that I can claim/say/offer!
Thanks to: Jennifer Henson of Goal Digger ACT-Prep.

As always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

Also, if you would like to become a part of the CarolRoth.com contributor network and find out about opportunities to contribute to future articles, sign up here: http://www.carolroth.com/carolroth-com-blog-contributor-sign-up/

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth