Five Tips on Obtaining Customer Testimonials

We do plenty of case studies for our software clients, and so we tend to solicit a lot of testimonials. Here are our top tips for getting great testimonials:
Most of your customers will decline doing testimonials. They’re time consuming and have little or no upside for the customer. Unless you’re big and flashy or are willing to offer them free licenses or upgraded support, I’m afraid it’s just a fact of life.
If testimonials are important, consider including them in your contractual agreements with customers. State upfront that you will offer a discount or upgrade their support level in exchange for their participation.
I’m biased on this, because we do it for a living, but it’s often a good idea to get a third party to obtain the testimonial. This enables your customer to be honest about your company. Customers can be a bit like distant relatives. They might only say nice things to your face, but will be six kinds of nasty behind your back. A third party is objective, and that tends to eliminate any emotional component from the interaction.
Don’t ask for a letter. That’s a lot of work for them, they may not have written one before, and they’re going to take forever to deliver on it. Instead, conduct an interview with them, gather their quotes, and send a prepared testimonial back for their review and approval.
Be patient and be persistent. The review process almost always takes longer than you expect. The bigger the company, the more departments have to review the testimonial.
This article originally appeared in our newsletter. If you want to read it sooner, sign up using that box in the sidebar. Here’s another article on obtaining testimonials.

Tags: software, PR, marketing, testimonials, website writing

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