The big mistake people make with testimonials is just focusing on sharing customer results.
But testimonials can be so much more than that.
It’s not just about social proof.
It’s also about connecting with your audiences pain, overcoming objections, sharing what makes you unique/better than the competition, and whey people trust you/your company over others.
Now, I’ve shared my formula for getting video testimonial already.
But getting written testimonials are different. You can get more info because your customer doesn’t have to remember a bunch of stuff to stay on camera.
It’s also easier to get written testimonials. Because you’re not asking them to do as much work as recording/uploading a video.
I’ve spent 4+ years helping clients load up on testimonials. And I’ve tested all different methods and questions over the years.
The formula below is my current go-to.
Question 1: What was the major struggle you had with X before joining?
The “X” is in regards to whatever you’re selling. For example, if you have a parenting course “X” could be “your child’s behavior.” If you’re a business coach X could be “growing your business”.
This question is important because it gets your customer to talk about the problem you solved. So it connects more directly to their pain. It also makes your results more impressive because it shows the context they come in.
If your testimonials is simply: “He helped me get 3 new clients in a week” that’s nice. But it’s far more powerful if it said: “I was struggling for months to get clients and was considering quitting my business. But your program helped me get 3 new clients in a week.”
Question 2: What was your biggest fear or reservation about joining?
I always use this question in my case study interviews. And it’s great for testimonials too. Because now you can create testimonials that don’t just show social proof, they also help you overcome objections.
Question 3 (optional): What made you decide to join this program over others?
This is a wonderful quote to get answers about what makes your product different/better than the competition.
It’s optional because a lot of the answers here can be covered by question 5. But I like to include it because it’s also great for market research. It helps you understand why people are buying. That’s going to help in all of your marketing. It’ll even help you get clearer on what exactly to include in the testimonials so they hit home.
Question 4: What results have you achieved? (Please be specific, for example, “I lost 42lbs in 6 months. I feel way more energy and finally fit into my old clothes from college.”)
When you just ask for results you can get bland answers. Showing examples of what a good answer looks like means you’re likely to get more detailed answers. A clear, specific result puts a clear picture in your customer’s mind of what they can achieve. A vague result makes your customer doubt what exactly they’ll get from your product/service.
Question 5: What is your favorite part of the program and why?
Again this helps you show how you’re better/different than the competition.
Question 6: What else do you like about the program?
This helps you dig a little deeper into what makes you unique.
Questions 7: Would you recommend this product to others? If so, why?
Again, this is another chance for them to share more info on what makes you special.
Having multiple questions geared toward the same thing can be helpful. Some people may resonate more with this question than about what makes the program special. Others it may be the opposite. So having these different angles gives you a better chance of hitting a nerve and getting great info.
Question 8: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
This is a nice little catch-all. They may be sitting on an exciting story that simply doesn’t fit in the other questions.
Question 9: Can we use the quotes above with your name and a picture of you in our marketing?
Use this to make sure they don’t get angry when you share their quotes.
That’s kind of a lot of open-ended questions. But if you have happy customers who have had incredible results my guess is you’ll find they’re happy to answer them. And if not, question 2, 3, 6 and 7 can be removed.
One of the best parts of sending a survey like this for testimonials is it helps you find incredible stories for case studies.
If that’s something you’re interested in doing, shoot me an email at [email protected]. I’ve got a whole process for that.