Client testimonials and reviews are an essential part of growing your design firm. But how many of us forget to ask, feel awkward about it, or have waited so long that it no longer feels appropriate? In our experience, more than 50% of designers fall into one of these camps.
Fortunately, getting testimonials doesn’t have to be another line item on your to-do list. With proper forethought and planning, getting testimonials can become second nature, and better yet, can be built right into your client process and automated for testimonial generation you don’t have to think about.
Today, we’ll be sharing:
Let’s dive into the details…
01. Request feedback post-project.
This one sounds obvious, but many people forget to do it. The solution? Automate it. Our team has this step built into our workflows in Asana (our project managment system) and Honeybook (our client relationship management system). As soon as a project wraps up, we trigger our automation to send out a testimonial request at the two-week mark. The timing will depend on what will make your clients the most comfortable.
02. Request for feedback long down the road.
There is also value in touching base with clients several months down the road. Your clients are likely to have a new perspective of their home now that they have enjoyed it for a longer period of time. Again, automate it, so you don’t have to remember.
03. Get permission to use email praise.
Have you ever received glowing praise from a client via email? Maybe they complimented your design concept, your project management savvy, or your professionalism during the project. That’s a real, unsolicited testimonial! Thank them for their kind words and — make it easy — ask them if they would mind you using their words as a testimonial on your website. They’ll usually say yes.
04. Get permission to use spoken praise.
The same goes for praise you hear aloud. If a client has shared positive feedback in-person or over the phone, thank them, and ask them if you could write up their praise, share it with them for approval, and use it as a testimonial. Likewise, you could set up a short meeting or call for the distinct purpose of discussing their experience and recording it.
05. Hire a testimonial service to interview clients.
Did you know that you can hire someone to interview clients and write testimonials for you? Yup, you can. Frankly, this is a fairly new concept to us, but we know several designers who rave about it. In addition to saving your time, this method may also inspire clients to open up more, since they’re not speaking directly to you. Here’s one company we’ve seen recommended.
In our opinion, every designer offers 3 BIG services for their clients: professional style they can’t get themselves, the functionality of a home tailored to their lifestyle, and the service you provide in managing their project.
Asking questions that are aligned with these 3 value-adds is essential. These questions are designed to do so AND get the before-middle-and-after details that illustrate their journey with you:
Another approach to asking the right question is tailoring them to your brand. For example:
A brand focused on design for families might ask:
“How do you feel that family life has improved or become easier?”
A brand focused on everyday ease might ask:
“How has your everyday routine become easier or more enjoyable?”
A brand focused on one-of-kind design might ask:
“How well did we do in helping you create something custom and unique?”
You get the idea. Whatever you know (or want) your clients to appreciate most about you, ask them. (If you’re not sure what your unique brand positioning is, read here.)
Okay, you have great testimonials. Now, what do you do with them? In short, spread them far and wide! Here are our go-to locations:
Before you copy-paste client reviews everywhere, it’s important to be strategic about it. Otherwise, it’s going to look a little messy. And, more importantly, a direct copy-paste won’t maximize each testimonial’s potential to attract new clients. Strategy matters, and this is part of what we do when creating website copy for you.
Until next time,