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 my 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, I’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. My team and I have 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 your clients are comfortable with.
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! Simply thank them for their kind words and ask them if they would mind you using their words as a testimonial on your website.
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 meeting/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 me (haven’t tried it myself), but I 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 I’ve heard recommended.
In my opinion, every designer has 3 BIG value-adds for 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 are all great questions. Pick and choose. However, you probably also have something specific that makes your design firm stand out — the root of your brand. You will also want to make sure that you get insights framed in this context. For example:
A brand focused on design for families might ask: “How do you feel that family life has improved or become easier?”
Brands 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 my go-to locations:
Before you copy-paste client reviews everywhere, it’s important to be strategic about it. Otherwise, in my experience, it’s going to look a little messy. And, more importantly, it’s not maximizing each testimonial’s potential to attract new clients. Strategy matters, and this is part of what we do when creating website copy for designers.
If you’re doing it on your own, keep reading to discover how to add testimonials to your website.
Until next time,