The Secret To Capturing Valuable Customer Testimonials Every Time

by 5 12/08/2011

Customer testimonials are gold.

A well placed testimonial provides a third party endorsement for a product or service that can make the difference between a sale and no sale.

Don’t kid yourself, potential customers care much more about what other people have to say about your business than what you have to say.

So how do you capture glowing testimonials that will shine positive light on your brand? How do you get satisfied customers to write effective testimonials that can add luster to sales and testimonial pages?

The easiest way is to use a free tool like Wufoo forms.

The key to getting a glowing testimonial is to ask the right questions which I cover in Step 3 below.

The alternative is to ask someone to generate a testimonial from a blank screen.  The secret lies in the guidance and structure you give to your testimonials process.  This guidance and structure leads to a valuable customer testimonial every time.

But before we get started with asking the right questions, let’s get you started with Wufoo forms.

3-Step Set Up

Step #1: Sign up at Wufoo.com

Signing up for a Wufoo account is free. Each free account receives up to 3 forms at a time with 10 fields per form and 100 entries per month. This will cover customer testimonials for most small businesses, but others may need to upgrade their accounts.

You can also use Google forms which is completely free or SurveyMonkey which is free for 100 response surveys, but I’ve found that Wufoo’s forms look better than Google’s and are easier to use than SurveyMonkey’s.

Step #2: Create your customer testimonial form

After signing up for an account and logging in, the next thing you’ll want to do is create a form by clicking the “New Form!” button in the top right of the main dashboard page. This will take you to a page where you can begin creating your form.

Creating new questions is as easy as a point and click. You can select pre-created fields such as Name, Address, E-mail, and Phone, and you can create custom questions using Single Line Text, Multiple Choice, Paragraph text, etc.

To add a field, click on one of the field titles on the left side and that field will be automatically added to your form. That’s how easy it is to make a form with Wufoo.

Step #3: Ask the right questions

The secret is asking the right questions and providing the structure necessary to captur a valuable testimonial.

I personally prefer to ask as few questions as possible for any survey I create.

To help with this, I ask as few questions as possible to get responses to only the most important questions.

Which questions are the most important for your company? That’s a question only you can answer. To give you some ideas, these are the questions that I use:

  • Name – This indicates who filled out the form.
  • Website – This documents which website was worked on.
  • What service did you have completed? – This records which service the testimonial is for.
  • Are you happy that you had this service completed? – This indicates whether or not the customer was satisfied with the service and provides a lead in to the next question.
  • If yes, why are you happy that you had this service completed? – The answer to this question provides the first paragraph for the testimonial. Instead of asking someone to simply “write a testimonial or recommendation,” I ask a specific question prompting the answer that I’m looking for and leading the customer down the path I want them to take. Wufoo forms also allow you to provide explanation text on the right side as another way to lead customers down the right path. I like to use this text to provide a sample of the kind of content that I’m looking for. (An example of this can be viewed here.)
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend this service to a friend or colleague? – This question provides the most relevant customer satisfaction data, according to a post from KISSmetrics.com titled “Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys Aren’t Useful and What To Do About It.” It also serves as a lead in for the next question.
  • What would you tell them? – This question once again leads customer to provide the content that I’m looking for in a customer testimonial by asking a specific question. Once again, you can also use Wufoo forms to provide a sample testimonial for this question.
  • What suggestion(s) would you give as a way to improve our service? – This question is the most helpful for customers who were dissatisfied for one reason or another, but the answers have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes dissatisfied customers won’t be satisfied no matter what you do. It’s best not to make changes based on every answer given to this question. It’s necessary to ignore some suggestions because you can’t keep everyone happy and can’t implement every suggestion.  However, in some cases the answer to this question could lead to valuable insight on improving your offering.
  • Do you mind if your name and website are shared on my customer testimonial page? (i.e. Do you mind getting a free link back to your website?) – This question asks for permission to share the customer’s testimonial, and it’s always a good idea to get permission before sharing something like this if your privacy policy doesn’t already include it.

After adding the questions and saving the form, you can copy the code for the form and e-mail the link to customers. As long as there aren’t too many questions and the right questions are asked, a good percentage of the forms will be submitted with useful testimonials.

It’s as simple as that to create a customer testimonial form with Wufoo.

What do you think? Are you ready to use this process to capture valuable customer testimonials?

p.s. If you’d like to check out my form to see how it works, you can view it here.

About 

Joseph Putnam is a copywriter and blogger who writes for startups like KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, SlideShare, Wibiya, Conduit, Rejoiner, and more. He loves the science of marketing and conversion rate optimization.

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5 COMMENTS

Caro Morgan

A big thank you for this blog post.
I found it at just the right time! I’m busy putting up a landing page on my website for potential customers, and testimonials are JUST what I need… but I hadn’t thought of surveying for them.
This method gives me the testimonials I need AND acts as a nice wrap-up of 2011, while possibly giving me pointers on how to improve customer service in 2012.
Thanks again :)

December 13, 2011 Reply

Freddy Rodriguez

This was really a great post Joseph. I’m already on my way to create a free Wufoo account.

February 8, 2012 Reply

Simon

Hadn’t heard of Wufoo before so thanks for the info. Useful ideas for what to add to the form + thought the example was a bit plain but guess Wufoo have some tools to sort that out.

October 3, 2012 Reply

Jeorge James

thums up for this post. we all know that having testimonials are a big boost for any business. I’ve used wufoo in the past and really enjoyed using their service. it’s fun, easy and practical. for surveys, ProProfs is also equally cool. see here: proprofs.com/survey/ they have a huge list of ready-made surveys and quizzes to choose from. worth a look!

December 19, 2013 Reply


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