Asking for testimonials is a challenge for even the most confident entrepreneurs. It can feel awkward to record your customers’ compliments, or you may not know how to ask. If you’re not comfortable with some of the traditional ways to gather quality customer testimonials or you’re looking for a different strategy, try these 7 unconventional ways to ask for testimonials.

7 Unconventional Ways to Ask for Testimonials

1. Ask On Social Media

A happy customer might praise a product on twitter, or talk about an excellent customer service experience on Facebook. When you see a positive mention, don’t just retweet or like it, send a message and ask to repost their content, or ask for a testimonial. Make sure you don’t use social mentions without the user’s permission; it’s unethical and might also be breaking the law..

You don’t have to comb every social media channel every day to find positive mentions, either. Tools like Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Mention, Buzzsumo, and more allow you to set up automated alerts to monitor your business or brand name across the world wide web.

See how you can get more testimonials and use them to get more business.

Read the Business Owner’s Guide to Online Reviews

2. Include a Contest With Your Emails

Create a giveaway or prize for providing testimonials, and put this link at the bottom of your regularly scheduled newsletters or other emails. Since these customers are already receiving your emails, it’s likely they’re interested in your brand and they’ll respond better when you ask for a testimonial. Make sure to segment your list by customers and leads; if someone hasn’t bought from you yet, they’ll be put off by your request for a testimonial.

3. Ask During a Meeting

It can be hard to ask someone to take time out of their day to give a testimonial. However, the best candidates for testimonials are probably people you see or speak with regularly. If a customer has yet another nice visit, or a regular meeting goes especially well, ask for a testimonial before they leave. This can be as simple as reiterating the compliments they’ve given you. If they agree, make sure you have everything already set up to make the process quick and easy.

4. Use Exciting Events

If you’re running a sale or celebrating a holiday, customers will already be visiting and they’ll probably be in a festive mood. High spirits and high traffic create the perfect situation to ask for testimonials. Set up your laptop or camera to take video testimonials, or a kiosk to take written testimonials. Have a staff member nearby to encourage customers, make them comfortable, and ensure everything goes smoothly. Always get your customers’ written permission to use their testimonials.

5. With a Trade Show

Trade shows are the perfect place to make new connections, but you should check in on your existing customers too. Tell them how much you appreciate their business, and ask them if they would be willing to share their thoughts in a testimonial. Once again, have everything you need ready so giving and getting testimonials is quick and easy. This is also a unique way to showcase video testimonials, and seeing an example will help customers feel more comfortable sharing their own thoughts.

6. With a New Product Launch or Store Opening

New products and new stores are in a shaky position from the start; they’re brand new, so prospective customers don’t know how to feel about them yet. As the first customers leave the store or try a product, ask about their experience. You may even give a few loyal customers special privileges to tour the new store before anyone else, or test out a new product, and ask for testimonials then. This way, you’ll have positive reviews before the public even sees your new store or item.

7. Reply On Review Sites

Copying and pasting customer testimonials from review sites like Yelp is copyright infringement, but you are allowed to reply to reviews, either in a public or private message. Thank the reviewer for their time and kind words, and mention a giveaway or another reward for a testimonial in another location. Be careful not to overwhelm your happy customer here. Frame the response as a reward for their review, not an additional request.

No matter how you ask for testimonials, a few simple rules can make every request easier. Lead with a compliment; tell your customers how much you appreciate them and that they’re a pleasure to work with. If they’ve complimented your work in the past, use this as a springboard and simply ask to turn these compliments into testimonials. Always be transparent and tell your customer how you will use their testimonials. Once you have a preferred method and system in place, asking for testimonials will get easier and easier.

Testimonials: Testimonial Request Toolkit

Find the right words to ask for a testimonial

Access 5 free testimonial request templates

Download the Testimonial Request Toolkit

Reputation Management: Ultimate Guide to Managing Negative Reviews

The Business Owner's Guide to Online Reviews

Learn how to collect online reviews and leverage them to fuel business growth

Check Out the Guide ›

Social Proof: 5 Ways to Increase Website Leads Using Testimonials

Testimonials help promote social proof for your business

Learn how to turn social proof into new, quality leads

Download the Guide

Realtor’s Guide to Automating Testimonial Collection

Build a testimonial workflow and automatically collect awesome praise with our step-by-step process.

Get the Realtor’s Guide to Automating Testimonial Collection

Download the Guide

Posted in: Reputation Management, Social Proof, Testimonials