Testimonials give your business authority and help prospective customers to have more confidence in you. Online reviews improve your reputation and help you market your brand. Both are essential to an effective, business-boosting online presence. But collecting testimonials and reviews can be a challenge.
Many businesses don’t have the time to devote to setting up and promoting a testimonial or review collection campaign. So, what if you could automate the process? With the right set-up, you can automatically collect testimonials and reviews to get glowing praise from customers around the clock.
How to Automate Your Testimonial and Review Collection Process
To automate your testimonial and review collection process, you’ll need all of the essential steps to work without supervision once you’ve set them up. This means you’ll need a way to:
- Have customers submit testimonials and reviews (landing page and form)
- Request praise from your customers (such as email, SMS, signage, etc.)
- Showcase testimonials and reviews to your website or social channels (optional, but will save additional time)
You may have existing tools that will work for your business, like a website form builder and an email marketing tool, or you may want to consider using a tool with these features that is designed specifically for collecting testimonials and reviews, such as Boast.
Once you know what tools you plan to use, it’s time to get started building out your testimonial and review collection workflow.
With an automated testimonial collection process, customers should be able to write, record, and submit testimonials without your help. The easiest way to do this is through a dedicated landing page and form on your website.
This allows you to provide clear instruction to customers about what you’d like them to do, including specific questions they should answer and whether or not they’ll receive a reward for submitting their feedback. It also allows you to create a custom, easy-to-remember URL where customers can submit a testimonial, whether you pull it up on a tablet at your storefront or they go to your landing page from their own device.
Giving customers the freedom to submit a testimonial or review on their own time not only removes effort on your part, but it might also make customers more comfortable submitting a testimonial. One thing to note, it that you will probably want to review and approve or reject testimonials before sharing them on your website or social channels.
As a recap, here are some essential items to include on your testimonial landing page:
- A form with fields for details you’d like your customers to provide, such as name and job title
- Brief, clear instructions on how to submit a testimonial
- Conversation prompts, including specific questions you’d like answered
- A clear, obvious notice stating how you will use the testimonials and request for permission
If customers don’t know you’re looking for testimonials, you’re unlikely to get them, regardless of how many loyal fans and followers you may have. You need to reach out to your customers via email, SMS, social media, in person, or any other ways you can think of to promote your testimonial campaign.
Automating your ask will, again, require some set-up, but it shouldn’t require much maintenance once you have everything in place.
Here are a couple of ideas for putting testimonial requests on auto-pilot:
- Email drip: One of the best ways to automate requests for testimonials or reviews is via email. Using email automation software like Constant Contact or Mailchimp, we recommend making a series of three to six emails asking your customers for a testimonial.
- In store signs: Post noticeable signs around your store in areas where customers will see them, like in the check-out line, and provide the URL to your testimonial submission landing page.
- In-store kiosk: Set up a tablet in kiosk mode in your store and encourage customers to give feedback.
- Trade show kiosk: Set up a kiosk at a trade show where you might see a lot of happy customers and ask them to submit a quick video testimonial.
- After purchase email: If you already send a follow-up email to customers who purchase a product, include a link to your testimonial page so they can give more details about their experience.
- Thank loyal customers: Talk to your repeat customers, either in the store or through email, and thank them. This is also a great time to ask for their feedback through a testimonial or online review.
- Social media: Using social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, send an automated testimonial request response to positive mentions or direct messages.
Once you start collecting testimonials and reviews, you’ll need a way to get them posted on your website or social channels so prospective customers can see them. While it is possible to completely automate the display of testimonials using Boast, we typically recommend reviewing and approving testimonials before they are published.
With Boast, you’ll receive an embed code for your display widget. Simply place this code on your website where you want testimonials to be displayed, and any newly approved testimonials will automatically show up.
While automatic posting is an optional step when it comes to automating your testimonial and review collection process, it can help ensure your most recent testimonials are always visible for prospects to see.
Launching your testimonial automation
With your landing page and form, automated requests, and testimonial display process in place, all you have to do is turn everything on and watch testimonials and reviews roll in.
While you don’t have to monitor testimonial campaigns constantly, it’s a good idea to check in and make sure everything is working. Set aside a few minutes each week or an hour each month to see what testimonials you’ve gathered, approve or reject them, and optimize your campaign.
Once you have a strong collection of testimonials, try using them in more creative ways. You can post and repost, but you can also use testimonials in commercials, brochures, social media ads, and more, as long as you have your customer’s permission.
Posted in: Social Proof