Client testimonials are a really powerful way to promote your services. You don't have to take my word for it. Just think about the last time you purchased anything that was more than $50. Did you read the online reviews about it before purchasing? Did you ask around your group of friends to see if they loved this item before you entered your credit card information or made a trip to the store?
Well, your clients are the same. So, it's up to you to make sure that you provide them with "reviews" of your work and your ability to serve them. But guess what? Your clients won't have anything to read but five-star reviews because, well, you're the one requesting them and sharing them (hopefully!) on your website and beyond.
Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be honest about your abilities. If you received poor feedback from a client, you should definitely do your due diligence to improve your craft and customer service. Yes, I think that how you do your work in general is all a part of customer service, too. But, of course you shouldn't be plastering negative feedback on your website, your LinkedIn profile or anywhere else for that matter. That's the type of feedback you should be using to make improvements. But today, I want to talk to you about requesting and sharing testimonials that will help a client decide that they have to choose you over another translator or interpreter.
First, before I get into the details of what you ought to request and share in a client testimonial, do a quick scan of the ones you already have on file. Has a client given you a recommendation on LinkedIn? Did they write you a lovely note that you have saved in your email inbox? Hold onto those. They're golden! More on that in a moment.
Next, I can't stress enough that you have to get comfortable asking for feedback and testimonials. A lot of us don't like to ask for feedback, but it's simply a part of doing business. Think about it. Your favorite podcast host asks you to leave a review on the app you use to listen, right? Your favorite restaurant probably has comments and a star-rating on Yelp. So, you are no different than any other business, and you should always feel comfortable asking for a testimonial from a client as feedback on your work. I'd suggest requesting testimonials from at least three to five clients per year. Now, that doesn't sound so bad, right?!
By collecting testimonials on an ongoing basis, not only can you use these to promote the services or specializations you provide, but you can also share these with prospects in new or existing areas in which you want to provide more of your services. After you've handled several projects or assignments for a client, make the time to send a kind email to request a testimonial. You don't have to write anything long or give an apologetic explanation as to why you'd like one. Have confidence in your work and don't be afraid to ask. Your best clients are happy to sing your praises, especially if you make it easy for them!
For more about requesting and using client testimonials, check out How to Leverage Testimonials When Marketing Your T&I Business.
The key to requesting and sharing client testimonials is to make sure you have a good variety. It's a bit odd if all your testimonials have the same content, right? You would probably be skeptical of an item you wish to purchase if all the reviews about it mentioned exactly the same two features or issues, right? So, do yourself and your clients a favor and let them know what you'd like them to share in their testimonial. Trust me, it's okay to do this! In fact, this is part of making it easy for them to do.
Here are three bases worth covering when it comes to the client testimonials you share about your professional services. Try to shoot for having at least one testimonial for each of these areas.
You're probably thinking, "Um yeah… of course," right? Quality and on-time delivery are not differentiators. They should be a given! So, try to request testimonials that demonstrate your high quality and attention to detail by using other words or descriptions that aren't found in every other translator's or interpreter's testimonials. Do this by asking your clients to focus on the quality of your service or deliverables and the value you provide to them.
Much like the previous point about quality, results are incredibly important to share. People like to see results. They want to know what their money is buying them and if you can really help solve their problems. What results are you providing to your clients? Request that one or two of your clients give their testimonials based on the results they've achieved by hiring you.
Something special about you
Why are you different from the next translator or interpreter who works in your language pair or specialization? Really... what makes you stand out? Ask your client to focus on why they chose you, what makes you different from others they've worked with before, etc. Not only is this solid testimonial content, but it's just good market research. If you know why your clients hire you, then you can keep doing more of that!
Final Tips About Requesting Client Testimonials
Try to keep your client testimonials brief, to the point and packed with information about why clients should never pass up the opportunity to work with you. You'll want something short that people can read quickly if they come across your website or LinkedIn profile.
As I said earlier, make it easy for them to do. If you know your client well and you think they would appreciate you saving them some time, offer to write a draft of the testimonial for their approval. Some clients actually request this!
Always thank a client who gives you a testimonial! Send them a nice handwritten message, a gift card or something that shows you really appreciate the time they took to share how you've made an impact in their work.
And finally, continue to provide your clients with the same service they expect from you. Never give them a reason to wish they could take back their testimonial. In other words, continue to show up for them over and over again by delivering your best work and an excellent customer service experience.
What tips do you have for requesting and sharing client testimonials?