5 Tips for Obtaining Testimonials that Build Trust and Attract New Clients

Customer testimonials on your website and positive online reviews of your accounting business can be a powerful way to showcase your capabilities and professionalism to prospective customers. For maximal impact, testimonials should offer more than only superficial insight about how you helped your clients. So, how can you get endorsements that deliver a meaningful review of your services and the experience of working with you?

Tips for Getting Meaningful Testimonials from Your Clients

1. Ask promptly.

Customers are more likely to write a glowing, detailed testimonial while their interaction with you is fresh in their minds. Consider asking your clients for a testimonial in person when you're wrapping up business with them in your office or at their location. If you’re conducting business by email, request a testimonial after you’ve finished the work at hand.

2. Be specific.

Whether you’ve saved the day when a client was dealing with a particular issue or you have been providing exemplary service to them consistently for years, share what they might focus on. Do not put words in their mouth! Instead, suggest what services or experience you'd like them to comment on so they know what will be relevant and useful.

3. Take the good vibes to other online spaces.

Why stop at asking clients to write a testimonial for your website? Online review sites and social media platforms that publish reviews offer even more exposure for your company. According to the 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, 86 percent of people read reviews of local businesses.

Just be careful about explicitly asking for online reviews of your business—some platforms, such as Yelp, strictly prohibit soliciting reviews. At the time of this writing, several that allow asking for reviews include:

  • Facebook
  • Angie’s List
  • Google My Business
  • CitySearch

Carefully read a site's terms and conditions to ensure you're following its current policy before you proactively ask for customers to leave a review there.

Also, check for directories maintained by your local chamber of commerce and other business organizations for opportunities to establish a presence there.

4. Consider going visual.

Statistics have shown that videos shared on social media generate 1,200 percent more shares than text and images. Asking customers to share their good experiences in a short video clip can give your testimonials more staying power and expand their reach. Fortunately, smartphones make generating and uploading videos ultra-simple and fast.

5. Follow up.

After requesting a testimonial, follow up with your client in a few days if you haven’t received one from them. It may have slipped their mind, they may not have seen your email request, or your message may have landed in their spam folder. Regardless of the reason, a gentle, polite nudge can go a long way toward obtaining that valuable endorsement.

Final Words to the Wise About Customer Testimonials

In all circumstances, encourage your clients to provide honest reviews. Fake or fraudulent reviews and paid reviews are not only shifty, but also they are against the rules on review websites.

Your best route to getting positive, genuine reviews is to deliver a superior level of service to your clients at all times. As your value speaks for itself, your customers will want to sing your praises, too.

Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business expert, and mother of four. She is the CEO of CorpNet.com, a trusted resource for Business Incorporation, LLC Filings, and Corporate Compliance Services in all 50 states. Nellie and her team recently launched a partner program for accountants, bookkeepers, CPAs, and other professionals to help them streamline the business incorporation and compliance process for their clients. More info at: CorpNet.com/partners