Take a second to think about the last thing that you purchased - as small as a lipstick or as big as a car. I'd bet that you checked out reviews online before you committed to your purchase. We've come to trust the collective opinion of others - something called social proof to help us make decisions when we buy. Getting testimonials from your interior design clients is important because it boosts this in your own business.
Getting testimonials creates trust with potential clients and shows them the benefits of your service from a client perspective. Likely they will feel reassured that if another client was happy that you've done good work and they will be happy as well. Past performance says a lot about future performance.
So how should you go about getting testimonials from clients? Here are some tips for adding testimonials, gaining trust, and getting a business boost.
What Should A Testimonial Include?
The main gist of a testimonial is that your client had a problem (an ugly house, overwhelmed by Pinterest, no time) and you solved it (made it beautiful, a cohesive design plan, took care of everything). Testimonials work best when they are problem/solution/result based. This means that you don't want clients to simply say, "She's great! So happy I hired her!"
You want them to say, "I thought I could do it on my own, but after spending hours on Pinterest and getting nowhere, I realized I needed to hire a professional. Once I hired Lucky Interiors the processes went so much smoother, I was taken care of, my house looks amazing, but best of all it looks like MY house, not someone else's house copied on Pinterest."
Much better right? There was a problem - client realized she couldn't do it on her own. The solution should always be hiring you. And then finally the result of hiring you - that it looks like the client's house, not a Pinterest copy.
How Can I Get Testimonials?
The only way to get testimonials is to ask. That is why you should be sending a satisfaction survey to clients when the project wraps. In addition to getting testimonials for your website, it's good business to know more about your clients and what they liked (and maybe didn't like) about working with you. This allows you to grow and understand who your ideal clients are (and maybe aren't).
When your project wraps, email your clients asking if they'd complete your satisfaction survey. You should let them know that it is to improve your business as well as help other potential clients understand what it is like working with you and ask if it is okay to share their responses for marketing purposes.
Here are three questions to start:
- What was the trigger that made you hire Your Business Name?
- Did working with Your Business Name benefit you? If so, how?
- Would you recommend Your Business Name? Why or why not?
I would keep your entire survey short and sweet. Make it easy for clients to complete it. You can use a program like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to make fillable surveys or even an email works.
- Always ask for permission to use their words & name. Best get this in writing. Let clients know how & where it'll be used.
- Don't pay for testimonials, otherwise, it feels a little shady and you may be required to disclose that they are paid.
- Avoiding questions that are yes/no, you want the clients to elaborate.
- Make it easy to complete (think about how your client normally communicates) and keep it short. Long, elaborate surveys may cause clients to lose interest or not give as thoughtful answers.
- Keep them short! Nobody has time to read several paragraphs of how great you are.
- I like dispersing testimonials throughout my website, rather on a dedicated "testimonials" page. However, another designer said that this was one of her most visited sites - so do what works for you!
- Craft your survey
- Send to 3 past clients