5 Steps To Powerful Client Testimonials 

Client testimonials are powerful tools for your creative business. 

The words your clients share are the foundation for so many things in your work. Testimonials can help you build authority, attract new clients, improve your marketing and messaging efforts, enhance your processes, and expand or refine your offers. 

You’re really PROUD of the experience, offers, and transformations you’ve created for your clients, but haven’t been able to capture those wins in their words! You’re the first to admit your process for requesting testimonials could use a little T.L.C.

But, maybe the thought of asking for feedback makes you nervous, or you’re not even sure where to start!

You’re not alone!

When done RIGHT, testimonials and feedback are powerful. But, it’s all too easy to miss the mark if you don’t have a reproducible system in place.

Maybe you’ve asked for feedback in the past without much response (cue the dreaded crickets) or the feedback you do get isn’t the high-quality insight you’re looking for.

While it can be easy to flop when it comes to picking your client’s brains, I’d argue it’s EASIER to set yourself up for success with a bit of planning and intention. 

I’ve got you covered!

Luckily, you can do a few simple but effective things right now that will make a big difference in improving the thoroughness and quality of your client feedback. You’ll walk away from this blog feeling confident that you can make the ask, actually get your people to complete your feedback form, and start collecting glowing reviews that will help your business grow, scale, and flourish.

The 5 Steps To Capture & Leverage Powerful Client Testimonials

Step #1 Make it easy.

The first place business owners go wrong when it comes to client feedback?

They make it too HARD!

When requesting feedback, always try to make it as simple as possible to reduce barriers to entry for your clients. 

Create an online feedback form.

It sounds straightforward, but you’d be surprised how often this piece of the feedback process is overlooked. Don’t just send an open-ended email asking for their thoughts. Give your clients structure and guidelines; otherwise, you’ll probably end up with a collection of random, rambling thoughts or worse, no reply at all!

The best way to make it easy? 

Have an online feedback form ready to fill out. 

There are several free and affordable platforms you can use. Choose whatever option is easiest for you and your clients! 

Some places to start:

Rather than just sending a general email and making the request, creating a form makes it easy for them to give you the specific feedback you want in a clear, streamlined format.

Keep it short and sweet.

One of the best ways to reduce friction in the feedback process is to pay attention to how long your form will take to complete! Keep it around 5 minutes. Any longer and you’ll notice a high drop-off rate, meaning people may start to complete the form but quit halfway through due to question fatigue, distraction, or overwhelm. Respect your client’s time and energy!

Limit Questions.

If your form is too long, you may notice that people complete the form but only give you half-baked responses. Create a form that encourages your clients to provide thoughtful responses through solid, transparent, intentional questions. Mix in long-form questions with yes/no and a scale of 1-10.

Always ask for a testimonial and feedback at the same time.  

This 2-in-1 form is another strategic way to be mindful of your clients’ efforts while getting the information you need. Your clients already have a ton to do in their lives and businesses! You don’t want to give them too many extra tasks, but you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to get constructive feedback. 

The solution? Use one form to capture both their feedback and testimonial simultaneously. It’s always good to ask how you can do better while asking what you’re already doing well. This feedback will help you improve your systems and offers while providing you with strong testimonials you can share with your audience!

Don’t Tack On Requests.

This process should be a one-and-done situation. Make sure you ask for everything you need at the same time. 

For example, if you want a photo or video in addition to the testimonial, include these pieces in the initial request. Don’t drag this process on and overstep or take advantage of their time and energy by continuing to tack on demands! Make it clear how they should submit these items, and make it as simple as possible. Can they just upload it to the form? Email it to you? Etc. Make the process as specific as possible!

Get Permission.

Be sure to cross your T’s and dot your I’s! Naturally, you’ll want to be able to share all the raving reviews you receive! But, if you don’t get permission, those powerful words might just sit collecting dust in your Google Forms folder!  

You cannot assume that just because clients give you positive feedback, they are open to you sharing their words and names publicly. Get consent to share their testimonial, image, and name directly on the form they fill out. That way, it’s easy to keep track of what they agree to, and you won’t have to follow up with them every time you want to share their testimonial!

Step #2 Make the ask.

ASK them. 

You can’t just wait around and hope your clients will volunteer their feedback without you initiating it first! It might happen occasionally, but you cannot leave such an essential piece of your client experience to chance!

You can absolutely ask via email or whatever communication tool you use (especially if it’s automated)! 

But be sure to ALSO mention it when you speak to them next via Voxer, Zoom, a meeting, whatever! Things get lost in inboxes, and having a conversation about your feedback request will increase the likelihood of your client returning it to you. We can all appreciate an extra reminder or gentle nudge. 

It doesn’t need to be a high-pressure situation. It can simply be, “Hey, you should have received an email from me the other day,” OR, “keep an eye on your inbox! At this point in our time together, I like to gather a little feedback and a testimonial if you’ll be so kind, and I’d love it if you could take a few minutes to fill out my feedback & testimonial form. It helps me [insert WHY you are making the request here].”

Seriously, feel free to steal my words so you’re never at a loss of what to say when reminding clients to keep an eye out for your testimonial form.

Time it right.

Not only do you need to ask, but you need to ask intentionally. 

Timing is everything! Especially when it comes to requesting a strong client testimonial! 

The biggest mistake I see business owners make is waiting until a project comes to a close before asking for a testimonial. By the time your project is over, most clients have MOVED ON!

Big win moments.

Asking for a testimonial right after a big win or breakthrough is the BEST strategy! This is my personal recommendation because this timing will allow your client to tap into all those positive emotions in real-time! They’ll be able to share specific, authentic, and impactful testimonials easily! The experience is fresh in their mind, so it’ll be easy to talk about. Plus, they are still emotionally invested. These testimonials are ALWAYS the best!

Before the wrap-up.

Another opportune time to request feedback? Right before you wrap up. Request a testimonial while they’re still in communication with you because they will be FAR more likely to give you what you need! I find I get the highest response when I request testimonials a few days before our last meeting or call. Once you’re out of “sight,” you’re out of mind. Even if your client had the best experience and has the best intentions, if you’re not top of mind, they’ll probably forget to send you the testimonial you requested. They’re human, after all!

COO TIP: Hint, hint! Feedback forms can be automated! The beauty of creating a straightforward process is you can bake this into your client experience. 

Step #3 Set expectations.

Clear is kind.

When you deliver the form via email, tell them from the very beginning how long you expect it to take them. Be clear on the exact ask and tell them precisely what you need them to do. Be sure to request a timeframe, so it’s not something open-ended sitting out there forever (i.e. within the week).

Also, make sure to open up a line of communication back to you so that you can support them as needed and troubleshoot any tech or access issues immediately. 

I like to include this line in my forms:

 “If you have any issues accessing the form or any questions or concerns, let me know!”

This will ensure if they hit a snafu, you can swoop in and help. Plus, it’s a great way to make sure your form is working correctly, so you don’t continue to have issues in the future. 

Step # 4 Follow up.

If you haven’t gotten a response in a few days, follow up! People are busy. They forget, or things slip down their to-do list! Give them a gentle nudge in case your request fell through the cracks.

When you do get a response, be sure to read it thoroughly and then respond to them. This can be a simple thank you – but make it personal! They took the time to fill it out for you, take the time to really read it, and thank them personally. 

If they share feedback, questions, or concerns, address them! Don’t leave them hanging. Two-way communication is key!

Step #5 Use Client Feedback & Testimonials

Last but certainly not least, you need to put your client feedback and testimonials to WORK!

Feedback will help you refine or expand your services and offers, your processes, and your client experience in the future. You can remove pieces that aren’t performing at the highest level and add on complementary services and resources. 

Feedback will also help you adjust your client experience to make sure you’re delivering the best experience and having the most significant impact in a streamlined, accessible way that you can reproduce each and every time. 

Then, take some time to capture and highlight testimonials! Remember, sharing the experiences of your clients isn’t bragging. It’s honest, and your audience is LOOKING for this kind of information when deciding whether or not to work with you! 

Add testimonials strategically to your website, an offer brochure, social media platforms, or sales page in the form of authentic, relevant social proof. This will help you build your authority, improve your messaging, and develop trust with your ideal client. 

Get Started!

No time to waste! Now that you know exactly how to capture and leverage the most powerful client testimonials effectively, I want you to take action! 

Go ahead and build your online form (don’t overthink it) so that when the opportune moment arises, you’re ready to make the ask for feedback with ease and efficiency! Be sure to build this into your overall client experience to guarantee you never miss an opportunity to hear from your clients so you can continue to deliver the best products, services, and offers in your industry!

Then, let the glowing reviews ROLL in!

Speaking of feedback…

I want to hear from YOU! Are you getting what you need from my weekly blogs? Was this week’s topic helpful? Are there any burning questions you have about running a creative business that you’d LOVE for me to address in future blogs? 

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