Asking for Customer References: The Do's and Don'ts of Getting Feedback

Getting customer references is an essential part of any successful marketing campaign. A basic sales pitch doesn’t cut it anymore—customers want to hear from others that have had a positive experience with your company.

A customer reference is a call or email from an individual or business that is willing to share their positive experience with your product and endorse it to others. High-quality references build credibility and social proof that can do wonders for your business.

But what are the best ways to go about asking for it? How can you convince your customers that it’s worth their while to be a reference for you?

In this blog post, we'll provide several tips that will increase your likelihood of receiving high-quality references. With our insights, you’ll know how to improve your approach so that your efforts translate into effective lead generation.

Do: Ask your happiest customers for references first

Obviously, customers will only want to provide you with a reference if they’ve had a good experience with your company. When starting out, target your most satisfied customers first. They're the ones who are most likely to give you a detailed, positive testimonial that you can use to improve your business.

There are a few reasons why starting with your happiest customers is a good idea:

  1. They’re likely to come across as authentic

The whole point of a customer reference is that it’s a genuine recommendation for your business that potential consumers view as trustworthy. If a reference seems phony or that the person had an ulterior motive for providing it, it won’t land well with your audience.

When you target your happiest customers, you're more likely to receive endorsements that accurately portray the positive experiences they've had. This level of authenticity will resonate with potential new customers, making these references far more effective.

  1. They’ll probably provide a lot of detail

It’s not enough to hear that someone had a good experience with a company—customers want to know the specific aspects of the product or service that were beneficial.

Your happiest customers will often be more than willing to provide a lot of detail about their experiences with your company. By leveraging these insights, you can showcase the unique benefits you have to offer and attract new customers who are searching for the same types of solutions.

  1. Their positive experiences can help build trust with other potential customers

When people see that others have had positive experiences with your product, it makes them more likely to trust you and try it themselves. In the absence of a customer reference call, video testimonials are especially powerful in this regard—seeing someone else talk about how much they like your product can be very persuasive.

So if you're looking for references from customers, start by asking your happiest ones. You're likely to get authentic, detailed testimonials that can help build your brand.

Don't: Ask for too much at once

When approaching a customer for a reference, keep it short and sweet. You don’t want to overwhelm them or make it seem like a reference call will take a lot of their time.

Here’s a template you can use when reaching out:

Dear [Customer],
Hope all is well. We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your business and support of our brand. It's customers like you who make our mission possible.
We believe that your experience with our brand and our products could be an asset to other businesses seeking the same high level of service and technology. That's why we're reaching out to ask if you would be willing to provide a reference for us to prospects as a final step in our sales process.
The call would take no more than 20 minutes and would consist of a brief discussion about your experience with our brand and how our solutions have helped your business.
If you're willing to participate, please let us know and we'll coordinate a time and date that works best for you.
Thank you,
[Your name]

Showing the customer that they’re valued by your business can increase your response rate. Everyone likes knowing they’re appreciated!

Do: Use video testimonials to build trust

Showing that past customers have had a good experience is an important way to improve your product or service. But it can also be a great way to build trust with new ones.

Video testimonials are a powerful way to show them that you have happy, satisfied customers. They can see for themselves that your product or service is valuable and that you’re a company they can trust.

A common misconception is that, in order to get high-quality video testimonials, you need a professional film crew and studio. That’s no longer the case—solutions like Testimonial Hero guide you through a step-by-step journey into creating commercial-grade customer and employee testimonials. Whether you’re looking for fully remote or on-site video capture, we can help you every step of the way.

Curious to give it a try? Schedule a strategy session today.

Don’t: Forget to follow up with a personal thank-you

Following up with customers after they provide a reference is important. This gesture not only shows your gratitude for their time and support, but also helps to reinforce a positive association with your brand.

One of the most significant benefits of sending a personal thank-you is that it helps to strengthen your relationship with existing customers. Asking for a reference can be an uncomfortable experience for both the customer and the business, but a thoughtful thank-you can alleviate any potential awkwardness.

When you express your appreciation, you are showing your customers that their opinions and experiences are valued, which can lead to increased loyalty over time.

Keep these tips in mind when asking for customer references

Asking for customer references can be tricky. Customers have to take time out of their day to do so, and approaching them in the correct way is key to getting a high response rate.

Asking your happiest customers first is a great way to start, since they’re the most likely to share what they love about your business. Just be sure to not ask for too much at once, and follow up with a personal thank-you afterward.

Video testimonials are a great complement to customer reference calls and emails. They instill a deep sense of trust in prospective customers, and have been proven to close deals exponentially faster. And it’s easier than you might think—even if you have zero filming or editing experience, Testimonial Hero can help you create beautiful video testimonials in no time. Reach out to us today to get started on your journey.

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