What Our Clients Say statement on paper note pad

One of the best ways to market a business or department is to share testimonials from customers/building occupants. These unbiased endorsements can be a powerful tool to motivate a team and promote a business or department, but they aren't always easy to come by. 

To help managers/owners cultivate customer testimonials, Ron Segura of Segura and Associates, offers the following tips:  

1. Be positive. If the building occupant or customer is happy with the cleaning service, they will likely be more than happy to write an endorsement. However, it is important to make certain the customer is satisfied before request their participation. There will be times when clients use this as an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with a service. 

2. Be in the mood. If there are more pressing issues weighing on managers, hold off from seeking out testimonials. It's important to be in the right state of mind.

3. Be selective. Make a list of those clients and/or building occupants that would be most receptive to providing a testimonial. It's always better to garner one or two strong recommendations than it is to have a dozen mediocre comments. 

4. Be strategic. For example, building service contractors that specialize in multi-tenant buildings should secure references from similar clients. Distributors targeting sales in K-12 schools should ask existing school customers for feedback.  

5. Know your comfort zone. Start with customers and/or building occupants who are familiar with the work over a long period of time. You will invariably be most comfortable with these individuals. 

6. Know when to ask. Asking for recommendations is always best done in person, versus a quick and casual conversation that can be done over email or phone. Request a face-to-face meeting where you can broach the subject of an endorsement.

7. Know how to ask. Consider something like this: "You have been a customer of ours for several years. Your business has contributed to the growth of our company and we are very grateful for that. We would really appreciate it if you could provide us with a testimonial to share with prospective customers."

8. Practice makes perfect. Asking for testimonials can be daunting, but it gets easier over time. This is especially the case if your company/department is doing a good job and has a good relationship with that customer/building occupant. 

9. Know what to do with testimonials. Obtaining testimonials is the biggest battle, but it'll all be for nothing if they aren't used properly. Post them on the company website; include them in every proposal and with every presentation. Take pictures of the facility mentioned and include them, as well.

10. Be thankful. When you receive a testimonial, be sure and thank the individual who submitted it. Send them a thank you card with a short note. No one does this anymore, so it has considerable impact. Your customer will appreciate it.