Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Reviews are proof in the pudding - testimonials are key when it comes to the business of travel. In a world as socially connected as ours, few people buy a product or invest in a service without first investigating the benefits from a trusted friend or reviewer. In fact, nearly two-thirds of consumers read product reviews before making a purchase decision. Here are CT’s four proven techniques for receiving glowing client testimonials, every time:
Leverage social media
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If you think you don’t have any client testimonials, think again! Posts made to Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, Google Reviews or even LinkedIn from happy clients can be utilized as testimonial text for websites or literature.* Remember to check the comment section for a gold mine of praise. More importantly, encourage clients to post to your social media channels. It not only brings credibility to your business, but allows for ease of sharing across multiple platforms.
*Tip: Before pulling text from a social media channel, take a moment to connect with the client who made the comment. Thank them for taking time to offer feedback and double-check that they're OK with you using their words. And of course, use this opportunity to keep the door open for future sales. "If you need anything at all, I'm at the ready," you might note.
Reach out to past clients
Have your clients ever referred you? Then obviously they think what you have to offer is valuable. Reach out to thank them for their referral and ask if they’d be willing to provide a short testimonial. Plus, who knows? Hearing from you could remind clients of unused vacation days - meaning a potential referral and repeat business.
Tip: Depending on the value of the referral, you may want to send a handwritten note and perhaps a small token of your gratitude. A modest gift card to a shop or service that aligns with your client's interests will do just fine.
Compile a survey
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Put together a simple survey through platforms such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. Ask your database of clients a few basic questions, and be sure to ask an open-ended question like: "What did you think of our travel planning services?" Chances are you’ll probably receive a quick testimonial or two, along with valuable feedback.
Tip: Most people love taking surveys, so do don't assume it's an imposition. Double down by writing a clever or intriguing subject line to pique the receiver's interest.
Make testimonials a part of your process
Get into the habit of asking every single client who returns from a trip for a testimonial. A simple way to do this is by sending a "welcome home" email. If they loved the trip, chances are they’ll want to shout it from the rooftop and share with friends.
In the note, ask for the testimonial but also tell them how you'd prefer to receive feedback. If you're specifically building your Google business profile or Facebook page testimonials, provide a direct link. You want to remove as many barriers as possible. Consider that Yelp requires reviewers to register an account whereas most people already have Google, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.
Tip: For mature clientele who may not have social media, send an email or handwritten note showing genuine interest in their adventure. Try asking for a picture from their travels, along with an accompanying story.