How to Write a Client Testimonial
There’s no doubt about it: a good client testimonial can help you get the sale.
Client testimonials might not be the first thing your prospects look at, but when they’re starting to get more serious about buying, a well-written testimonial can tip the scales in your favour.
Why, then, do home builders so often not think of writing one?
While we can’t answer that question, we can help you learn how to write a client testimonial that shows your company’s strengths and makes it easier for prospects to choose your company over competing home builders.
Reading time: 7 minutes
- What does a client testimonial do for your company?
- Know your goals and what you want your prospects to learn after reading your client testimonial
- Choose the right client with a compelling story that establishes an emotional connection
- Plan out your interview so you are asking your client the right questions and don’t be afraid to hire professionals for a high-quality video interview
- Follow the classic story arch to bring the client testimonial together in a way that flows well
What Does a Good Client Testimonial Do?
With a great testimonial, your potential home buyers get to see how it works from someone who’s already been there.
You can also leverage the power of social proof, which will help prospects to look closer at your company as an option. And you may not think it, but it can lessen perceived risks they may have about you. Another advantage? You can address issues they may have - either with you or in the home buying process overall - and show possible solutions, which can lessen resistance.
One of the best benefits you’ll see from a case study is they build trust and help increase likeability with your audience.
Establish Your Goal
Don’t write a client testimonial just to have one. Think about what exactly you want prospects to learn when they read your case study and make that your focus.
Let’s say that your company prides itself on great customer service. Write a case study that highlights all of the ways the client in the testimonial benefited from your company’s customer service. Every touchpoint matters and so do the details they provide. The testimonial should capture the full experience from start to finish so potential customers know what they can expect.
On the other hand, if your company’s claim to fame is your ability to craft unique homes that fit client’s out-there desires, you’ll want to have a testimonial featuring a home that shows your ability to really cater to clients’ needs. It’s the perfect time to showcase a hobbit house, a tiny home, or a zero energy home. Anything that lets prospects know that you can build to suit their wildest dreams.
Follow a Classic Story Arch
Compelling stories often use the same idea for their story arch.
And that’s what a testimonial really is - a story.
The main character - AKA your client - starts by having a problem they can’t quite resolve. They need a new home. Often, they face a few failures as they try to solve their problem. Eventually, they find what they need (your company) to get a happy ending.
Sure, the testimonial should be written in a way that sounds formal and professional, but ultimately, you’re telling a story about how your client made their life better through the home you built for them.
How Are You Going to Tell It?
You need to figure out how you’re going to tell the story. What medium are you going to use?
These aren’t mutually exclusive either! Mix them up and use them together. Just choose one to run with first and you can branch out after.
Pick the Right Client
One of the keys to having a great testimonial is choosing the right client.
This should be a person that’s over-the-moon about the home you’ve built for them! They should be enthusiastic cheerleaders who frequently talk about how much they like you, even before you ask them to be a part of the case study.
Ideally, you also want to choose someone who has a compelling story.
Maybe it’s a family with a child in a wheelchair who had struggled to find a home that could accommodate them. Until they found you. Maybe it’s someone who wasn’t sure about getting into real estate investing but with your advice, they’ve been able to earn enough money to quit their job.
At the same time, you want a story that has some universal appeal. Prospects should be able to see themselves in the story. This is one way for your home building company to stay top-of-mind with prospective home buyers as they get closer to buying from you.
Once you’ve found someone who fits the bill, contact them and get permission to write about them, or interview them - whichever fits.
Plan for Great Content
Your client doesn’t know what you want them to say, and you wouldn’t want to script their words. However, you can guide the interview by asking them the right questions.
Think about the story you want to tell, and how the questions you ask might lead to the answers you’re looking for. Yes or no answers don’t work here, you want the details.
So What Are the Right Questions?
To ensure you’re set up for success, you want to focus on open-ended questions. When conducting your interview, you’ll want to introduce yourself and what you do at the company.
Some key talking points should include:
- What was your problem before you started shopping for a new home?
- Can you talk about any specific pain points that came from that problem?
- Did you check out any other builders before coming to us?
- How did you first hear about us?
- What was your main concern that would have prevented you from choosing to build with us, and what put your fears to rest?
- What made you choose us over another home builder?
- What are some benefits you've experienced as a result of building your new home with us?
- What is life like now that your new home is ready and you’ve moved in?
- What surprised you the most or made you the happiest about building with us?
- If you were to recommend us to your best friend, what would you say?
You have two options here: you can send your client the questions, have them fill out their answers and then send it back to you, meaning you’re left waiting for them to finish… Or you can interview them!
Guess which one we like? ;)
There is nothing wrong with going the written route, it’s just not our favourite.
If you do choose to interview them, you’ll want to record it. again with their permission. It lets you go back to get their exact words for the perfect quotes to pepper throughout your case study. This works great for testimonials as well.
Format It Nicely
If you decide to go the video route for your medium, it should look good! So don’t be afraid to bring in the professionals. You need good lighting and a solid backdrop. Have someone do your client’s hair and makeup so it looks good on the screen.
If you’re writing it out, you still want to make it look pretty.
It depends on the content of the testimonial, but you can separate it into sections with headers so readers can easily scan it for the most important information. Include plenty of pictures to illustrate what you’re talking about, or pull out a few quotes from the client to highlight.
For the infographic option, tell the story from top to bottom. Emphasize key points with bigger text or icons to help them stand out.
It’s also a good idea to put the testimonial on your website as an article. If you plan on doing quite a few, create a section just for these client testimonials.
Some of these could also be a download, like a PDF. This would be on a case-by-case basis, but keep that in mind. Remember, each of these formats usually require slightly different formatting.
Client testimonials are an essential part of any business, and writing them doesn’t have to be a struggle. In fact, you can hire this task out to someone with experience, like Marketing Ninjas. Talk to us today to see what we can do for you.
Originally published Sept 22, 2020