What Do I Do When a Client Asks Me to Write My Own Testimonial?

Client: You did an excellent job. Thanks for your immense dedication.

Writer: Glad to be of help.

What Do I Do When a Client Asks Me to Write My Own Testimonial?

Client: I’ve another project that I plan to start in a few days, let’s discuss it as soon as I get free.

Writer: Sure, let me know when you’re available to talk about it. Just one more thing; how soon can I get the testimonial for the project I just did for you?

Client: Can you give me a few days? I’m quite busy as I’ve to close the project. If you’ve a sample testimonial, please send it to me, and I’ll write one for you.

Writer: Sure. Here are a few links that can give you an idea.

Client: I’ll review them later. Is it possible if you write one, and I approve it?

Writer: Hmm (What’s the client saying! How can I do this?)… Sure, I’ll send it over.

The above dialog is a real-time conversation that directly or indirectly occurs between writers (and other service providers) and their clients. I just hear you say yes to the “I’m busy – write a testimonial later – write one for me” response from your client.

From the deepest of our hearts, we –writers – never want to write a testimonial for our client.

How can I churn out praise for myself when my client is supposed to write one?

How would I know what the client exactly felt or experienced while working with me?

How can I read my client’s mind?

Anyone can quickly spot it’s not written by the client, right?

When the client enjoyed working with you, and he or she is eager to work with you again, why is it so difficult for the client to recapture the experience in the form of a testimonial? It would hardly take five minutes.

Partly right, partly wrong!

So, what can you immediately do to avoid the shackles of mind-numbing waiting time?

As a writer, speaking straight from my heart, I would still say:

“Try your level best that your client writes you a testimonial right after the project ends.”

However, when clients are genuinely busy, getting the testimonial right after the project ends sounds a little far from reality.

Getting stellar testimonials from your clients is no longer a memory game. When your clients are occupied, it’s your responsibility to help them reconstruct the memory of their working experience with you. This requires you to paint the actual picture to recapture the joyful and valuable experience you rendered your client.

This additional yet thoughtful effort on your part can surely get you the stellar testimonial you are waiting to have. Oh and let me share, it’s a tried and tested technique that works not just for testimonials but for any sort of feedback you aim to capture. (Hint: It’s directly coming from your client’s mouth).

Follow the below steps.

1. Mine Your Clients’ Conversations

Yes, you read it right – Mine your clients’ conversations.

While working on the project, you keep on getting the wonderful feedback your client sends your way – in writing or on calls. Compile the direct, genuine feedback of your clients through their untapped warehouses.

“Just would like to thank Sabita for her immense dedication and effort to make this time including her late nights to 2am in the morning to meet the deadlines. Thank you.”

This is an example of a real-time feedback that I didn’t receive from the client directly, but I pulled it out of the back and forth emails the client exchanged with their management and project team. (Glad that I was copied.)

2. Structure the Messages Logically

The next step is to put a logical spin to the mined conversations. You need to structure the messages so that they depict the feelings of warmth and capture the real spirit of the valuable experience.

The below one is a spontaneous feedback I received from one of my clients during our Skype chat.

You are doing a great job.

I like your style – working proactively.

You write so well!

Really nice of you to think about me! …. (Cont.)

I structured the above Skype chat in the following words:

I really like Sabita’s style of proactively managing all aspects of the project. She did a great job and took considerable time to understand my expectations deeply before even putting words together. It was a joy to work with her.

When you structure the messages logically, highlight the marketing message out of them. You can also help your clients a little more by using particular keywords or phrases (highlighted in red above) that make the message effective but retains the genuineness.

3. Share the Testimonial with Your Client

When the testimonial is ready, send it to your client for a final word. The buy-in from your client ultimately transforms the real, genuine, and simple conversation to a stellar testimonial that your client happily validates.

Once validated, you are ready to publish it at your website (or any platform you wish).

To reiterate, nothing equals getting a testimonial written by the client herself. However, as writers, we take the ownership of giving ideas to our clients and assisting them whatever way possible. Isn’t that a key to building the long-term relationships with them?

Mining their conversation to write a stellar testimonial is an example of a real life problem my client faced, and I solved it for her.

Why did my client accept it?

I helped her save time and ensured a stress-free experience for her. Otherwise, my client would have to spend considerable time to recall her working experience with me, and possibilities are she might have missed out several specific aspects.

Skype chats or emails are two of the many sources that we mostly use for client correspondence. You can also mine other channels of communication, such as Twitter conversations, for example. Copyhackers does an excellent job of capturing the user praise.

What’s your experience with getting testimonials from your busy clients? Please share your story in the comment section.

A former Organizational Development professional, Sabita Saleem(@sabitasaleem) is a freelance writer, and entrepreneur offering writing and graphic designing services to small and large businesses to help them achieve their marketing and communication goals. She also contributes as a guest-blogger and ghostwriter for a wide variety of subjects. Visit her site to learn more about her services and feel free to discuss your projects with her.

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A great intent by sabita. Even in advertising services clients bind in testimonial thing. By adopting such concern will help us to coop upReply to Irsa
Glad to know you found it helpful Irsa. We’re caught up in a busy world, so I believe we should come up with creative ideas to solve our clients’ problems i.e. a win-win situation for all. 🙂Reply to Sabita
Hi Sabita, I agree with KeriLynn above. I don’t think I could find a post on this subject, although I found a post which talks about this and can help writing testimonials: An Easy to use Template for Writing Testimonials. I didn’t yet need to write a testimonial for my clients, but when I need to, I’ll refer to the tips in this post. The Muse has a post with27 pre-written e-mail templates to use, for LinkedIn recommendations and other purposes, that we can adapt and use in this case as well. My first comment here. Thanks Alicia for this blog and for publishing this post.Reply to Raspal
Thanks for sharing relevant resources, particularly the first one, Raspal. There is a post by KISSmertrics that talks about various sources to gather customer feedback, which is indeed helpful. The idea that I’m sharing here is to pick out the real feedback directly from client’s mouths instead of making it look like an auto-generated response. Glad to know the post stays as a reference point for you in case the situation may arise – I hope it doesn’t. 🙂Reply to Sabita
Love this – I’ve never seen this topic blogged about, but I’ve definitely seen the issue come up before. I haven’t had this happen to me (yet!), but now I’ll remember this & know exactly what to do when it does!! Thanks 🙂Reply to KeriLynn
Great to hear that :D. I’m so glad to know it’s helpful. Best Wishes!Reply to Sabita
Awesome! Glad this helped. 🙂Reply to Alicia
Sabita, Excellent post! I often wondered what would happen if a client I had asked for a testimonial came back to me wanting me to write it for them. I will start to keep track of all the positive dialogue my client shares with me about my professionalism and writing. Thanks, ElnaReply to Elna
Thanks Elna. It’s great to hear you liked the post. 😀 I hope you don’t require it; however, keeping a track of awesome client feedback in itself is exciting.Reply to Sabita
Excellent advice. Though this has never happened to me, I believe a client testimonial would have more praise than if I wrote it for them. Alan Recent post on my blog: SEO is not Dead! to Alan
Glad you liked Alan. We all wish it never happens to anyone, still we should have a plan B. You never know when it might come handy. Ain’t so?Reply to Sabita
Thanks for the opportunity, Alicia.Reply to Sabita
No problem. You’ve outlined a great, ethical method for gathering client testimonials when they don’t have the time.Reply to Alicia
I hope it proves helpful for the writers and other service providers if they ever come across this situation.Reply to Sabita