One of the best and most reliable ways to sell your products is to amplify what your happy customers think with reviews or testimonials. And it is completely free.

But why do you need customer reviews, you ask? Well, have you ever tried telling people how good you think your services and products are? If you have, you probably found out that a self-review is not worth the paper it is written on. 

Effective testimonials help you sell because they tell the world that your product is worth buying.

However, like anything in marketing, your testimonials have to be strong to compete in the market. There will be reviews from many other similar services and products. For this reason a testimonial should be written to explain why your products, rather than those of your competitors, are worth buying. It is unfair to give this writing task to your customers. So, here are my top three tips that will help you collect effective customer testimonials that really sell your business.

Tip #1: A review should showcase a great result

The best testimonials tell this highly effective story: I got this service, and it helped me achieve this goal for my business. Below you can see two examples from my testimonials. You can see that my customers made applications that were successful. And, in their own words, the help I gave them played a big part in that success. What a wonderful outcome! 


“Anastasia has helped me tremendously by proofreading my application to a Masters programme, which was successful.”

– M, happy masters student

“Anastasia created an important video to support an application for a funding bid to Lloyds Bank. Without the amazing video editing she pulled together, we would not have been successful.”

– Cheryl, CEO, London Plus Credit Union

Tip #2: A case study is even better than a review

If you work on a long-term project you will be providing many great services to your customer. Instead of trying to fit ten reasons why your services are good in one sentence, you can utilise a type of content that focuses on long-term benefits. This is called a case study. 

As a charity or small business with a mission you can use case studies to showcase your impact.

I have created several case studies for small charities. Here are some of the key steps in approaching a customer to do a case study: 

  1. Pick a customer that you know will showcase great impact. Perhaps this is someone that you have worked with on several projects. Or it can be a loyal customer that loves your products or services.
  2. If you can, offer incentive. Some high-street vouchers or perhaps simply a hot drink could go a long way. 
  3. Think about the questions you want to ask them in advance. Come up with five great questions that will encourage your customer to go into detail about how your product or services helped them.
  4. Make this as easy for the customer as possible. Arrange to meet at a place where they feel comfortable, and adjust your interview style to suit their needs.
  5. Take some great pictures! Faces will bring the story to life. Even better, you could film the case study and optimise it for your socials. 
  6. Ask your customer to check they are happy with the content before you post anything on your website or social media.
A photo of a service user with a quote showing the impact of this education charity

The Access Project is an education charity that wants to close the higher education access gap for young people in the UK. Check out this case study, showcasing the impact of their tutoring service for young people in the UK.

Tip #3: Ask for reviews in person

Some of my clients are super busy, one-person bands. They have so much to do while running their small business, that taking five minutes to leave a Google review is the last thing on their list. So I know that I have to remind them to do it, and do it in a way that does not feel pushy and impersonal. 

A customer is more likely to give you a great review if you ask for it in person, or at least in a way that they get to hear your voice.

Your voice is way more powerful than some text in an email. For me it’s easy: my clients have a one to one relationship with me, and I get to see and talk to them a lot. But if you do not have a personal experience with them, it can be tricky. If your customers buy from your e-commerce website but do not know or see you, you could try relating to them in a different way. For example, you could create a short video where you, as the small business owner, ask them for a review and explain how the review will support the business. 

These are my top three tips for writing reviews that really sell your business.

What do you think? How do you collect feedback from your customers?  If you want to receive updates from me with useful tips like the ones I shared in this blog, join the Work Happy Community.