How to write a testimonial or product review

(and how to get your customers to write one)

A great testimonial or product review can stand between you and a sale. It’s true. Having someone share their experience can be enough to persuade someone to part with their money!

There’s a big difference between a testimonial or review, and a GREAT testimonial. A money cha-ching-ing review. 

So what makes a great review, and how do you get your customers to write one?!

What makes a good testimonial?

A good review should

  1. Show the transformation achieved
  2. Contain enough detail to bring someone into the story
  3. Be specific to the product or service
  4. Is short and to the point

Let’s break that down.

A good testimonial shows the transformation your customer has undergone with help from your product or service. 

Your clients want something to change in their life. They want to achieve a win, a success, a goal. If you can show that this transformation is possible with your help, people can put themselves in that position and imagine it happening to them too. 

But it’s all about the transformation. 

It should also contain enough detail to bring someone into the story and create empathy. “** helped me lose weight” is the bare details. Adding in some details about what happened, why this hadn’t happened before, what did ** do to help” gives the review context. And it’s this context that may mirror the experiences another person is going through. 

A great review should also be specific to the product or service you’re going to be using it for. This is more about you choosing which review to use, and where. Don’t use a review for foot pain on a website page that’s all about neck pain. 

A testimonial should also be short. Or more accurately, it should be concise. Every word matters. Take out the “I’d totally recommend”, or “she’s a  really nice person”. Make sure every word used is used to demonstrate the transformation. 

Here’s an example of a good review …

Before I worked with ** every time I moved my foot I had pain. It stopped me enjoying my evening runs. I couldn’t walk around the park with my kids without pain. ** found out the cause of my pain and gave me exercises to help. She kept in touch with me to make sure the exercises were working and using the app, I could log in and tell her I had completed my treatment. Within 2 weeks I was able to start running, could chase the kids around the park and do all this without pain.

Let’s break down this review

It starts with showing what the problem was (foot pain). And gave an example of what the client couldn’t do in their life because of the problem. 

Then it shows how the physio helped - gave details, the plan. This shows other clients what kind of thing they can expect. 

And it shows the transformation - that the client relieved their pain and could go and do activities that made them happy. 

Even though the testimonial is quite specific, the way it’s written means that a client with shoulder pain, headaches or neck pain can put themselves in the situation and image how it would feel to achieve this transformation. 

So, it gives enough detail to bring the reader into the situation. 

How to get your customers to write a great review

First up, ask them to write a review! So often I find my clients aren’t asking for reviews. 

Okay, so some can’t use testimonials or reviews (HPCA regulated health professionals in Australia and New Zealand). So please check with your registration bodies that you can use reviews.  

But, if you can  - JUST ASK!!! On e-commerce sites, make sure you’ve got a review section, and send emails 1-2 weeks after products have been delivered to ask for a review. 

Secondly, give them an outline of what to write. No, I don’t mean write it for them. I mean when you ask for a transformation say something like … 

“I was wondering if you could write me a testimonial/review showing how our work together made a difference. It would be great to hear where you were at before we started working together, and what changed.”

For products, prompt them 
“It would be great to share how using *** product has made a difference to you.” If you sell skincare products, you could ask how using a certain product has improved their skin. 

That’s all it takes!

If you want a great email template check out the ones I wrote for the Helpful Academy:

Social Proof Like a Pro gives you templates you can use for service-based OR e-commerce businesses to get client testimonials and product review.