There's nothing like having satisfied customers, but if they're satisfied, then let's have ‘em tell us in their own words.
Ah. . . the beauty of testimonials.
Some window washers might be a bit shy or hesitant asking their customers to say good things about ‘em, so one of the easiest ways to secure plenty of testimonials is to send out a “testimonial request" letter to your customers.
Below, I've included the one I used over the years, but before getting to that, let me explain all the ways testimonials can be used to your advantage.
It's ok when you say great stuff about you in your marketing materials but if you can include some additional 3rd party endorsements of you and your service, now you have a marketing piece that really stands out and is much more credible.
For example. . . If you have a display ad running in a subdivision's newsletter, always make sure that there is at least one testimonial posted within the ad. And if you can post a testimonial from someone who lives in that subdivision, that's even better.
This really, really works. In one subdivision I was advertising in, I happened to clean the windows of the newsletter's editor. He loved the window cleaning job I did so he was glad to provide me a testimonial.
Everyone in the subdivision knew him and his wife, so as soon as I inserted that testimonial into the ad, believability went way up, and so did my phone calls. Which of course resulted in more business. That's just one subdivision.
If you are able to secure testimonials within a subdivision you're advertising in and use them on your marketing pieces (postcards, flyers, ads, etc, obviously not everyone will be familiar with the person who gave you the testimonial so it's important that you place the subdivision's name under the person's name who provided you the testimonial.
At least this way if the testimonial giver's name isn't recognized, the subdivision's name will be. Anything you can do to lower a prospect's wall of resistance is a definite plus.
Some marketers debate whether an unsolicited testimonial is better than a solicited one.
I personally believe as long as it's a true representation of how your customer feels, what difference does it make? Who cares whether they voluntarily sent you a testimonial or you asked for it?
But. . . even though your customers will be all excited after the window washing job is done because they have clean windows, chances of them taking the time and going out of their way to send you anything is slim to none. They're busy folks. So you HAVE to ask. And you also need to make it as easy as pie for them.
That brings me to my testimonial request letter I always used when asking for testimonials from customers. Here it is:
Dear Mark and Julie:
Once again I wanted to express my appreciation for your business. Would you kindly take a moment and provide me your opinion of my window cleaning service and the job I did on your windows?
We strive for 100% perfection so your opinions are truly valuable to me.
And can I have permission to use your comments to show other people that they can feel comfortable in using my service?
I've provided a space below for your comments and have enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope for your convenience.
Have a great day and I'll see you at your next cleaning. Take care.
Sparkly Clear Window Washing Service
Let's talk about how best to present this and some other things you need to know in order to make this process work effectively.
When requesting a testimonial, it shouldn't be mixed up with the thank you letter (talked about in my manual How to Start Your Own Residential Window Washing Business) you're supposed to send when the job is completed. I mean you don't want to send out the thank you letter and then within that letter say “Oh, by the way. . . would you mind providing me a testimonial?" No.
Here's how it should go:
You've done the job and the customer is pleased. You go home and send her the thank you letter. About 2 to 3 days after you've sent off the thank you letter, send her a request to write you a little blurb about your service. Use the wording above or use your own wording.
Make sure it's on your letterhead, and enclose a folded up, self addressed, stamped envelope for them to use so they can easily jot their comments down and send ‘em back to you.
Again. . . you have to make it easy and hassle free or no one is going to bother to take the time. They may like you and your window washing service, but they're generally not going to work that hard at making sure you have a testimonial if they have to run through too many hoops. Lastly, include your business card within your “testimonial request" mailing.
Personalize the letter. Also, notice in the request above how I ask for their opinion? That's the key. People love to give opinions. So don't ask for a “testimonial". Ask for their “opinion". And always ask for permission to use their comments also.
If you do this regularly for each and every customer you clean windows for, you'll have a steady stream of testimonials coming to your mailbox all the time.
One thing you may even consider doing is compiling your testimonials together and providing them to prospects along with your estimate package you give them after you do your window washing estimate. I talk more about how to properly set up your estimate package/proposal in my manual, but imagine how powerful that would be when your prospect is rifling through your estimate proposal and they see numerous references with phone numbers along with 20, 30, 40, or more testimonials. Do you think your competitors are doing this? No Way.
And whenever you use a testimonial, make sure you don't ruin it by placing only the customer's initials underneath it. That's as good as worthless so you may as well not use it. If a customer wants to remain anonymous, then throw their comments away because they won't do you any good at all.
If you have the room within the ad where testimonials are being used (like on a web page), it's a good idea to have a statement under all testimonials that says something like this: “All the customer statements above are on file at the offices of xxxxxx Window Washing Service. "
People are pretty cynical these days so by posting a customer's full name along with the subdivision where they live, in addition to the above statement (if you're able to), you can squash the prospect's doubts whether the testimonials are real or not.
That's it. A very non-threatening process and letter simply asking for a customer's opinion. If they liked your window washing service and are overjoyed with having clean windows, you should receive many, many testimonials. The more the merrier. And don't hesitate to use ‘em to bring in more business.
Steve Wright is the author of How to Start Your Own Residential Window Washing Business, and has started hundreds of individuals on the path to success in their own window washing business as evidenced by reading what some of his students have said here . Mr. Wright has also developed a revolutionary online web-based system called The Customer Factor to assist all window washing business owners in maintaining and growing a successful business. Using both of these resources provides the one-two punch needed to catapult anyone from zero to six figures per year in the window washing business. For more information, give Mr. Wright a call at 256-546-2446 or visit either of the websites posted.