Using testimonials to grow your business
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Using testimonials to grow your business

Who doesn’t love to hear that they're amazing? By their very nature, testimonials are full of praise. But besides cheering us up, client feedback in the form of testimonials also inspires trust for new clients.

Having said that, asking for feedback isn’t always easy. Many translators feel self-conscious about asking clients to give them testimonials, but maybe it’s the phrase “testimonial” that’s off-putting.

Re-framing it in your mind as requesting feedback on a project or client relationship is almost certainly less cringeworthy. After all, feedback is an incredibly important tool for growing your business.

You need to know what you’re doing right (so you can do more of it) and equally importantly, be aware of where you’re misstepping (so you can avoid repeating past mistakes.)

Avoid the yes/no

But simply asking clients if they enjoyed working with you nearly always results in a simple “Yes/No” response, which isn’t nearly as enlightening as you need it to be.

That’s why we always recommend that the questions you ask after a project fulfill two criteria:

  1. They’re open-ended.
  2. They’re targeted.

By doing this, you’ll receive information to help you improve (or keep up your high standards), as well as details about working with you that a potential client will find useful. Why is this latter part important? Because it gives them some insight into the customer experience they’d have if they worked with you.

What do you want to know?

We’ve established that the key to getting feedback you can actually use is in how you structure it. The first step is to think about what you want to know, then you’ll be able to create the targeted, open-ended questions you need to get that information.

Let’s think about some of the things you might want to find out:

  1. Was I easy to work with?
  2. How was my communication style?
  3. How was my subject matter expertise?
  4. What were your concerns prior to working with me?
  5. Can you share any outcomes you experienced as a result of the translation?

Take a compliment

The next step is probably the scary part. It’s where you start to ask questions about whether they enjoyed working with you.

We get it. It seems a little needy to ask this.

Also, for many translators, the idea of sharing this information publicly seems particularly embarrassing. Won’t it seem boastful? In one word: no.

We’re guessing you’re most self-conscious about translator colleagues reading these testimonials. But let’s consider this question: Are your translator colleagues your ideal clients?

We’re guessing no!

Now that’s settled, let’s propose some additional questions to ask your clients when you’re requesting feedback:

  1. What, specifically, was your favourite part of working with me on our recent project?
  2. If you were to recommend my translation services to a business associate, what would you say?

Time it right

Hopefully these suggestions give you some ideas for when you next request feedback. One final tip: Try to make your feedback request a standard part of your project wrap-up.

When you delay and send a request for feedback weeks after the project has finished, not only does the awkwardness increase (on your part), but the fond memories fade for the client. It’s best to get their feedback when it’s still fresh in their head.

How can help

With, you can save the feedback you receive (or any positive comment your clients give you) centrally in your CRM. This means you can find them easily when you want to share them with a new prospect, display them on your website….or read them just for fun.
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