The first thing that I look out for when I’m Googling for a restaurant isn’t its menu. Nope. Instead, the first thing that I eyeball is the number of gold stars from customer reviews. Anything above 4 stars out of 5 then attracts me to visit its website to learn more.
The same principle applies when I seek out a physiotherapist or other service provider.
The more positive reviews a product or service has, the more it sells. That’s because people will naturally find customer reviews (or independent third party assessments) more credible than the business speaking for itself.
There are many product and service testimonial templates out there. But what about coaching testimonial questions or a framework that’s specific for coaches?
As part of your business process, it is essential that ‘Get coaching client testimonials’ is on your to-do list!
In this article, we will help you come up with a testimonial framework and show you how to ask the right questions to obtain valuable testimonials from your coaching clients.
We will provide answers to these frequently asked questions by coaches:
What needs to be included in a coaching testimonial?
How do I get quality client testimonials instead of mediocre ones?
What drives a quality testimonial?
BENEFITS OF CLIENT TESTIMONIALS FOR YOUR COACHING BUSINESS
The definition of testimonial is: “a statement to the benefits received or a letter of recommendation”.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what should go into a client testimonial, here are five benefits of how positive testimonials can help scale your coaching business:
Positive reviews increase the probability of interested prospects converting into buyers and loyal customers.
According to Hubspot.com, testimonials give consumers important information without being “salesy” and give potential customers the opportunity to do their own research and due diligence.
Testimonials help you to better understand your customers’ needs.
Coaches can make better decisions. They can determine which business aspects should remain the same and what needs to change for their services to stay relevant, to better serve their clients.
A coaching testimonial is also a powerful marketing tool that complements your social media presence and word-of-mouth referrals.
According to Usetrust.io, testimonials can improve your search rankings: the more reviews or testimonials, the more clicks on your website link in the search engines.
Finding coaching clients and having a strong social media presence for your coaching business is vital, but being able to obtain valuable client feedback and testimonials will help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
BEST COACHING TESTIMONIAL FRAMEWORK
Every good plan includes ‘pre’, ‘during’ and ‘post’ phases.
This is the part where you draw out the questions of where, when, why, what and how of a customer journey map to help you better understand the flow of feelings that your client will be in, when you ask for a testimonial.
Whose testimonials should you use?
This seems like a pretty straightforward thing, but remember to use testimonials from clients that have actually worked with you and benefited from your services. Quoting fictitious people or of your Aunt Marie isn’t credible and if you get caught out, can have disastrous consequences!
When is the right time to ask for a testimonial?
Thecoachingtoolscompany.com gave 4 good examples of when you should ask for a testimonial:
The easiest way to ask for a testimonial is right away when a client says something glowing about you. Simply ask if it's OK to use what they said as a testimonial. Make sure you get written permission - see final thoughts below.
A great time to ask for a testimonial is when you do a monthly or quarterly review.
Ask when a client is wrapping up with you.
Finally, try asking when your client has just had a big success.
What kind of coaching testimonial questions should I ask to get high-quality testimonials?
Before you get into the details of how to frame effective coaching testimonial questions, let’s first take a look at an example of a low-quality testimonial from Usetrust.io:
“X is an exceptional trainer, his methods and delivery are brilliant – lots to learn from him!
A natural teacher and extremely funny! Very well organized and presented training. X approached a difficult subject in a considered and informative manner. X clearly has a wealth of industry experience and knowledge which he readily demonstrates! Amazing how quickly you can build lasting friendships with your peers. Great sense of humor and personable manner – thank you for a great day. I will look forward to meeting up and staying in touch. What a bunch!”
It is too long and it mentions no measurable value of dealing with the coach.
To avoid low-quality testimonials, here are the coaching testimonial questions that you should ask to get credible and high-quality testimonials:
According to Forbes.com, the secret to getting powerful testimonials that will help you get repeat sales is to offer ‘prompts’.
Here are 5 powerful questions that you can start with:
What was your problem before you bought/joined (our product/service)?
Purpose: This question allows your client to share detailed information which future clients might be able to relate to.
Have you tried something else to solve your challenges? How did it go?
Purpose: This question will give you insights on your competitors or provide further insights on the challenges and pain points that your clients face.
What was your biggest “aha” moment during our coaching journey together? How did you feel that you transformed or changed as a result?
Purpose: How you design your coaching sessions may differ from how your clients view it. Responses to this question may provide you with insights on a fresh perspective of change or to better appreciate what you’re doing well.
How would you explain our work or process to someone else who may be going through the same challenges or obstacles?
Purpose: These answers will help you better understand your target audience and a portrait of an ideal client.
Is there anything else you want to tell me?
Do keep in mind that ‘testimonials’ and ‘feedback’ are 2 separate things.
According to Fizzle.co, the purpose of a testimonial is to share the highlights of what you’ve done together and explain what it’s like to work with you to other potential clients. The purpose of feedback is private, constructive criticism to help you continue to grow and improve.
Testimonials are indeed powerful for your coaching business to scale. The secret to getting client testimonials is to ask for them!
You don’t need to be coy or bashful. If your client has benefited from your coaching and they have achieved significant personal victory, they will recommend you, without hesitation.
It’s human nature to want to spread good news and let others know about the great things that they have accomplished and how they did it. It’s exactly why people write reviews.
Businesses also take proactive action to hand out feedback forms to satisfied customers to ‘win the moment’. Their feedback form may have simple Yes/No questions, followed by questions seeking qualitative inputs.
This is where they can then seek the customer’s consent to verbatim quote them on their website, and glean the magic of a powerful testimonial!
Remember, don’t be passive and wait for clients to submit their testimonial. People are busy! It’s always better for you to be proactive and actively seek client testimonials.
CoachVantage has an inbuilt Forms builder tool. It helps you to create forms and questionnaires which are perfect for sending to clients to actively seek their comments.
When you create a form to obtain client testimonials, keep in mind the effective coaching testimonial question examples that we described above. You can use these questions on your form.
Once they have submitted their response, all client responses are aggregated so you have a complete picture of all verbatim comments. You can then craft a few sentences to form a credible client testimonial that you can use on your website!
Tip: Be sure to let clients know in the form that their comments may be used on your website and other public domains, and seek their explicit consent to do so.
Click on the link below for a free trial of CoachVantage and see how effective it is for you to obtain client testimonials!