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Use references and testimonials to leverage the goodwill associated with your brand

How do you go about using references and testimonials to leverage the goodwill associated with your brand? 
Well, you have to ask!  This may sound obvious, but unless you are lucky enough to receive some completely unsolicited complements from customers, it’s just not going to happen.

What is it that holds us back from asking for a reference?  

It may be the fear that if you ask the client for feedback on your service, the news may be bad, and there will be an outpouring of complaints and criticisms. If you think about it rationally, this is highly unlikely.  If you were genuinely so bad, the client would have gone to a competitor already.  Although they are happy with your service (otherwise they wouldn’t be clients at all) they may still want to let you know about things that let you down and could be improved.  For any company that is serious about listening to customers and constantly trying to improve, this feedback is vital and should be valued.

Perhaps your process doesn’t naturally include the opportunity for feedback?  That may be the case if you operate as a freelancer, for example.  In that case, you may be providing a continuous service, based on direct contact with your client.  If they wanted to give you feedback, they’d just give it to you directly – and they probably already do.  In such cases, you’ll may have to reach out to your clients directly.

There are ways to include asking for a reference as part of your business process.  For example when you send out an invoice, you may write this:

“Thanks for your recent business.  My invoice is attached.  You might have noticed that some of my long-standing clients are quoted on my website, which many people find useful when they’re trying to decide if my service is right for them.  You’ve been a client for a while now, and if you’re able to provide a few words about why you continue to use my services, that would be really helpful.”

However, you are relying on the client to notice this and take action.  

What else might hold you back from asking for a reference?  There may be a concern that you will simply add to your client’s lengthening to do list. If you have ever been asked for a reference, your first thought may well have been “What do they want me to say”?  And then, “It’s not urgent, I’ll think about it later when I have more time”.  Then it slips down the Inbox as more pressing tasks appear.  How do you remind them without becoming a nuisance?  What if they do reply with “Great service!”, which doesn’t say a lot.

Then there is the further challenge of putting your references on your website and getting them to work for you.  If there is no simple process for doing this, then the new source of testimonials will go to waste. 


The path to easily displaying references on your website can be a treacherous and even daunting one. However, at Appruvo we think we have made this path a lot smoother.  

Take a look at www.appruvo.com  

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