How to Create Best Surveys for Testimonials and Ratings


Why is collecting customers’ testimonials and ratings for your products or services so important? The answer is simple: these two types of social proof are a powerful sales tool. Nothing is more persuasive than your real satisfied customers.

What are you looking for when choosing a restaurant? Yes, it’s testimonials. When looking for a consultant? It’s definitely testimonials. When picking a new gadget? Sure, you are looking for testimonials and star ratings. The concept is clear.

But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s take a look at statistics. First, 95 percent of customers take into consideration reviews before making a purchase. Second, positive feedback equals higher brand credibility and, as a result, leads to significant improvements in conversion rates. More social proof, more customers.

The social proof benefits don’t end there. With testimonials and ratings, you can step up your SEO game, improve your organic search rankings, and make your website more ‘clickable’. This list is almost endless: social proof is a valuable asset for your marketing strategy, product and business development, etc. 

So customer testimonials and product or service ratings are essential to just about any business. But the truth is, your customers don’t hurry to provide you with meaningful feedback. And chances are, you don’t know how to start this conversation and what to ask.

In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide and best practices on how to collect testimonials and ratings with a winning survey. Ready? Let’s dive right in!


Put together a survey to collect powerful customer testimonials

Using surveys for collecting testimonials (and ratings) brings you two major benefits. First and foremost, surveys help you gather testimonials quickly. Then, they give respondents enough time to be thoughtful about their answers. On the other hand, the collected testimonials can be low-quality or too short. Here comes the question of how to create a truly powerful survey.

The first step is to define what testimonials will make a difference for your business. Remember all these pointless, boring, or super-exciting testimonials without describing the measurable benefits of products or services? Don’t waste your time collecting and publishing them, these testimonials are useless.

Instead, you need a brief and solid prospect-winning testimonial about your customers’ successful transformation:

  1.  Use the formula ‘before state -> after state -> call-to-action’. 
  2. Think of it as a short and concentrated success story, three to five short, carefully picked phrases, 80 words or fewer. 
  3. And most importantly, include at least 3 specific measurable achievements in each testimonial.

Second, you should ask meaningful questions to get a meaningful testimonial. The question like ‘Hi, what do you think about my product?’ isn’t enough. Instead, your questions have to guide your customers through every stage of their experience with your product or services. 

  • Highlight previous customers’ pain points:

– What was going on in the business that sent you looking for a solution like ours?

– If prospects find themselves in the situation described in the testimonial, you will definitely have their attention.

  • Pinpoint other solutions:

– Have you tried any alternative products before? If yes, please name them.

The answer may give you valuable information about your competitors. What’s more, it will motivate your prospects to stop wasting their time on unsuccessful solutions.

– What are the three top reasons why you chose us over our competitors?

Here you will learn how to differ from the competition and sharpen your marketing activities.

  • Uncover the objections:

– Were there any hesitations or concerns before making the decision to buy the Product / Service?

Although you won’t use this information in the testimonial, it will help you discover the possible weaknesses of your marketing, website, pricing, etc.

  • Show the benefits the customers have experienced:

– What three specific benefits did you gain from the Product / Service?

– What changed after using it?

– What did you find as a result of your experience with the Product / Service? 

  • Make sure your satisfied customers write in a few sentences about how they have benefited. It’s a key part of testimonials. There a few alternative questions:

– What key metrics of your business / life have been improved through the use of our products (efficiency, cost savings, etc.)? Please specify numbers, if any.

– What positive changes have you seen after using the Product / Service?

– What has been improved in your day-to-day working routine? 

  • Highlight the most valuable features:

– What top three features are you most excited about?

  • Insert a call-to-action:

– What type of person do you think would benefit most from the Product / Service?

Your prospects will recognize themselves while reading the testimonials which include this information. 

– Would you recommend the Product / Service to others? If so, why? If you wanted to recommend it to a friend, what would you say? 

Answering these questions, your customers will compose a perfect call-to-action. So place these answers at the end of the testimonial.

Third, know who you will send the questionnaire to. In other words, you need to identify the specific types of customers that would resonate with your target audience the most by answering the following questions: Which customers are you hoping to attract? What benefits would resonate with them?


PRO TIP: Use video testimonials along with text ones

While text testimonials are outstanding, don’t forget about even more powerful type of reviews – video testimonials. They are much more eye-catching, engaging, and persuasive than a copy: we are more likely to buy after watching video content. 

Why are videotaped testimonials an ideal icebreaker between you and your prospects? They create an emotional connection between the customers who use your product and those who still hesitate to buy. Next, video testimonials can show your product in action (or the results of using it). And also, this format gives existing customers time to tell a more complete story answering the survey.

On the other hand, it can be difficult and time-consuming to produce a video and film for more than a handful of customers. Luckily, with a comprehensive platform like Trust you can automate and accelerate the process of collecting video testimonials. We’ll discuss this in more detail in a bit.

video testimonial


Create an effective survey to collect star ratings easily

Star ratings are probably the most well-recognized, widely used, flexible, quick, and convenient way to collect customer feedback. In a nutshell, star rating allows customers to rank their opinion on a 5-point scale from 1 to 5. The more stars, the more satisfied your customers are.

Experience survey text

Also, the great news is, a star rating doesn’t require creating lengthy surveys. It can contain a wide range of questions (or just one) while offering easy-to-answer survey experience. The most typical and simple scenario is:

  • Providing a 5-point scale to answer the main question (or a few of them)

This type of question gives a quick overview of what customers think about your products and services. Here you can ask how they like your particular product, service, or any other aspect of your business.

– On a scale of one to five, how likely are you to recommend our Business / Product / Service to a friend or colleague?

– On a scale of one to five, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the quality of the Product / Service?

  • Adding one or a few open-ended comment questions to help respondents explain their responses

– What was missing or disappointing in your experience with us?

– How can we improve your experience?

– Which features do you value the most?

– What is the one thing we could do to make you happier?

– What do you like most / least about the Product / Service?

As you can see, star rating surveys provide you with numerous benefits. They are easy to produce, it’ll probably take two minutes to put together one or two questions mentioned above. They are quick to answer: all it takes is to click on the stars. They are easy to analyze. However, there are some key considerations when deploying your star rating surveys that will help you avoid turning your questions into overly complex surveys:

  1. Keep it short. So resist the urge to combine questions using the word ‘and’, for instance. In other words, don’t ask about the quality of your product and customer service in a single question. To collect more accurate feedback, narrow the focus to one specific topic in each question.
  2. Keep it simple. Avoid using too many words. Avoid using specific words (for example, ‘How was it simple to make a conversion via our new widget?’). That will definitely confuse respondents, and they just won’t answer you. 


How to automate the process of gathering testimonials and star ratings

Now you know how to create a winning survey to get meaningful feedback. But what to do next? How to reach out to customers?

First of all, there are a few ground rules we’d advise you to follow when collecting testimonials and ratings. These rules will foster the process rather than automate it:

  1. Don’t put it off waiting for customer testimonials or ratings to roll in. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get feedback.
  2. Don’t miss the right timing. Watch the moment when the customer has just made a purchase or expressed their satisfaction with your products or services.
  3. Put together a sample testimonial to save customers’ time and offer them to either accept it, tweak it, or write their own. Sometimes customers just don’t know what they should write. 
  4. Having received testimonials or ratings, thank customers. 
  5. Don’t hesitate to follow up.

Now let’s move forward and figure out how to minimize your efforts and automate the process of collecting customers’ feedback. Frankly speaking, gathering feedback is time-consuming, especially if you have to do it manually. By adopting a testimonial platform like Trust, you can save your valuable time. The tool offers the functionality to automatically gather and display text & video testimonials with 5-star ratings. 

question and answer series

The process of gathering text and video testimonials with Trust is simple. It includes a few quite easy steps

1) Make arrangements with the client to get a testimonial from them.

2) Prepare a personal survey for the client based on the way they prefer to leave the text review or video testimonial. 

3) Add your own video to say hi or whatever you like (optionally).

4) The customer receives a link to the form and leaves a video or text testimonial with all the additional information like image, full name, age, country, etc.

FYI: With the help of Trust, your clients have a few ways to leave the video testimonials. They have the ability to:

  • Upload an existing video from their computer
  • Give the URL to an existing YouTube or Facebook video
  • Record a new video using their desktop webcam or smartphone

4) Trust offers an additional handy feature to e-sign a contract between you and the respondent. That allows you to freely use clients’ testimonials.

5) You approve the testimonial and customize its look if needed. If you don’t have time to customize a testimonial, choose one of the pre-defined templates.

6) The testimonial goes live on your website as a popup notification or an onpage widget:

Testimonial widget type 1


8 quick steps to create a good survey to start collecting testimonials and ratings today

We’re entering the home stretch! 

To sum up this article, there are 8 simple steps to create the most effective survey and get powerful testimonials and ratings:

  1. Don’t put it off. 
  2. Choose customers who reflect your target audience to send them a survey.
  3. Don’t miss the right timing. Ask for a testimonial right after purchase.
  4. Ask meaningful questions mentioned above.
  5. Adopt Trust to automate the process of gathering and featuring text & video testimonials.
  6. Send the client a link to the personal survey. Or let Trust do it automatically.
  7. Don’t hesitate to follow up.
  8. When you receive testimonials, thank clients personally.

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