Copyblogger has a post today on 5 Tips for Knockout Testimonials. Whether you're business specializes in professional services or in ecommerce -- or any other business in fact -- you can benefit from testimonials on your web site.

Web sites are, by nature, impersonal. There's no one to greet your web site visitor when they arrive at your web site, and your site visitors also come with concerns about whether they'll be getting what you claim on your site. Testimonials ally those concerns since testimonials tend to be specific, objective and relevant.

In addition to Copyblogger's 5 tips, here are a few more tips to get effective testimonials from your clients/customers.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for a testimonial. Many business owners aren't completely comfortable asking for testimonials. Perhaps it's because they don't think they need testimonials or they are afraid that the customer will say "no." In my experience, most clients/customers will gladly share a testimonial.
  • Know how to ask for a testimonial. Asking a customer face-to-face is best, but over the phone is good as well. If you ask by e-mail, you'll want to include some guidelines (see the next bullet point) so the customer knows how to structure the testimonial.
  • Know what information to ask for. Be sure to ask the customer to specifically describe what work you performed for them. If relevant to your business, ask them to comment on your adherence to schedule and budget. Ask them to comment on the intangibles of how you did the job and finally, ask them to share results. Some customers/clients might be reluctant to share specific results, but ask them to be as specific as possible.

When people buy something or acquire a service, they are seeking a solution to a problem. If your testimonials can describe the problems your customers had and solutions your company provided, you're well on the way to convincing prospective customers to work with you.