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How design agencies can get five-star reviews — fast

Asking for a testimonial sucks. So put the process on autopilot

Here’s something I’ve never understood. I’ve worked in, alongside, with and for design agencies for ten years now. And not a single one has handled the offboarding process well.

I’ve never (never!) been asked for a review. I’ve never been followed up after go-live. And I’ve never had anyone check in with me to see if I’d like to send them more work.

If this sounds like your studio, I think you’re sleeping on a huge opportunity. I know it feels awkward to get in touch with clients — even the happiest ones! — after the project’s done and dusted.

So, why not put the whole process on autopilot?

1. Create your dream offboarding process

If you had oodles of time, a huge client services team and a bunch of money, how would you communicate with your clients once each project wraps?

Would you send them gifts?

Ask them to feature in a video case study?

Set up a quarterly planning meeting at your studio?

Once you have the perfect plan in mind, take a step back at look at what parts of the process you could put on autopilot.

How many check-ins would you like to have? How can you provide value and invite engagement… even after the project concludes?

Once you have your MVP offboarding, it’s time to write some templates.

2. Write your emails

The key to an offboarding process is creating a bunch of email templates, ready to pop into your CRM or email scheduler. Here’s a testimonial template you can use — I recommend sending this while the project is still in progress, or immediately after it wraps up.

Hi [client name]

We’ll cut to the chase: we’ve loved working on the [project name] project with you. If we could fill our pipelines with 100 more [client name]s, then we’d be a very happy design studio. 

 With that in mind, we’d like to ask you a favour. Could you please write us a review on Google or Facebook to tell others about your experience working with us? 

It’d mean the absolute world to us — plus it’ll get us one step further to ONLY working with [client name]s for the rest of our lives. Sounds incredible.

Thanks, [client name]. We love your work!

3. Schedule them in

Finally, you’ll need to actually, you know, send the emails. You’ve got two choices here:

  1. Pop them into an automated workflow, add each client in as you wrap up the project, and just let the emails work their magic.
  2. Use your email provider and manually schedule the emails in once you’ve wrapped up the project.

Either way, the idea is, you’ll set it all up and then you’ll forget about it. No chance of psyching yourself out. No wasted review-asking opportunities.

4. Watch your reviews (and repeat business) grow

If you’ve worked on dozens — nay, hundreds — of design projects but only have a review or two to show for it? This process will definitely turn things around for you.

It takes the awkwardness out of the ask, but it means you’re still asking. Every time.

So. Get out there and start offboarding your clients properly!

Love your work!