Building Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, and getting the exact same results? As most small business owners know, that trying to generate new customers can be quite hard. Just trying to stay in business takes up a lot of time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s online and social media-driven economy, ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
You may also be doing your business a great disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers are saying about your services or products. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.
In this article, we’ll show you tips for creating better results online with awesome user testimonials.
Testimonials And Client Reviews
P.T. Barnum, the great American businessman and showman, once stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Genuine reviews quoted directly from satisfied customers are far more persuasive for attracting new clients, customers or users than anything you can say about your own products or services.
There is clearly a source of untapped opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … reviews and testimonials from your happy users!
Customer testimonials and customer reviews are great for building credibility for your services and products.
Research conducted by many marketing research companies all seem to point to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your sales pages reduces doubts potential customers may have about purchasing a certain product, helps users select products and increases sales.
Below are just some of the statistics available to support this:
- According to research by eVoc Insights, a company that researches and measures user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has ratings and reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Website visitors who interact with both consumer reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with user-generated content (UGC). (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
- Customer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US internet users by online video review site EXPO. (eMarketer, February 2010).
Adding Customer Testimonials And Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Adding great testimonials and reviews to your website from very happy customers is important for growing your business online and creating a solid online reputation.
Customer testimonials and consumer reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both negatively and positively.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could be posting updates on Facebook, or a discussion thread or forum about a bad encounter they’ve just had with you or your business and this could be doing far more damage to your business than all the good work you’ve been putting into building it.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vital aspect of your success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need it) could be seriously causing damage to your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback:
Tips On How To Create Customer Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing strategy. When you quote responses from users in your content, you:
- Show other users exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help prospects identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and this facilitates the sales process.
Below are some tips on improving your sales with client testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try using your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
- Use photos of real people: Research shows that using images of people’s faces will draw the most attention of visitors browsing a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
- Tell a powerful story: Stories are so much more powerful and memorable than simply providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about how “excellent” your service has been and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add testimonials to your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. Think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind if you were to add a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before talking about the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are truly thrilled about your support before offering guarantees or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for increasing our profits by $16,794 during the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution helped us grow our business?” If possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs by in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours you have helped them save, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate during a specific financial quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Vary the testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out or have very few clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial throughout your site. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose to use it.
- Appeal to your ideal customer: As every infomercial featuring a celebrity endorsement, subject expert or “busy mom” knows, if you know who your ideal customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become can be an extremely powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials targeted to your ideal customers.
- Reprint across different platforms. If someone publishes a great comment on your Facebook page praising your customer service, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the content on your site.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to create content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to believe that the testimonials provided on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers
If you have just completed a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Follow these useful guidelines for requesting testimonials from your customers:
- Contact your customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 30 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you did not obtain one after performing a service.
- Include a text box for testimonials in all your client surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next visit clients or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording the video, describe to your viewers what you have done for your client and record your client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. When a client sends you positive written feedback that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the best sections (only use what they have written – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have done this to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To The Source
Offer to add a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in a periodic auto responder broadcast. This should be done as soon as your customers have had a chance to experience your products. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking subscribers to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to solicit testimonials from other members for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (and offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Section
Create a new section for client testimonials and place a “more client testimonials …” link to your main testimonials page throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your testimonials by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to monitoring visitor behavior on your pages.
We have written an article about a heatmap analytics technology you can add to your site to observe visitor behaviour here:
- How To Measure Visitor Behavior On Your WordPress Site With Heat Mapping Tools – Heat Map Tracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms to your pages inviting users to submit testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then refer users to your “Testimonials” page.
Check out the testimonial plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which is great for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
The Easy Testimonials plugin also can be upgraded to a “pro” version with additional features and developer support.
Go here for more information about using the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your posts and pages. You can insert customer testimonials using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
The Testimonials Widget plugin has loads more features available via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and technical support.
Visit this site to download and use the plugin:
This premium WP plugin provides many great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
- Options to display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, list layout, grid layout, etc. using a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colours, font types and more.
To download the plugin, visit this site:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Client testimonials and customer reviews are great sources of content that help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from your clients, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
For additional information about creating engaging users testimonials read the articles below:
- Ecommerce Consumer Reviews: Why You Need Them And How To Use Them
- How To Create Captivating Customer Testimonials
- 5 Tips For Knockout Testimonials
- Make Customer Testimonials Meaningful
- 7 Simple But Powerful Customer Testimonial Examples You Can Steal
- Your 5-Minute Guide To Writing an Amazing LinkedIn Recommendation
- How To Get Great LinkedIn Recommendations
We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now