Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Learn how to build and grow your online business reputation using testimonials and user reviews.

How To Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Discover How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With Sales Boosting Customer Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most business owners know, that finding new ways of generating new business can be extremely hard. Just trying to remain in business takes up a lot of your time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.

In today’s digital, mobile and social-driven economy, ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

Discover How To Convert More Visitors Into Prospects Using Effective Testimonials

Don’t ignore what consumers may be saying online about your business!

You may also be doing your business a disservice if you don’t promote the positive things your clients are saying about your products, solutions, user support, training, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included as part of your content.

In this article, you’ll learn how to convert more visitors into qualified prospects using profit-boosting client testimonials.

Consumer Reviews

Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum, the great American showman and successful promoter, is often quoted as having said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine reviews and testimonials from your existing users are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers than anything you have to say about your own products or services.

There is a source of untapped opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers!

Testimonials and consumer reviews are effective for building credibility for your services or products.

Studies conducted by many leading marketing research firms all point to the same conclusion: adding customer reviews and testimonials to your sales information pages helps to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying certain products, helps with product selection and helps increase sales.

Here are just some statistics that 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 customer reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, user reviews can produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • Web site visitors who interact with both user 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).
  • Consumer 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).

(Source: eConsultancy.com)

Adding Consumer Reviews And Testimonials – Managing Online Reputation

You should be adding testimonials and reviews from delighted customers to your site.

Customer testimonials and reviews, however, can work both ways and affect your business both positively or negatively.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could post damaging feedback on Facebook or a forum about a bad experience they’ve just had using your products 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 important to your success.

Discover How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With Compelling Customer Testimonials

Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need to worry about it) could be seriously harming your business without you even realizing this.

Important

See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business through effective user review management:

Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With Captivating Testimonials

Tips On Improving Your Conversions With Testimonials

Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be added to your content. When you include responses from clients in your content, you:

  • Show other users exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
  • Help your visitors identify their objections and address these.
  • Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them closer to a decision to purchase.

Here are some useful tips on improving your sales with testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: You should try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps preserve your testimonials’ authenticity.
  • Use photos of real people: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the most attention of visitors on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
  • Tell a powerful story: Stories are so much more effective and captivating than simply providing statistical facts. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about how “excellent” the service was and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials to your site copy where it makes the most sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your customer service before offering guarantees or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “As a direct result of using your services, we grew our bottom line by $36,229 during the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ software helped us grow our business?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs 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 in a recent financial quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
  • Vary the testimonials on your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your site’s pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more client 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 decide to use it.
  • Appeal to your target audience: 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 can relate to is a really 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 testimonials across different platforms. If you get great feedback on your Facebook page praising your customer service, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
  • Don’t use fake testimonials. Your prospects need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.

How To Get Testimonials From Customers

Ask For Testimonials

Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.

Follow these tips for soliciting testimonials:

  • Contact clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 30 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after performing a service.
  • Include a text box for entering testimonials in your client surveys.
  • Pull out your phone next time you meet with a client or hand over a finished job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a very brief video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, explain to viewers what you have done for the client and make sure to record their positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy for them. If a client sends you a positive email thanking you for a great job that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the best sections (only use what they have given you – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have done this to save them time and let them know they are completely free to modify what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.

Offer To Post A Link Back To The Source Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial

Offer to add a link to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.

Include A Testimonial Request In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced newsletter message. This should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to assess the effect of using your services. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking them to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to request testimonials for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite 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 site (you can offer to publish a link back to their website or profile in exchange).

Create A Client Testimonials Page

Create a new section for customer testimonials and place a “read more client testimonials …” link to this page throughout your site.

Useful Tip

Practical Tip: You can measure how effective customer testimonials are by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for monitoring what visitors are doing on your site are “heatmaps”.

We have written an article about a heatmap analytics software you can add to your site to analyze visitor behaviour here:

Useful WordPress Testimonial Plugins

If your site or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages inviting users to submit testimonials.

Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), all you have to do is refer customers to your “Testimonials” page.

Check out the WordPress testimonial plugins below:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you publish a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.

The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides users with a “pro” version that has additional features and technical support.

Visit this site for more information about using this plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free WordPress plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your web site. You can insert user testimonials using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.

Testimonials Widget provides a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and developer support.

Go here to download and use the plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

This premium WordPress plugin provides a range of great features right out of the box, including:

  • Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
  • Options to display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, list layout, grid layout, etc. by adding a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.

Go here to download and use the plugin:

Info

To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:

In Conclusion …

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 testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your site.

Resources

The articles below provide useful information about creating effective clients testimonials and were helpful in providing research and information for sections of this article:

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 show you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews.