How To Build 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 business owners know, that finding effective ways to generate new business can be hard. Just trying to stay in business takes a lot of your time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s online economy, it’s a mistake to ignore the impact of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Don’t ignore what clients may be saying online about your business!
You are also doing your business a disservice if you don’t spread the positive things your customers are saying about your products or services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.
In this article, you will learn all you need to know to get better results online using engaging user testimonials.
Customer Reviews And Testimonials
The great, legendary showman and successful promoter P.T. Barnum once said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine testimonials from satisfied clients are far more persuasive for drawing new customers, clients or users than anything you can say about your own products or services.
There is clearly a source of untapped business growth potential that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … testimonials and reviews from their clients!
Customer reviews and customer testimonials are a powerful way to build credibility for your services and products.
Marketing studies conducted by many leading research firms all point to the same inevitable conclusion: testimonials and user reviews help decrease doubts potential customers may have about purchasing products, help users select products and increases the number of product sales.
Below are just some of the findings available to support this:
- According to research by eVoc Insights, an organization that researches and measures user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a web site if it has ratings and user reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews can produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Site visitors who interact with both 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 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).
Adding User Testimonials And Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Adding testimonials and reviews to your website from customers who are thrilled with the results they’ve obtained by using your services is essential for helping you grow your business.
Customer testimonials and customer reviews, however, can work both ways and affect your business both negatively and positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could post negative words on Facebook or a forum group 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 vitally important to your success.
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 it) may be harming your business without you even being aware of it.
See this article to learn more about a simple tool for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage customer reviews:
Tips On How To Create Profit Boosting Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy. When you include responses from clients in your content, you:
- Show others exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
- Help visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help prospects connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.
Here are some tips on improving your sales conversions with sales boosting client testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: You should try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps preserve the authenticity of your testimonials.
- Use photos: Research shows that using images of people’s faces will draw the most attention of visitors on a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
- Tell a powerful story: Stories are so much more powerful and captivating than providing mere facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about how “excellent” your service has been and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add testimonials in your web content where it makes the most sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help to sell your point. Think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are genuinely ecstatic about your customer service when offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for helping to increase our revenue by $45,081 during the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ software has helped us grow our sales?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours of work they have saved, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate in a recent financial period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same customer testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial throughout your web 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 launch discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose 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 aspire to become is a very powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that speak directly to your best audience demographic.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook page praising your solution, ask them for permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Don’t use fake testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials you provide on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
If you have just completed performing a service, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Follow these tips for requesting testimonials from customers:
- Make it a part of your business processes to contact clients after 30 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after performing a service.
- Include a field for entering testimonials in your client surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next visit a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a brief video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for the client and make sure to capture their positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. When clients send you a positive email thanking you for a great service 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 edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To Their Site Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in a periodic newsletter message. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to assess the effect of using your products. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your email and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to request testimonials from other members for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (and offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a new page for customer testimonials and add a “more customer testimonials …” link to this section throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your client testimonials by how long visitors stay 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 adding heatmaps to your sites to observe visitor behaviour here:
Using Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add a form to your pages where users can 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” section.
Here are some great plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, their logo, etc.
The plugin also provides a “pro” version that offers additional features and technical support.
To download and use the plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free WordPress plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your WordPress site. You can insert testimonials content using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.
The plugin makes plenty of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and developer support.
To download and use the plugin, go here:
This is a premium plugin that provides many great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
- Display options for your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, grid layout, list layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.
Go here to learn more about this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
User reviews and testimonials are great sources of content that can help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from your clients, and start publishing these on your web site.
The articles below are a great source of information about creating engaging testimonials and were used when researching information for sections of this article:
- 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
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