Building Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, and getting the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new customers can be difficult. 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 users may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Don’t ignore what your customers may be saying online about your business!
You are also doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers say about your products and services. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing.
In this article, you will learn ways to improve your conversions using profit-boosting customer testimonials.
Testimonials And User Reviews
P.T. Barnum, the great, legendary showman and businessman, once said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Using social proof as content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine reviews quoted directly from satisfied customers are far more persuasive for drawing new clients than anything you can say about your own products or services.
There is a source of untapped opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … user testimonials and reviews!
User reviews and testimonials are a fantastic way to build credibility for your services and products.
Tests conducted by many leading firms all point to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your point of sale pages helps reduce doubts potential customers may have about purchasing products or services that you are trying to sell, helps users select products and increases the number of product sales.
Here are just some of the statistics available to support this:
- According to a study 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, customer reviews can 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.
- Web site 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 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 Client Testimonials And Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Clearly, you should be adding positive testimonials and reviews from very happy clients who have experienced positive results with your business to your site.
Reviews and testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both positive and negative ways.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could have posted damaging comments on Facebook or a user thread 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 a vitally important aspect of your online success.
Misconceptions about engaging in online reputation management practices, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) may be hurting your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your products through effective customer review management:
How To Create User Testimonials – Useful Tips
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing strategy. When you include responses from users in your content, you:
- Show other users exactly what pains and problems your products and services can help to solve for them and how easily this can be done.
- Help prospects identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them closer to a decision to purchase.
Here are some practical tips on creating user testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: You should try using the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps preserve your testimonials’ authenticity.
- 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 increase visitor engagement with your content.
- Use the power of storytelling: Stories are so much more powerful and captivating than just providing statistical facts. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” the support has been and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add testimonials to your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. For example, think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s mind if you were to display a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your product or service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are truly ecstatic about your customer service before offering guarantees or providing content designed to help readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for increasing our revenue by $15,756 during the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ product has helped us grow our sales?” If possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits 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.
- Use different customer testimonials on your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out or have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your website. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more client testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special launch discount for existing 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 aspire to become is a 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 content across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook page praising your business, contact them privately asking for permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Your prospects need to believe that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.
How To Get 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 useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials from your clients:
- Make it a part of your business processes to contact clients after 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing your service.
- Include a text box for testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
- Pull out your phone next time you visit 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 your video, explain to viewers what you have done for the client and capture the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy and write it for them. Whenever 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 written – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have done this to help them save time and invite them to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To Their Site
Offer to post a link back to their website 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.
Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in a scheduled newsletter message. This should be done after your customers have had a chance to experience your products. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking customers to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to obtain testimonials from other members that become part of your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation receives 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 add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Section
Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “read more client testimonials …” link pointing to this page whenever you have added new testimonials on your site.
Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of testimonials by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing visitor behaviour on your site.
We have written an article about a heatmap software you can add to your website to monitor visitor behavior here:
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 let you add forms to your pages where users can submit feedback and testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), all you have to do is send clients to your “Testimonials” page.
Below are some testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add client testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a company logo, etc.
The plugin also provides a “pro” version that has additional features and developer support.
Go here to download the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your web site. You can insert 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 plugin offers extra features via a premium version, including built-in functions for improved search engine results and developer support.
Visit this site to learn more about using the plugin:
This is a premium WP plugin that provides a range of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for correct display on any device or browser.
- Display your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, list layout, grid layout, etc. using 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:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Customer 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 site.
The articles below are a great source of information about creating effective clients testimonials and were also 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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