Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be hard. Just trying to keep your business afloat requires a lot of 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, you simply can’t afford to ignore the impact of online consumer behavior, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Ignoring what customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you may also be doing your business a great disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers say about your products or services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing.
In this article, you will learn how to improve your sales conversions using effective client testimonials.
Customer Reviews And Testimonials
Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum, legendary American showman, is often quoted as having said 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 and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine reviews from satisfied customers are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new clients 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 … customer reviews and testimonials!
Reviews and customer testimonials are a terrific way to build credibility for your services and products.
Research conducted by marketing companies all point to the same inevitable conclusion: adding testimonials and customer reviews to your sales information pages reduces doubts potential customers may have about products or services that you are trying to sell, helps users select products and increases conversions of visitors into sales.
Below are just some findings that support this:
- According to research findings 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 site if it has ratings and reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, customer reviews can produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user 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 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
Clearly, you should be adding great reviews and testimonials from customers to your website.
Testimonials and customer reviews, however, can work both ways and impact your business both negatively and positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to your face, but they could post updates on a forum about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vitally important aspect of your online business success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need it) could be harming your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a plugin for WordPress users that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your products through effective user review management:
Tips For Creating Sales Boosting Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included in your content marketing strategy. When you quote your own customer responses in your content, you:
- Show other users exactly what problems and pains your products and services can help solve for them and how easily this can be done.
- Help prospects identify and address their objections.
- Help prospects 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 conversions with compelling user testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try using your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos: Marketing studies show that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are far more powerful and memorable than providing mere facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” the support was and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add customer testimonials to your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help to sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception if you were to insert a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are truly thrilled about your support when offering a risk-free guarantee or addressing objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements is more powerful… “As a direct result of using your services, we have seen our revenue grow by $97,424 during the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our sales?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours of work you have helped them save, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate during a specific financial period, 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 if you are just starting out and have very few clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your web pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more customer 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 target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to 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 best audience demographic.
- Reprint content across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook page praising your customer service, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
Always Ask For Testimonials
When you complete a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Here are some useful guidelines for requesting testimonials:
- Contact your clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 30 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you did not obtain one after completing your service.
- Add a text box for testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
- Pull out your phone next time you visit clients or hand over a finished job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a quick video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, describe to viewers what you have done for your client and try to record the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy for them. When clients send 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 – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and let them know they are completely free to edit what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To The Source
Offer to add a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.
Include A Testimonial Request In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include requests for a testimonial in one of your newsletter broadcasts. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to experience your solution. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials from other members for your account. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “read more testimonials …” link pointing to this page whenever you have displayed blocks of testimonials on 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 adding heatmaps to your website to predict visitor behavior here:
- How To Understand User Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Heatmapping Software – HeatMap Tracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages inviting users to submit feedback and testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then refer users to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are some WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you add a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a business logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also comes with a “pro” version that has additional features and developer support.
Visit this site for more information about the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your pages and posts. You can insert user testimonials via 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 added features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and technical support.
To download and use this plugin, go here:
This is a premium plugin that provides a range of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
- Display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, grid layout, list layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize 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 Summary …
Customer reviews and client testimonials are powerful 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 customers or clients, and start publishing these on your website.
For additional sources of information and resources about creating engaging clients testimonials see 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 show you how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating high-quality content for your 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!
"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