Building Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, only to get the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that finding new ways of generating new business can be extremely hard. Just trying to remain 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 digital, mobile and social media-driven economy, you cannot afford to ignore the effect of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Don’t ignore what consumers may be saying online about your business!
You are also doing your business a great disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your customers say about your services and products. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included throughout your content.
In this article, you will learn tips for converting more visitors into prospects with meaningful client testimonials.
Testimonials And Client Reviews
P.T. Barnum, the great American showman and businessman, is often quoted as having stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Reviews from your satisfied clients are far more persuasive for attracting new clients, customers or users than anything you have to say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of business growth potential that most businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews and testimonials from their clients!
Customer testimonials and consumer reviews are a great way to build credibility for your services and products.
Research conducted by leading marketing firms all seem to lead to the same inevitable conclusion: adding customer testimonials and consumer reviews to your sales information pages helps reduce doubts potential customers may have about buying your product, helps users select products and helps increase sales conversions.
Below are just some findings that support this:
- According to research by eVoc Insights, a company known for researching and measuring 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 can result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can translate into 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 Consumer Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
You should be adding reviews and testimonials from very happy clients who have experienced positive results with your business to your website.
Customer reviews and testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both in a negative and positive manner.
People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to your face, but they could have posted negative comments on 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 a vitally important aspect of your business success.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) could be harming your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a plugin for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business through effective customer review management:
Tips On How To Create Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing. When you include responses from clients in your content, you:
- Show other users 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 motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.
Here are some practical tips on how to create 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 to keep it ‘real’.
- 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 photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
- Tell a powerful story: Stories are far more powerful and memorable than simply providing statistical facts. 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 generalized statements about how “excellent” your service was and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add customer testimonials in your web content 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 perception if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting 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 thrilled about your support before offering a risk-free guarantee or providing content that helps your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “Since using your services, our profits have grown by $13,662 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product 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 sales 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 in a recent financial quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Use different client testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out or have very few clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site’s 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 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 best customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become can be a very powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that appeal directly to your best audience demographic.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If someone posts great feedback on your Facebook page praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Only use real client testimonials. Many people can tell if you are employing professional writers to write your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential customers need to see that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity with false testimonials.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
Always Ask For Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a happy client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Here are some useful tips for soliciting testimonials from your customers:
- Contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 30 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after performing a service.
- Include a text box for entering testimonials in all client surveys.
- Take out your phone next time you meet with 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 very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for the client and capture the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. Whenever 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 help them save time and invite them to modify what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To The Source Wherever You Publish 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 you with a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake 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 scheduled email broadcast. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to assess the results of using your product, service or solution. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking customers to provide 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 account. 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 recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to add a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Page
Create a new page for client testimonials and add a “more client testimonials …” link pointing to this section wherever you have displayed single testimonials on your content sections.
Practical Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your customer testimonials by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to monitoring what visitors are doing on your site.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your site to analyze visitor behaviour here:
Useful 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 inviting users to submit reviews and testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you then refer clients to your “Testimonials” page.
Below are a few useful WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which can be used for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides a “pro” version that has additional features and developer support.
To download and use the plugin, go here:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP 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 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 makes loads of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and plugin support.
Visit this site to download and use the plugin:
This premium plugin offers plenty 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. by adding a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colours, font types and more.
To download and use the plugin, visit this site:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Testimonials and user reviews 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 testimonials, reviews, and feedback from existing clients, and start publishing these on your web site.
The articles below provide useful information on creating engaging clients testimonials and were also helpful in providing research and 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
We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website, 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!
"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