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, only to get the exact same disappointing results? Most business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be difficult. Just trying to keep your business afloat takes up 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 media-driven economy, you just can’t ignore the significance of online consumer behavior, especially if they are talking about your business.
Ignoring what your 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 disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers say about your products, services, client support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.
In this article, we’ll show you how to turn more visitors into prospects with knockout client testimonials.
Testimonials And Consumer Reviews
Legendary showman and businessman Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum once said 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 and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine reviews from satisfied clients are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new clients, customers or users than anything you have to say about your own products or services.
There is clearly an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews and testimonials from their satisfied users!
Testimonials and reviews are terrific for building credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by many leading companies all point to the same conclusion: testimonials and user reviews help to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about purchasing products or solutions that you are trying to sell, help with product selection and help increase sales.
Below are just some of the statistics 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 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 mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web site visitors who interact with both customer 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).
Adding Client Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management
Adding great reviews and testimonials to your website from clients who are delighted with the results they’ve obtained by using your products or services is essential for helping you grow your business.
Reviews and customer testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both in a negative or positive way.
People may not be saying bad things about your products directly to you, but they could be posting negative comments on Facebook, or a forum or discussion thread about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your staff 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 vital 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) may be seriously harming your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your services through effective customer review management:
Improving Your Sales Conversions With Powerful Client Testimonials – Useful Tips
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of marketing your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing. When you include responses from users in your content, you:
- Show potential customers exactly what problems and pains your products and services can help solve for them and how easily it can do this.
- Help potential customers identify their objections and address these.
- Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and facilitate the sales process.
Here are some practical tips on how to create testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps preserve your testimonials’ authenticity.
- Use photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more effective and memorable than just providing statistical facts. The ability 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 presenting generalized statements about excellent customer service and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: It’s good to add testimonials to your web content where it makes the most sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help to sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your product pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your support when offering a risk-free guarantee or providing content designed to help readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful: “Since implementing XYZ solution, we have seen a revenue growth of $55,672 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our sales?” If 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 in a recent financial period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Use different testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site’s pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you decide to use it.
- Appeal to your best customer: 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 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 speak directly to your ideal customers.
- Reprint content across different platforms. If someone posts fantastic feedback on your Facebook wall praising your business, ask them permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Never use fake client testimonials. Your potential customers need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your reputation with ”made up” testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Clients
Always Ask For Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a happy client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful tips for soliciting testimonials from clients:
- Contact clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 14 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after completing your service.
- Include a text box for entering testimonials in 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 short video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for the client and try to record your client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write it 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 juiciest sections (only use what they have written – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to publish it. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To Their Site
Offer to post a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive for clients to provide you with 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 a request for a testimonial in a periodic auto responder broadcast. This should be done as soon as your customers have had a chance to measure the effect of using your products. 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 users for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to solicit testimonials from other members for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (tip: offer to add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Page
Create a new page for customer testimonials and add a “read more testimonials …” link pointing to this section throughout your site.
Tip: You can measure how effective client testimonials are by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. A great tool for observing what visitors are doing on your pages are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your sites to understand visitor behavior here:
- How To Analyze Visitor Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Heatmapping Software – HeatMapTracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages where users can submit reviews 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 then send users to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are a few useful WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free WP plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used to add a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
The plugin also comes with a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
Visit this site to download and use the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your posts and pages. You can insert customer testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.
The Testimonials Widget plugin offers additional features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and technical support.
To download and use this plugin, go here:
This premium WordPress plugin offers plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
- Display options for your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, list layout, grid layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colours, font types and more.
To download and use this plugin, visit this site:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Client testimonials and customer 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 customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your web site.
For additional information about creating engaging customer testimonials see these useful articles:
- 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 actionable information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating high-quality content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum