Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be extremely hard, confusing and frustrating. Just trying to survive in business requires 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 and social media-driven economy, ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Don’t ignore what customers may be saying online about your business!
You may also be doing your business a great disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your clients say about your products, solutions, client training, support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content.
In this article, you will learn tips for creating better results online with knockout customer testimonials.
Testimonials And User Reviews
The great American businessman and showman Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful and effective way of getting your business promoted. Genuine testimonials from your existing clients are far more persuasive for attracting new clients than anything you can 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 satisfied users!
Reviews and customer testimonials are terrific for building credibility for your business.
Research conducted by many marketing companies all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: testimonials and user reviews decrease doubts potential customers may have about your product, help users select products and help increase conversions of visitors into sales.
Below are just some findings that support this:
- According to research findings 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 reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, reviews can result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- 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).
- 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 Client Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management
You should be adding great reviews from extremely satisfied clients to your site.
Customer reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and impact your business both positive and negative ways.
People may not be saying bad things about your products directly to your face, but they could have posted unhelpful words on Facebook or a discussion group about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your team members 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 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 seriously causing damage to your business without you even being aware of this.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage your customer feedback:
Tips On Improving Your Conversions With Effective Client Testimonials
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of marketing 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 other users exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
- Help site visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and facilitate the sales process.
Below are some tips on improving your sales conversions with testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: You should try to use your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps preserve the authenticity of your testimonials.
- Use photos of real people: Marketing studies show that using images of people’s faces draws the attention of visitors browsing a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your content.
- Tell a powerful story: Stories are much more effective and captivating than providing mere facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” your support was and giving “two thumbs up” product 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 you sell your point. For example, 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 retails for before posting product pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before talking about the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your customer service when offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful: “As a direct result of implementing XYZ solution, we have noticed an additional sales increase of $67,968 in the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution helped us grow our sales?” Whenever 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 of work you have helped them save, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate, 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 somewhat difficult when you are just starting out and have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your site’s pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more user 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 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 is a really 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 across different platforms. If someone posts great feedback on your Facebook page praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, ask them for permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Don’t use fake client testimonials. Prospective customers need to see that the testimonials displayed on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity with a false testimonial.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Clients
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials:
- Make a point of contacting 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 performing a service.
- Add a text box for entering testimonials in all your client surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a finished job 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 make sure to record their positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. If a client sends 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 – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and invite them to modify what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To The Source
Offer to post a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for clients to provide you with a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced newsletter message. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to assess the results of using your products or services. 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 clients for feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials from other members for your profile. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is 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 (once again, you can offer to add a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “more testimonials …” link to this section throughout your site.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of testimonials by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. A great tool for understanding what visitors are doing on your pages are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about a heatmap analytics technology you can add to your site to predict visitor behaviour here:
- How To Predict Visitor Behavior On Your WordPress Site With Analytics Software – HeatMap Tracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms to your pages inviting users to submit testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), all you have to do is send clients to your “Testimonials” page.
Here are some great WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to your 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 you can use for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a company logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also can be upgraded to a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
Visit this site to download and use this plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your WordPress site. You can insert testimonials via 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 plenty more features available via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and plugin support.
Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:
Testimonials WordPress Plugin
This is a premium plugin that offers 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, grid layout, list layout, etc. using 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 colors, font types and more.
Go here to download the plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Client testimonials and user reviews are great sources of content that can help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from existing clients or customers, and start publishing these on your web site.
For additional information on creating effective users testimonials see these 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 easy-to-digest information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web 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 100% FREE!
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