Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, and getting the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that finding effective ways of generating new customers can be hard. Just trying to keep your business afloat 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 and social media-driven economy, you simply can’t afford to ignore the effect of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Ignoring what consumers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
You could be doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers say about your services and products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content.
In this article, you’ll discover ways to improve your sales using captivating customer testimonials.
Customer Reviews And Testimonials
Phineas Taylor (Aka “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 and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine testimonials and reviews from existing clients are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new customers than anything you can say about your own products or services.
There is clearly an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … testimonials and reviews from their satisfied clients!
Testimonials and user reviews are effective for building credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by many leading marketing firms all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: user reviews and testimonials help reduce doubts potential customers may have about purchasing products, help with product selection and help increase sales conversions.
Here are just some statistics that support this:
- According to a study 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 customer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews 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 user 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 User Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Clearly, you should be adding reviews and testimonials from extremely satisfied clients who have experienced positive results with your business to your website.
Customer testimonials and reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both positive and negative ways.
People may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to your face, but they could post negative words on a forum about a bad experience they’ve just had with your business 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 online reputation management, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need it) may be seriously hurting your business without you even being aware of 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 business, products or services through effective customer review management:
Improving Your Conversions With Profit Boosting Testimonials – Useful Tips
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be included in your content marketing. When you include your own client responses in your content, you:
- Show others exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
- Help your visitors identify their objections and address these.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.
Below are some useful tips on how to create user testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: You should try using your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use real photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention to your content. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more effective and memorable than simply providing facts and statistics. 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 service has been and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add customer testimonials to your site copy 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 mind if you were to add a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely thrilled about your customer service when offering a money-back guarantee or providing content that helps readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful: “As a direct result of using your XYZ services, we were able to grow our net profit by $36,188 during the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ product helped us grow our business?” 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 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 quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial throughout your site. Depending on your business, you could try to obtain more 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 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 really 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 ideal customers.
- Reprint content across different platforms. If you get great feedback on your Facebook wall praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, ask them permission to reprint the content on your site.
- Never use fake testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to create their content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your potential customers need to believe that the testimonials you provide on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity with a false testimonial.
How To Get Testimonials From Clients
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Here are some useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials:
- Make a point of contacting customers after 90 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after completing a service.
- Include a field for testimonials in client 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 short video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for the client and try to record the client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy 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 juiciest sections (only use what they have given you – 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 invite them to change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link Back To Their Site
Offer to publish a link to their website 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 real and can be verified.
Include Testimonial Requests In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in a periodic newsletter broadcast. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to measure the results of using your 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 subscribers to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to solicit testimonials from other members for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for 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 section on your website or blog for customer testimonials and add a “read more client testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials section wherever you are displaying single testimonials on your content sections.
Useful Tip: You can measure how useful user testimonials are by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for understanding visitor behavior on your site are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your website to understand visitor behavior here:
Using WordPress Testimonial Plugins
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add 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 (with instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), all you have to do is refer users to your “Testimonials” section.
Here are some great WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add client testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into your pages and posts using a shortcode. The 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 for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a business logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also comes with a “pro” version that offers additional features and technical support.
Visit this site for more information about this plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your WordPress site. You can insert testimonials content 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 makes loads more features available via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and developer support.
Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:
This premium plugin 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, list layout, grid layout, etc. by adding a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colours, font types and more.
Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Testimonials and customer 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 testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your website.
The articles below provide useful information on creating effective 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 a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content that will add value to 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!
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