Building Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, only to get the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new customers can be very difficult. 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, ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Ignoring what users 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 don’t spread the positive things your customers say about your products or services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing strategy.
In this article, you’ll discover how to improve your sales conversions using knockout customer testimonials.
Testimonials And Consumer Reviews
The great American showman and successful promoter Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum once stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Genuine reviews and testimonials from your satisfied users are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new clients, customers or users than anything you have to 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 … consumer reviews and testimonials!
Customer testimonials and reviews are great for building credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by many marketing research companies all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: testimonials and user reviews help reduce doubts potential customers may have about your product, help users select products and increases sales conversions.
Below are just some of the statistics available to 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 consumer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, reviews play a significant role in creating an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web 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).
- 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).
(Above figures sourced from eConsultancy.com)
Adding User Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding testimonials and reviews to your website from clients who are thrilled with your services is important for growing your business and creating a solid online reputation.
Testimonials and reviews, however, can work both ways and impact your business both positive and negative ways.
People may not be saying bad things about your business directly to you, but they could post damaging words on a discussion thread 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 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) 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 to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective customer review management:
Tips On Improving Your Conversions With Sales Boosting Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing strategy. When you include your own client responses in your content, you:
- Show others exactly what pains and problems your products and services can solve for them and how easily this can be done.
- Help your visitors identify their objections and address these.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates moving them closer to a buying decision.
Here are some practical tips on improving your conversions with 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 photos: Images of people’s faces draw attention to your content. 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 much more powerful and captivating 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 far more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about excellent service and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: It’s good to add testimonials to your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help you sell your point. Think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting product or service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are truly thrilled about your customer service before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful: “Since installing your XYZ software, we have grown our profits by $47,439 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product definitely helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs 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 testimonials on 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 repeatedly throughout your web 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 launch discount for 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 target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become is 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 best audience demographic.
- Reprint across different platforms. If someone publishes a great comment on your Facebook page praising your business, ask them permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Prospective customers need to believe that the testimonials you provide on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Clients
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful tips for requesting testimonials:
- Contact your clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
- Add a field for entering testimonials in all your client satisfaction surveys.
- Take out your phone next time you visit a client or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they would be happy to record a very brief video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording your video, describe to viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to record your client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy and write it for them. If clients send 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 – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have done this to save them time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link To The Source
Offer to post a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced auto responder message. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to assess the impact of using your product, service or solution. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking them for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a new section for client testimonials and add a “read more customer testimonials …” link pointing to this section throughout your content sections.
Useful Tip: You can measure how effective customer testimonials are 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 what visitors are doing on your site.
We have written an article about a heatmap software you can add to your sites to understand visitor behavior here:
Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your website or blog is powered by 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 testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you then refer users 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 user testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into posts and pages using a shortcode. The plugin also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also provides users with a “pro” version with additional features and developer support.
To learn more about using the plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your web site. You can insert 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 plugin makes loads of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and plugin support.
Visit this site to download this plugin:
This is a premium WP 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.
- Options to display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, grid layout, list layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colours, font types and more.
To download and use the plugin, go here:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Client testimonials and user reviews are powerful 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 your customers or clients, and start publishing these on your site.
For additional resources on creating effective testimonials refer to 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 a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating useful content that will add value to 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