Building Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, and getting the exact same results? As most small business owners know, that finding new ways of generating new customers can be very difficult. Just trying to keep your business afloat takes up 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 customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Don’t ignore what clients may be saying online about your business!
You could be doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your clients say about your services or products. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll show you tips for turning more visitors into qualified leads using profit-boosting user testimonials.
Testimonials And User Reviews
Legendary American showman and successful promoter P.T. Barnum 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-driven content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Quoting genuine reviews and testimonials directly from satisfied users is satisfied customers are far more persuasive for attracting new customers 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 small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … user reviews!
Reviews and customer testimonials are a fantastic way to build credibility for your products or services.
Tests conducted by leading firms all lead to the same conclusion: user reviews and testimonials help decrease doubts potential customers may have about particular products, help with product selection and increases conversions of visitors into sales.
Here are just some of the findings available to 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 consumer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web site visitors who interact with both 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).
Adding Consumer Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding great reviews to your site from clients is important for growing your business and creating a solid online reputation.
Consumer reviews and testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both positively and negatively.
People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to you, but they could have posted disparaging remarks on a discussion group about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vital aspect of your online business success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need to worry about it) could be seriously harming your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective plugin for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage user reviews:
Tips For Creating Profit Boosting Client Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be added to your content. When you quote responses from clients in your content, you:
- Show prospects 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 aspirations and motivations and this facilitates the sales process.
Below are some tips on how to create engaging testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try using the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention to your content. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews can help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more effective and captivating than providing mere statistical facts. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about how “excellent” the service was and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: Add testimonials to your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help sell your point. For example, think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s mind if you were to insert a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting your 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 before offering a risk-free guarantee or addressing objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful… “Since installing XYZ product, we have noticed our net profit grow by $86,781 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ software has helped us grow our sales?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits 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 during a specific period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Use different customer testimonials 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 web pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more user 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 ideal customer: 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 can relate to 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 targeted to your best audience demographic.
- Reprint content across different platforms. If someone posts fantastic feedback on your Facebook wall praising your business, send them a message asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Only use real client testimonials. Your potential customers need to see that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with a ”made up” testimonial.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful tips for requesting testimonials from your clients:
- Make it a part of your business processes to contact clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
- Add a field for testimonials in your client surveys.
- Take out your phone next time you meet with clients or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a short video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording your video, explain to your viewers what you have done for the client and make sure to record their positive reactions and feedback.
- 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 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 quote them on your site. Explain that you have done this to save them time and invite them to edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link To Their Site Wherever You Publish Their Testimonial
Offer to post a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing 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 newsletter broadcast. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to assess the impact of using your products. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject 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 lets you obtain testimonials from other members for your account. With LinkedIn, 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 site (tip: offer to add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “read more customer testimonials …” link pointing to this section throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your user testimonials 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 site are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your site to predict visitor behavior here:
- How To Understand Visitor Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Heat Map Software – Heat Map Tracker Review
Using Testimonial Plugins
If your website or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to 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), you can then send customers to your “Testimonials” page.
Below are a few useful plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you publish a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
The plugin also provides a “pro” version that offers additional features and developer support.
Visit this site to download and use the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WordPress plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your pages and posts. 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 plenty of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and plugin support.
To download and use this plugin, go here:
This is a premium WordPress 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 options for 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 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 …
User reviews and client testimonials 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 existing clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your website or blog.
The articles below provide useful information on creating engaging users testimonials and were 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 easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will show you how to drive more traffic to your site, 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 100% FREE!
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