Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, only to get the exact same results? As most small business owners know, that finding new ways of generating new customers can be quite hard and frustrating. Just trying to keep your business afloat 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 digital, mobile and social-driven economy, you just can’t ignore the effect of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting comments about your business.
Ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you could be doing your business a disservice if you don’t spread the positive things your clients are saying about your products or services. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be included throughout your content.
In this article, you’ll discover tips for converting more visitors into prospects using engaging user testimonials.
Phineas Taylor P.T. Barnum, the great, legendary showman and successful promoter, is often quoted as having 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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Testimonials from satisfied clients are far more persuasive for drawing new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … testimonials and reviews from their happy customers!
Customer testimonials and customer reviews are terrific for building credibility for your services or products.
Studies conducted by leading firms all point to the same conclusion: adding customer testimonials and reviews to your site helps to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying products, helps with product selection and helps increase conversions of visitors into sales.
Here are just some of the statistics available to support this:
- According to research 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, reviews result in 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 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 user-generated content (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 Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Adding great reviews and testimonials to your site from clients who are delighted with your services is essential for helping you grow your business online.
Testimonials and reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both negatively or positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your business 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 you or 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 vital part of your business success strategy.
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 to worry about it) may be seriously harming your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective user review management:
Tips On Improving Your Sales With Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included in your content marketing. When you quote responses from users in your content, you:
- Show potential customers exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help your visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates the sales process.
Below are some practical tips on creating awesome client testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: You should try using the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use real photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the most attention of visitors on a web page. Adding photos of your clients next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more effective and memorable than providing mere statistical facts. 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 using generic statements about excellent customer service and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: Add customer testimonials in your site copy where it best makes 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 if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are truly 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 find more powerful: “Since using your services, we have seen our net profit increase by $75,965 in the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ product definitely helped us grow our sales?” If possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share 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 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 client testimonials on your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial throughout your website. 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 existing 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 aspire to become is a 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 publishes great feedback on your Facebook page praising your customer service, ask them for permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Don’t use fake testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing professional writers to create your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective clients need to see that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t destroy your credibility with a false testimonial.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
If you have just completed performing a service, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Here are some useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials:
- Make a point of contacting clients after 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after completing a service.
- Add a field for entering testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next visit a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. During the video, describe to your viewers what you have done for the client and make sure 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 – don’t put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to publish it. Explain that you have done this to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To Their Site Wherever You Publish Their Testimonial
Offer to post a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Include A Testimonial Request In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include requests for a testimonial in a periodic email message. This should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to assess the results of using your solution. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking them for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you obtain testimonials from other members for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is simple and 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 website (tip: offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Page On Your Site
Create a new section for customer testimonials and place a “read more client testimonials …” link to this section whenever you have displayed new testimonials on your content sections.
Practical Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your testimonials by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to monitoring visitor behaviour on your site.
We have written an article about a heatmap technology you can add to your website to predict visitor behaviour here:
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your site or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms 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 can then refer clients to your “Testimonials” section.
Here are some great 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 an image with each testimonial, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, their company logo, etc.
The plugin also can be upgraded to a “pro” version with additional features and technical support.
Go here 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 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.
Testimonials Widget has loads more features available via a premium version, including built-in functions for improved search engine results and developer support.
Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:
This is a premium WordPress plugin that offers many great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
- Options to 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 testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colours, font types and more.
Go here to download and use this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Client testimonials and customer reviews are powerful sources of content that help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from existing customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
For additional information about creating engaging customer testimonials read 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
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