Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User 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 finding effective ways of generating new customers can be quite difficult. 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 digital, mobile and social-driven economy, you simply can’t afford to ignore the significance of online consumer behavior, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
You are also doing your business a disservice if you aren’t publishing the positive things your clients are saying about your products and services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be used in your content.
In this article, you will learn how to improve your sales conversions using standout user testimonials.
Testimonials And Customer Reviews
The great American showman P.T. Barnum once said 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. Genuine testimonials from existing users are far more persuasive for attracting new customers, clients or users than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of business growth potential that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … reviews from satisfied users!
Reviews and customer testimonials are a terrific way to build credibility for your products or services.
Research conducted by many leading marketing research companies all seem to point to the same conclusion: testimonials and user reviews reduce doubts potential customers may have about purchasing your product, help with product selection and help increase sales conversions.
Here are just some of the stats available to support this:
- According to a study by eVoc Insights, an organization known for researching and measuring user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a web site if it has ratings and customer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews can result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web site visitors who interact with both customer 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).
- 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 Consumer Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Clearly, you should be adding positive testimonials and reviews from existing customers to your site.
Testimonials and reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both negative and positive ways.
People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to you, but they could have posted disparaging remarks on Facebook or a forum about a bad encounter they’ve just had with one of your sales or customer support representatives and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes important to your online business success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need it) may be seriously harming your business without you even being aware of it.
See this article to learn more about a simple tool for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective user review management:
Improving Your Sales Conversions With Customer Testimonials – Useful Tips
Testimonials, user reviews, 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 customers in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly what pains and problems your products and services can solve for them and how easily this can be done.
- Help potential customers identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and facilitate the sales process.
Here are some tips on how to create client testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: You should try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
- Use photos: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are far more effective and captivating than simply providing statistical facts. 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 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 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 present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are truly thrilled about your support before offering guarantees or providing content that helps your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful… “XYZ solution was directly responsible for helping us grow our net profit by $56,762 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product 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 sales 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, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out or have very few clients, try 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 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 best customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to can be a 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 you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your products or services, ask them for permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Don’t use fake testimonials. Many people can tell if you are employing copy writers to produce your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
When you complete a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Follow these useful tips for requesting testimonials:
- Make it a part of your business processes to contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 30 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing your service.
- Add a field for entering testimonials in client surveys.
- Pull out your phone next time you meet with clients or hand over a completed job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a quick video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for your client and record the client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write it for them. Whenever clients send you a positive email thanking you for a great job that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the best sections (only use what they have given you – 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 already prepared something to save them time and let them know they are completely free to edit what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link To The Source
Offer to publish a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes the 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 one of your autoresponder broadcasts. This should be done as soon as your clients have had a chance to experience 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 customers to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to request 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 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 or profile in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a new page for testimonials and place a “read more customer testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials page whenever you have displayed single testimonials on your site.
Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of 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 adding heatmap analytics to your website to understand visitor behaviour here:
Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your site or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages inviting users to submit reviews and testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (make sure to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then send users to your “Testimonials” section.
Check out the testimonial plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which you can use to add a photo of the testimonial author, their logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also provides a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
Go here to download the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your pages and posts. You can insert testimonials using 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.
To download this plugin, go here:
This premium plugin provides plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
- Display options for 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 testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colours, font types and more.
Go here for more information about the plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Client testimonials and customer reviews are great 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 your customers or clients, and start publishing these on your website.
The articles below are a great source of information about creating effective testimonials and were also used when researching 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 web site, save money creating useful content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
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