Building Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews

Learn how to build and grow your online business reputation using testimonials and user reviews …

Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews

How To Improve Your Sales Using Effective Testimonials

Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract customers, only to get the exact same results? As most business owners know, that trying to generate new customers can be difficult. Just trying to survive in business takes a lot of time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.

In today’s online economy, you simply can’t afford to ignore the impact of online consumer behavior, especially if they are talking about your business.

How To Get Better Results Online With Powerful Testimonials

Ignoring what users may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!

By the same token, you could be doing your business a great disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your clients say about your products, services, customer support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of marketing your products and services online and should be added to your content.

In this article, you will learn all you need to know to start getting better results online using effective customer testimonials.

Client Reviews And Testimonials

Legendary American showman P.T. Barnum once stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

P.T. Barnum understood the power of “social proof”. Using social proof as content is a powerful and effective way of getting your business promoted. Quoting genuine testimonials and reviews from your satisfied clients is satisfied customers are far more persuasive for attracting new clients than anything you have to say about your own products or services.

There is clearly an untapped source of business growth potential that most businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews from existing clients!

Customer testimonials and reviews are a great way to build credibility for your products or services.

Marketing studies conducted by leading companies all point to the same conclusion: adding testimonials and consumer reviews to your sales information decreases doubts potential customers may have about your products or services, helps with product selection and increases the number of sales.

Here are just some findings that support this:

  • According to research 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 site if it has ratings and user reviews.”
  • According to Reevoo.com, consumer reviews can produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
  • 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 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 Customer Reviews And Testimonials – Managing Online Reputation

You should be adding positive testimonials and reviews from really happy clients to your website.

Customer testimonials and customer reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both in a negative and positive way.

You see, people may not be saying bad things about your services directly to your face, but they could be posting negative comments on Facebook or a discussion group about an unpleasant encounter they’ve just had with one of your team members and this could be costing you business.

This is where online reputation management becomes a vitally important aspect of your online success.

Create Better Results Online Using Captivating Testimonials

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 hurting your business without you even realizing this.

Useful Info

See this article to learn more about a tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer reviews:

How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Highly Effective Client Testimonials

Tips For Creating User 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 strategy. When you quote responses from users in your content, you:

  • Show prospects exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
  • Help prospects identify their objections and address these.
  • Help potential customers connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates moving them closer to a decision to purchase.

Below are some tips on creating compelling testimonials:

  • Avoid over-editing: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps keep your testimonials sounding authentic.
  • Use real photos: Marketing studies show that using images of people’s faces draws the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help increase visitor engagement with your content.
  • Use the power of storytelling: Stories are much more powerful and memorable than just providing facts and statistics. The ability 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 generalized statements about how “excellent” the customer support was and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
  • Use it in context: Add customer testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before talking about the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are truly ecstatic about your customer service before offering guarantees or providing content that helps your readers overcome their objections.
  • Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for growing our revenue by $67,061 in the last financial quarter,” 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 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 customer testimonial repeatedly throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try 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 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 target audience 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 that speak directly to your best audience demographic.
  • Reprint across different platforms. If you get great feedback on your Facebook page praising your business, ask them permission to reprint the content on your blog.
  • Only use genuine testimonials. Many people can see through sites that employ copywriters to create content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity with ”made up” testimonials.

How To Get Client Testimonials

Just Ask

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.

Here are some tips for requesting testimonials from clients:

  • Contact your clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 60 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after completing your service.
  • Add a text box for entering testimonials in client satisfaction surveys.
  • Pull out your phone next time you 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 short video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording the video, describe to your viewers what you have done for the client and try to capture their positive reactions and responses.
  • Make it easy for them. Whenever a client sends 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 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 use it. 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 Post A Link Back To The Source Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial

Offer to add a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.

Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages

If you have a list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in one of your newsletter broadcasts. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to experience 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 clients for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.

Use LinkedIn

The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to request testimonials for your profile. 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 add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).

Create A Testimonials Page

Create a new page for testimonials and place a “read more customer testimonials …” link to your main testimonials page throughout your content sections.

Useful Tip

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 your testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing what visitors are doing on your site.

We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your sites to predict visitor behaviour here:

Using Testimonial Plugins For WordPress

If your website or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add a form 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 customers to your “Testimonials” section.

Here are a few useful testimonial plugins you can check out:

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials

Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add client testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into posts and pages 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 is great for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their logo, etc.

The plugin also provides users with a “pro” version with additional features and developer support.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget - WordPress Testimonials Plugin

Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your posts and pages. You can insert testimonials via 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 loads more features available via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and technical support.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Testimonials Plugin

This is a premium plugin that offers many 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 slideshows, sliders, grid layout, list layout, etc. via a shortcode
  • Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Important

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 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 customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your website.

Additional Info

For additional resources about creating engaging customer testimonials refer to these useful articles:

We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!

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