How To Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be very hard and confusing. Just trying to keep your business afloat takes a lot of 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 impact of what potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting comments about your business.
Don’t ignore what clients may be saying online about your business!
You may also be doing your business a disservice if you don’t spread the positive things your customers are saying about your products, solutions, customer support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll show you how to convert more visitors into qualified prospects with knockout client testimonials.
User Reviews And Testimonials
P.T. Barnum, the great American showman, once said 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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Genuine reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients are far more persuasive for drawing new clients, customers or users than anything you can say about your own products or services.
There is clearly an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … client reviews and testimonials!
User reviews and customer testimonials are a great way to build credibility for your products or services.
Studies conducted by many leading firms all point to the same conclusion: adding customer testimonials and customer reviews to your sales pages helps to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about purchasing particular products or services, helps with product selection and helps increase sales conversions.
Here are just some findings that support this:
- According to research findings 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 consumer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, reviews are responsible for producing an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Website 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).
- 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
You should be adding great reviews from very happy customers to your site.
Customer testimonials and user reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both in a positive and negative manner.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could be posting disparaging remarks on Facebook, or a forum or discussion group about a bad experience they’ve just had using your products and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes vital to your online business success.
Misconceptions about engaging in online reputation management practices, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) may be hurting your business without you even being aware of it.
See this article to learn more about a simple plugin for WordPress users that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective customer review management:
Tips On Improving Your Sales Conversions With Captivating Client Testimonials
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you include your own customer responses in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly what problems and pains your products and services can solve for them and how easily it can do this.
- Help potential customers identify their objections and address these.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and aspirations and facilitate moving them further along the sales process.
Here are some tips on creating testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: You should try using the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos of real people: Images of people’s faces draw attention to your content. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
- Use the power of storytelling: Stories are far more powerful and captivating than simply providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a far more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about excellent customer support and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that all of us have 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 they can most effectively help you sell your point. For example, think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception if you were to display a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting product pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before presenting the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your support before offering a risk-free guarantee or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for helping to increase our bottom line by $25,996 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product definitely helped us grow our business?” 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 quarter, 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 somewhat difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your website. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more user testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose 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 ideal customers.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get fantastic feedback on your Facebook wall praising your solution, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Don’t use fake client testimonials. Many people can tell if you are employing copy writers to create your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with ”made up” testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials
Ask For Testimonials
If you have just completed a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Follow these tips for requesting testimonials:
- Make a point of contacting customers after 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
- Add a field for testimonials in client surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next visit a client or hand over a finished job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a quick video testimonial/feedback interview. During your video, describe to viewers what you have done for the client and record your client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy for them. When 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 best sections (only use what they have given you – never put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to publish it. Explain that you have done this to save them time and let them know they are completely free to modify what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link Back To The Source
Offer to publish a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for clients to provide you with a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Include Testimonial Requests In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in a periodic newsletter broadcast. This should be done as soon as your clients have had a chance to assess the results of using your product, service or solution. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking clients to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you request testimonials for your account. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to publish 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 client testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials section throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your customer 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 monitoring what visitors are doing on your pages.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your website to predict visitor behavior here:
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages where users can submit testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then send clients to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are some great testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you add a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, a company logo, etc.
The plugin also comes with a “pro” version that offers additional features and developer support.
For more information about this plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your site. You can insert user testimonials using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
Testimonials Widget offers a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and plugin support.
Go here for more information about this plugin:
This premium plugin provides plenty 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 on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customize font and background colours, font types and more.
To download and use this plugin, go here:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Customer reviews and testimonials are great sources of content that can help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
The articles below provide useful information on creating engaging clients 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 actionable information and practical tips that will show you how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful 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 100% FREE!
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