Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? Most business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be very hard, confusing and frustrating. Just trying to keep your business afloat takes up a lot of time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s digital and social media-driven economy, it’s a mistake to ignore the effect of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting comments about your business.
Ignoring what consumers 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 customers are saying about your services and products. 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.
In this article, you’ll learn ways to improve your sales with powerful customer testimonials.
User Reviews And Testimonials
Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum, the great, legendary showman and businessman, 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 and effective way of promoting your business. Quoting genuine reviews and testimonials from satisfied users is existing clients are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of business growth potential that most businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … customer reviews and testimonials!
Reviews and testimonials are a powerful way to build credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by leading companies all seem to lead to the same conclusion: testimonials and user reviews help reduce doubts potential customers may have about buying your product, help users select products and help increase conversions of visitors into sales.
Here are just some statistics that support this:
- According to research findings by eVoc Insights, a company 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 customer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, customer reviews are responsible for producing an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user 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).
- 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).
(The figures above were sourced from eConsultancy.com)
Adding Client Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Adding great reviews and testimonials to your site from happy clients is important for helping you grow your business and creating a solid online reputation.
Testimonials and reviews, however, can work both ways and impact your business both negatively and positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could be posting negative comments on Facebook, or a discussion group or forum about a bad experience they’ve just had with your services and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vital aspect of your online success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) could be seriously causing damage to your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage customer reviews:
Improving Your Conversions With Powerful Testimonials – Useful Tips
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you quote your own user responses in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
- Help visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help prospects connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates the sales process.
Here are some practical tips on improving your conversions with testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos of real people: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention on a web page. Adding photos of your clients 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 statistical facts. Being able 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 how “excellent” the customer service has been and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: Add customer testimonials in your web content where it makes the most 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 mind if you were to add a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your support when offering a risk-free guarantee or providing content that helps readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “Since using your services, we have seen our net profit increase by $75,436 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution helped us grow our business?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, 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 they have saved, 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.
- Use different customer testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out and don’t have many clients, try to avoid using the same testimonial throughout your web pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more customer 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 target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to is a really 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 someone publishes fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your business, send them a message asking permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Never use fake client testimonials. Prospective customers need to see that the testimonials published on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Client Testimonials
Ask For Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Here are some tips for soliciting testimonials:
- Contact your customers after 30 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
- Add a field for entering testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next visit a client or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they would be happy to record a short video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording the video, explain to viewers what you have done for your client and try to capture the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. If 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 – never 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 help them save time and invite them to change 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 back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive for clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.
Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced auto responder message. Preferably, this should be done after your customers have had a chance to assess the results of using your services. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your email and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users for feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to solicit testimonials 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 positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (tip: offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Page
Create a new section for customer testimonials and place a “read more customer testimonials …” link to this section throughout your content sections.
Practical Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your client testimonials by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for understanding what visitors are doing on your pages are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about a heatmap technology you can add to your site to understand visitor behaviour here:
- Monitoring Visitor Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Analytics Software – Heat Map Tracker Review
Using WordPress Testimonial Plugins
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages where users can submit testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (make sure to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), all you have to do is refer clients to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are some WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free WP plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you add a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which you can use to add a photo of the testimonial author, a company logo, etc.
The plugin also comes with a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
To download the plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your WordPress site. You can insert user 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 Testimonials Widget plugin comes with additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and developer support.
Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:
This is a premium WordPress plugin that provides 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 slideshows, sliders, grid layout, list layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.
To download and use the plugin, visit this site:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Customer reviews and testimonials 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 web site.
For additional resources on creating effective testimonials refer to 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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