How To Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? Most business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be quite difficult. 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, ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Ignoring what users may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you are also doing your business a disservice if you don’t spread the positive things your clients are saying about your products and services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included as part of your content.
In this article, you’ll learn how to get better results online with engaging client testimonials.
Testimonials And Customer Reviews
P.T. Barnum, the great, legendary showman and businessman, is often quoted as having said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Using social proof as content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine reviews from your satisfied clients are far more persuasive for drawing new clients 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 … reviews and testimonials from their existing users!
Testimonials and reviews are great for building credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by many marketing firms all seem to lead to the same inevitable conclusion: adding testimonials and reviews to your site reduces doubts potential customers may have about your product, helps with product selection and increases conversions of visitors into sales.
Below are just some findings 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 reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Website 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 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).
(The figures above were sourced from eConsultancy.com)
Adding User Reviews And Testimonials – Managing Online Reputation
You should be adding positive reviews from delighted clients who have experienced positive results with your business to your website.
Customer testimonials and user reviews, however, can work both ways and affect your business both negative and positive ways.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business directly to you, but they could have posted updates on Facebook or a discussion thread 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 vital to your business success.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) could be hurting your business without you even being aware of this.
See this article to learn more about a tool for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your services through effective user review management:
Creating Customer Testimonials – Useful Tips
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing strategy. When you include responses from clients in your content, you:
- Show others exactly what pains and problems your products and services can solve for them and how easily it can do this.
- Help your visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them further along the sales process.
Below are some tips on how to create engaging testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps preserve your testimonials’ authenticity.
- Use real photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces draws the most attention of visitors on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more powerful and captivating than just providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about how “excellent” your support was and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add testimonials in your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help sell your point. Think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind if you were to display a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are truly ecstatic about your customer service before offering a risk-free guarantee or providing content designed to help readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements is more powerful: “Since using your services, we were able to increase our revenue by an additional $15,253 in the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ product has helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, 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, 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 a little difficult when you are just starting out or have very few clients, try to avoid using the same testimonial throughout your site’s pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more client 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 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 aspire to become can be a very powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that appeal directly to your ideal customers.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If someone publishes a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your solution, send them a message asking permission to reprint the content on your site.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Your potential customers need to believe that the testimonials you provide on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers
Ask For Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials:
- Make it a part of your business processes to contact customers after 60 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after performing a service.
- Add a field for testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
- Take out your phone next time you meet with a client or hand over a finished job and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very short video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording your video, explain to viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to record your client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy for them. Whenever clients send 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 quote them on your site. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and invite them to edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To Their Site Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to publish a link back to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for 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 regularly-spaced newsletter message. This should be timed to reach subscribers just after your customers have had a chance to assess the results of using your products or services. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking clients to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to solicit testimonials for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (you can offer to add a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Page On Your Site
Create a new page for customer testimonials and place a “read more testimonials …” link to this section wherever you are displaying new testimonials on your site.
Useful Tip: You can measure how effective testimonials are 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 measuring what visitors are doing on your pages.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your website to predict visitor behaviour here:
- How To Analyze User Behaviour On Your WordPress Site With Analytics Software – HeatMapTracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your site or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages where users can submit testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), all you have to do is refer users to your “Testimonials” page.
Below are some WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add customer testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The plugin also lets you insert a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which can be used to add a photo of the testimonial author, their company logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also can be upgraded to a “pro” version with additional features and technical support.
Visit this site to download and use the plugin:
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 WordPress site. You can insert user testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.
The plugin provides added features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and technical support.
To download and use this plugin, visit this site:
This is a premium plugin that offers a range of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
- Display your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, grid layout, list layout, etc. using a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.
Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Testimonials and user 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 clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your website or blog.
The articles below are a great source of information on creating effective users 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
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