Building Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
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 and confusing. Just trying to remain in business 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, mobile and social media-driven economy, it’s foolish to ignore the significance 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!
You are also doing your business a great disservice if you aren’t publishing the positive things your customers say about your products, solutions, user support, training, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of marketing your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.
In this article, you will learn how to improve your sales conversions with knockout user testimonials.
Testimonials And Consumer Reviews
The great American businessman and showman P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having 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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Quoting reviews and testimonials from satisfied users is satisfied users are far more persuasive for attracting new customers, clients or users than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is a source of untapped business growth potential that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … consumer reviews and testimonials!
Reviews and testimonials are great for building credibility for your services and products.
Studies conducted by many leading research firms all point to the same conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your sales information eliminates doubts potential customers may have about buying particular products, helps users select products and helps increase the number of product sales.
Here are just some of the findings available to 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 user reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews are responsible for producing an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- 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 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 Consumer Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding great reviews and testimonials to your site from satisfied clients is important for helping you grow your business online and creating a solid online reputation.
User reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and affect your business both negatively and positively.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to your face, but they could post disparaging remarks on Facebook about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be doing far more damage to your business than all the good work you’ve been putting into building it.
This is where online reputation management becomes vital to your online 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 really don’t need to worry about it) may be causing damage to your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business through effective customer review management:
How To Create Customer Testimonials – Useful Tips
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy. When you quote responses from customers 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 visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and aspirations and facilitate moving them further along the sales process.
Here are some tips on improving your conversions with testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try using the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps to keep things ‘real’.
- Use real photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces draws the attention of visitors 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.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more powerful and captivating than providing mere statistical facts. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” the service was and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add testimonials to your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s perception if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting product or service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your support before offering guarantees or providing content that helps readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful… “As a direct result of using your services, we were able to grow our bottom line by $93,378 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution definitely 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 profits 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 during a specific period, 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 displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your web pages. Depending on your business, you could try to obtain more customer testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for existing 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 ideal customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become 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 across different platforms. If someone publishes fantastic feedback on your Facebook wall praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the content on your site.
- Don’t use fake client testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials you provide on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers
Always Ask For Testimonials
When you complete performing a service, 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 from your customers:
- Contact customers after 60 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after completing your service.
- Add a field for testimonials in your client surveys.
- Take out your phone next time you visit a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they would be happy to record a quick video testimonial/feedback interview. During the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to capture their positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy for them. When 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 given you – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have already prepared something to help them save time and invite them to edit what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To The Source
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 Testimonial Requests In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in one of your autoresponder mailouts. Preferably, this should be done 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 your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking customers for feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you solicit testimonials for your profile. 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 positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Page
Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “read more client testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials page throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of testimonials by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to measuring visitor behavior on your pages.
We have written an article about a heatmap technology you can add to your sites to observe visitor behaviour here:
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 a form to your pages inviting users to submit reviews and 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.
Check out the testimonial plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you add 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 logo, etc.
The plugin also provides users with a “pro” version that offers additional features and technical support.
Go here to learn more about the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your website. You can insert testimonials content via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
Testimonials Widget has plenty more features available via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and developer support.
To download this plugin, go here:
This premium WordPress plugin provides many 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, 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, customized font and background colours, font types and more.
To download this plugin, go here:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Testimonials and customer reviews are great sources of content that help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from existing customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your website.
For additional resources about creating effective testimonials read 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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