Building Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, and getting the exact same results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that finding new ways of generating new customers can be hard. Just trying to survive in business takes up a lot of your time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s web-based and social-driven economy, ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Don’t ignore what your clients may be saying online about your business!
You could be doing your business a disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your clients say about your products, services, client training, support, etc. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content.
In this article, you’ll learn how to get better results online using profit-boosting customer testimonials.
Customer Reviews And Testimonials
Legendary showman P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Genuine reviews quoted directly from satisfied customers are far more persuasive for drawing new customers 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 just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … consumer testimonials and reviews!
Customer testimonials and user reviews are great for building credibility for your business.
Marketing studies conducted by many leading research firms all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and customer testimonials to your point of sale pages helps decrease doubts potential customers may have about buying specific products or services, helps users select products and increases sales.
Below are just some of the stats available to support this:
- According to a study by eVoc Insights, an organization that researches and measures 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, 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.
- 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 user-generated content (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 Client Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Clearly, you should be adding great testimonials and reviews from happy clients to your site.
Reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and impact your business both positive and negative ways.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your services directly to you, but they could be posting disparaging remarks on Facebook or a discussion thread about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had using your products 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 vitally important to your online business success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, 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 seriously harming your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a plugin for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your products through effective customer review management:
Improving Your Sales Conversions With Compelling Testimonials – Useful Tips
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing. When you include responses from customers in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help site visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and aspirations and facilitate moving them closer to a decision to purchase.
Here are some useful tips on improving your sales conversions with testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try using the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps keep your testimonials sounding authentic.
- Use photos: Marketing tests show that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are much more effective and memorable than simply providing statistical facts. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about excellent customer service and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials in your site copy where it makes the most sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help to sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind if you were to present a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your 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 when offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful… “Since installing your XYZ software, we have seen an additional profit increase of $15,925 during the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ product has helped us grow our business?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits or reduce their costs 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 during a specific financial period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Vary the customer testimonials on your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial throughout your site. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more 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 best 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 can relate to is 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 best audience demographic.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your customer service, contact them privately asking for permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
- Only use real testimonials. Prospective clients need to see that the testimonials provided on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
Always 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 from your customers:
- Make it a part of your business processes to contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you did not obtain one immediately after completing your service.
- Add a field for entering testimonials in client surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next visit 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 quick video testimonial/feedback interview. During the video, explain to your viewers what you have done for your client and record the client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write it 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 juiciest sections (only use what they have written – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to publish it. Explain that you have already prepared something to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To The Source
Offer to post 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 an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add Testimonial Requests To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in one of your autoresponder broadcasts. This should be done as soon as your clients have had a chance to assess the impact of using your products. 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 users for feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to request testimonials from other members for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is simple and user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (and offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Page
Create a new section on your website for testimonials and add a “read more testimonials …” link to this section wherever you plan to display single testimonials on your content sections.
Useful Tip: You can measure how useful client testimonials are by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing what visitors are doing on your pages.
We have written an article about a heatmap software you can add to your website to observe visitor behavior here:
If your website 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 (remember to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you then refer users to your “Testimonials” page.
Check out the plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free WP plugin that lets you add client testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you add a list of all your 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.
The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides users with a “pro” version that offers additional features and developer support.
Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your site. You can insert 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 Testimonials Widget plugin provides added features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and plugin support.
Visit this site to download this plugin:
This is a premium plugin that offers plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly 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 testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colours, font types and more.
Visit this site to download and use this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Client testimonials and customer reviews are powerful 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 your clients or customers, and start publishing these on your web site.
The articles below provide useful information on creating engaging testimonials and were also 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 regular training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will show you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
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