How To Build 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 disappointing results? As most business owners know, that trying to generate new customers can be extremely hard. Just trying to survive in business 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 and social-driven economy, ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Ignoring what your customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you may also be doing your business a disservice if you are not spreading the positive things your customers are saying about your services and products. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of marketing your products and services online and should be included in your content.
In this article, you’ll learn tips for converting more visitors into qualified leads using powerful customer testimonials.
Legendary showman and successful promoter Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum once said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Quoting genuine testimonials and reviews from your existing customers 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 a source of untapped business growth potential that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews and testimonials from existing customers!
Testimonials and reviews are terrific for building credibility for your services or products.
Studies conducted by many leading firms all seem to lead to the same inevitable conclusion: testimonials and user reviews help reduce doubts potential customers may have about your products or services, help users select products and increases the number of sales.
Below are just some statistics that support this:
- According to a study by eVoc Insights, a company that researches and measures 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, customer reviews can result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web site visitors who interact with both user 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 Customer Testimonials And Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Adding positive reviews to your website from existing customers is essential for helping you grow your business online.
Testimonials and consumer reviews, however, can work both ways and impact your business both negatively or positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could be posting disparaging remarks on a discussion group 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 vitally important to your success.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need it) could be causing damage to your business without you even being aware of it.
See this article to learn more about a WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage your customer feedback:
Tips For Creating Awesome Client Testimonials
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of marketing your products and services online and should be included in your content marketing strategy. When you quote your own user responses in your content, you:
- Show potential customers exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help 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 practical tips on how to create testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: You should try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving little grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps keep your testimonials sounding authentic.
- Use 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 will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more effective and captivating than providing mere statistical facts. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a far more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generic statements about excellent service and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: Add testimonials to your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting product or service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are genuinely thrilled about your customer service when offering guarantees or providing content that helps readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements is more powerful… “Since using your services, we have seen our net profit grow by $61,808 during the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our sales?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs by in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours they have saved, 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.
- Vary the customer testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out and have very few clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your website. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more 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 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 is a really 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 across different platforms. If you get great feedback on your Facebook wall praising your solution, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Only use genuine client testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to produce content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to see that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.
How To Get Client Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a happy client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Here are some tips for requesting testimonials from customers:
- Contact clients after 30 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
- Add a text box for testimonials in all client satisfaction surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next meet with 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 brief video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording your video, explain to your viewers what you have done for your client and capture their positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy for them. Whenever 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 – 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 change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link To The Source Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to publish a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get 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 list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in a scheduled email message. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to experience 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 them for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to solicit testimonials from other members that become part of your profile. 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 recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to add a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Page
Create a new section for testimonials and add a “read more customer testimonials …” link to this page throughout your site.
Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of client testimonials 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 understanding visitor behaviour on your pages.
We have written an article about a heatmap analytics software you can add to your site to predict visitor behavior here:
- How To Measure Visitor Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Heat Mapping Tools – Heat Map Tracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
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 reviews and testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), all you have to do is send users to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are some great plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into a Page or Post 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 can be used to add a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides users with a “pro” version with additional features and developer support.
To download and use the plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your WordPress site. You can insert client testimonials using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
The plugin provides a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions for better search engine results and plugin support.
Go here to download and use this plugin:
This premium plugin provides 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 slideshows, sliders, 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.
Visit this site to download this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
User 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 existing clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
For additional information about creating effective customer testimonials see the articles below:
- 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 easy-to-digest information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to 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 completely FREE!
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com