Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that generating new business can be difficult. 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 web-based 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 negative comments about your business.
Ignoring what your customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you could be doing your business a great disservice if you don’t publish the positive things your customers are saying about your products and services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be added to your content.
In this article, you will learn how to improve your sales conversions using powerful client testimonials.
Testimonials And Consumer Reviews
Legendary American showman and successful promoter P.T. Barnum once 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 getting your business promoted. Reviews from satisfied customers are far more persuasive for drawing new clients than anything you have to say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … user testimonials and reviews!
Reviews and customer testimonials are effective for building credibility for your services or products.
Tests conducted by many leading research firms all lead to the same conclusion: adding consumer reviews and testimonials to your sales information pages helps reduce doubts potential customers may have about purchasing your product, helps with product selection and increases conversions of visitors into sales.
Below are just some statistics that support this:
- According to research findings 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, reviews can result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more 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 user-generated content (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 Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding positive reviews and testimonials to your website from clients is essential for creating a solid online reputation.
Customer testimonials and user reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both in a positive and negative way.
People may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could post updates on Facebook or a discussion thread about a bad encounter they’ve just had with you or your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a significant part of your business and content marketing strategy.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, 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 causing damage to your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business through effective user review management:
Tips On Improving Your Conversions With Testimonials
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing strategy. When you quote your own user responses in your content, you:
- Show others exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
- Help potential customers identify their objections and address these.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and facilitate moving them closer to a decision to purchase.
Below are some tips on creating testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: You should try using the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos: 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 content.
- Use the power of storytelling: 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 saved the day will make a far more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about excellent service 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 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 display 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 your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your customer service before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “As a direct result of installing XYZ software, we were able to increase our bottom line by an additional $30,701 during the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ software has helped us grow our business?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours 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.
- Use different testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site’s pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more customer testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special launch 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 target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to can be a really powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that speak directly to your best audience demographic.
- Reprint content across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, ask them permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Only use genuine client testimonials. Your prospects need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are real. Don’t destroy your reputation with ”made up” testimonials.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
Ask For Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Here are some useful tips for soliciting testimonials from clients:
- Make a point of contacting customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 60 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 your client surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next visit clients 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 try to capture the client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy for them. If 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 written – don’t 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 save them time and let them know they are completely free to change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To Their Site Wherever You Publish Their Testimonial
Offer to add a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.
Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in one of your autoresponder messages. Preferably, this should be done after your customers have had a chance to use your products. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to request testimonials that become part of your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (tip: offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Page
Create a new section for customer testimonials and add a “more testimonials …” link to this page wherever you plan to display new testimonials on your content sections.
Useful Tip: You can measure how effective testimonials are by how long visitors remain on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for monitoring visitor behavior on your site are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your sites to understand visitor behavior here:
Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms to your pages where users can submit feedback and testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), all you have to do is send customers to your “Testimonials” section.
Here are some great WordPress testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into a Page or Post using a shortcode. The plugin also lets you publish 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 provides a “pro” version with additional features and technical support.
Go here to download and use this plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your WordPress site. You can insert customer 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 provides a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and plugin support.
To download this plugin, go here:
This premium WP plugin provides plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
- Display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, list layout, grid layout, etc. using a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.
Visit this site to download and use the plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Client testimonials and user reviews are great sources of content that can help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from existing clients, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
The articles below provide useful information on creating effective users 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 easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality 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 completely FREE!
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