Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, and getting the exact same results? As most business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be difficult, confusing and frustrating. Just trying to keep your business afloat requires 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-driven economy, ignoring what customers 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 great disservice if you aren’t publishing the positive things your customers say about your services and products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be added to your content.
In this article, you’ll learn how to improve your sales conversions using compelling customer testimonials.
Testimonials And Customer Reviews
Legendary American showman P.T. Barnum 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. Testimonials from existing users are far more persuasive for drawing new clients, customers or users than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of business growth potential that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … reviews and testimonials from clients!
Testimonials and consumer reviews are a powerful way to build credibility for your services or products.
Studies conducted by many leading marketing firms all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: user reviews and testimonials help to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about products, help users select products and increases the number of sales.
Below are just some findings that support this:
- According to research 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 customer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews can produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can mean 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 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).
(Above figures sourced from eConsultancy.com)
Adding Consumer Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding reviews and testimonials to your website from customers is essential for creating a solid online business reputation.
Consumer reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and affect your business both positively or negatively.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to your face, but they could post negative comments on a forum 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 a vital aspect of your online success.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need to worry about it) could be seriously harming your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective plugin for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage user feedback:
Tips On Improving Your Conversions With Awesome Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you include your own user responses in your content, you:
- Show potential customers exactly with similar problems and pains what your products and services can do for them.
- Help visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and this facilitates the sales process.
Here are some useful tips on creating powerful customer testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
- Use photos: Research shows that using images of people’s faces draws the most attention of visitors browsing a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Tell a powerful story: Stories are far more powerful and captivating than providing mere facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about how “excellent” your service has been and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials to your site copy where it makes the most sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. Think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s mind if you were to add 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 discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are genuinely ecstatic about your support when offering a money-back guarantee or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “Since using your XYZ solution, we have seen our sales grow by $27,042 in the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution definitely 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 during a specific business quarter, 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 if you are just starting out and have very few clients, try to avoid using the same testimonial 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 launch discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you decide 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 target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become 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 targeted to your ideal customers.
- Reprint across different platforms. If someone publishes great feedback on your Facebook page praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Don’t use fake client testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing copywriters to produce your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective clients need to believe that the testimonials displayed on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your credibility with false testimonials.
How To Get Client Testimonials
If you have just completed a service for someone, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Here are some useful guidelines for soliciting testimonials from customers:
- Make a point of contacting clients after 90 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
- Include a field for entering testimonials in your client surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a quick video testimonial/feedback interview. During your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for your client and try to record their positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write it for them. Whenever clients send you a positive email thanking you for a great job that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the juiciest sections (only use what they have written – don’t put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have already prepared something to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to modify what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To The Source
Offer to post 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 the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are not fake and can be verified.
Include A Testimonial Request In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a list of subscribers, include a request for a testimonial in a periodic auto responder broadcast. Preferably, this should be done after your customers have had a chance to assess the impact of using 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 clients for feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials from other members for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (tip: offer to add a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Section
Create a new page for customer testimonials and place a “read more client testimonials …” link to your main testimonials page whenever you display new testimonials on your site.
Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your 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 observing visitor behaviour on your pages.
We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your site to measure visitor behaviour here:
- Measuring Visitor Behavior On Your WordPress Site Using Heat Mapping Software – HeatMapTracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms to your pages inviting users to 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 refer clients to your “Testimonials” page.
Check out the plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials 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 for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a business logo, etc.
The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides users with a “pro” version that offers additional features and plugin support.
To download and use the plugin, go here:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your blog. You can insert testimonials content 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 comes with additional features via a premium version, including built-in options for improved search engine results and plugin support.
To learn more about using this plugin, visit this site:
This is a premium plugin that provides plenty 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 sliders, slideshows, grid layout, list layout, etc. by adding a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.
To download and use the plugin, visit this site:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Customer reviews and client testimonials 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 feedback, reviews, and testimonials from existing customers, and publish positive content about your business on your website or blog.
The articles below are a great source of information about creating effective 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
We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful 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!
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