Build Your Reputation With User Testimonials And Reviews
Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? Most business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be quite 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 digital, mobile and social media-driven economy, it’s a mistake to ignore the impact of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting comments about your business.
Ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
You could be doing your business a great disservice if you don’t spread the positive things your customers are saying about your products, solutions, client support, training, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content.
In this article, you will learn ways to improve your sales with effective client testimonials.
Client Reviews And Testimonials
Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum, the great, legendary businessman and showman, once said 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 testimonials quoted directly from existing users are far more persuasive for attracting new clients than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is a source of untapped business growth potential that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … reviews and testimonials from your satisfied users!
Customer reviews and testimonials are fantastic for building credibility for your products or services.
Research conducted by marketing firms all lead to the same inevitable conclusion: testimonials and user reviews eliminate doubts potential customers may have about your products, help with product selection and increases sales.
Here are just some statistics that support this:
- According to a study 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 web site if it has ratings and user reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, consumer reviews can result in 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 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 User Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding great reviews to your website from customers is essential for growing your business online.
Reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and affect your business both in a negative or positive manner.
People may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to your face, but they could post damaging words on a forum about a bad experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes an integral part of your success strategy.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need it) could be causing damage to your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a tool for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your services through effective customer review management:
Creating Client Testimonials – Useful Tips
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of marketing your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you quote responses from clients in your content, you:
- Show other users exactly what problems and pains your products and services can solve for them and how easily this can be done.
- Help your visitors identify their objections and address these.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and this facilitates moving them closer to a decision to purchase.
Here are some useful tips on improving your sales with customer testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: You should try using your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspellings in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos of real people: Images of people’s faces draw the most attention on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews can help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your site’s content.
- Use the power of storytelling: Stories are so much more powerful and memorable than providing mere statistical facts. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about excellent support and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: It’s good to 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 can create on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails 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 customers are genuinely ecstatic about your support when offering a money-back guarantee or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful… “XYZ solution was directly responsible for growing our sales by $36,454 during the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable data, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs by 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 period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Use different client testimonials throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult if you are just starting out and have very few clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial throughout your site. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more client 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 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 aspire to become can be a very 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 content 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 blog.
- Don’t use fake client testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t destroy your reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied client can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful guidelines for requesting testimonials from your clients:
- Make a point of contacting clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing a service.
- Include a field for testimonials in all your client surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next meet with clients or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a short video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for the client and make sure to capture their positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy for them. If 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 given you – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. 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 To The Source
Offer to post a link to their site 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 not fake and can be verified.
Include Testimonial Requests In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include requests for a testimonial in a scheduled auto responder broadcast. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to use your services. Use words like “I need your help” in your email subject and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking subscribers to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature helps you solicit testimonials that become part of your profile. 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 website (tip: offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Page
Create a new section for customer testimonials and place a “more testimonials …” link pointing to this section throughout your content sections.
Useful Tip: You can measure how useful testimonials are by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added your testimonial content. A great tool for understanding what visitors are doing on your site are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your site to track visitor behaviour here:
Useful 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 testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you then refer clients to your “Testimonials” section.
Check out the WordPress testimonial plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts 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 for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their company logo, etc.
The plugin also comes with a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
Visit this site to download the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your pages and posts. You can insert testimonials content 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 comes with a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions for better search engine results and developer support.
Go here to download and use this plugin:
This premium WP plugin provides many great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for correct display on any device or browser.
- Options to display your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, grid layout, list layout, etc. via 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 colours, 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 …
User reviews and client 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 your customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
For additional resources about creating effective testimonials see these 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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