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 disappointing results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that finding effective ways of generating new customers can be hard. Just trying to keep your business afloat requires 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 media-driven economy, ignoring what your clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you are also doing your business a disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your customers say about your products and services. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful ways of marketing your products and services online and should be used in your content.
In this article, you’ll discover how to achieve better results online with captivating client testimonials.
Testimonials And Client Reviews
The great American showman P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful and effective way of getting your business promoted. Quoting genuine reviews and testimonials from existing customers is satisfied customers are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is clearly a source of untapped opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … reviews from their existing customers!
Testimonials and reviews are terrific for building credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by many marketing research firms all seem to lead to the same conclusion: adding customer testimonials and customer reviews to your point of sale pages helps decrease doubts potential customers may have about products and services, helps users select products and helps increase sales.
Here are just some of the statistics available to support this:
- According to a study by eVoc Insights, an organization 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 reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, consumer reviews play a significant role in creating an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web 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).
Adding Consumer Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management
Adding great reviews to your website from satisfied customers is important for helping you grow your business and creating a solid online reputation.
Testimonials and reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both in a positive and negative manner.
People may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could be posting updates on a forum about an unpleasant encounter they’ve just had with you or your business 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 important to your business success.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need it) may be harming your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a simple plugin for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage user feedback:
Tips For Creating Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be included in your content marketing. When you quote your own client responses in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help your visitors identify their objections and address these.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates the sales process.
Here are some tips on improving your sales with testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try to use your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps preserve your testimonials’ authenticity.
- Use photos: Research shows that using images of people’s faces will draw 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 story: 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 far more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about excellent support and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: It’s good to add testimonials in your web content where it makes the most sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. Think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s mind by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your support when offering a risk-free guarantee or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements is more powerful: “Since using your XYZ services, we have noticed our sales grow by $31,379 during the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ product definitely helped us grow our business?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs by in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours of work you have helped them save, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate in a recent period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be somewhat difficult when you are just starting out and have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial throughout your web pages. 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 launch discount for existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose 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 best customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to is a very 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 ideal customers.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your products or services, ask them for permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
- Never use fake testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing professional writers to write your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to believe that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t destroy your credibility with ”made up” testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Clients
Ask For 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 tips for requesting testimonials:
- Contact your customers after 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after completing your service.
- Add a field for testimonials in client satisfaction surveys.
- Pull out your phone next time you visit a client or hand over a finished project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they would be happy to record a brief video testimonial/feedback interview. If they agree, while recording your video, explain to viewers what you have done for your client and try to record 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 job 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 – 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 done this 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 Publish A Link Back To The Source Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to post a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive for clients to provide you with a testimonial. It also makes an 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 requests for a testimonial in one of your newsletter broadcasts. Preferably, this should be timed to reach subscribers just after your clients have had a chance to use your product, service or solution. Use words like “I need a quick favor” 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.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to solicit testimonials from other members for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your website (you can offer to add a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Page
Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “more client testimonials …” link to this page throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of testimonials 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 site.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your sites to monitor visitor behavior here:
- Measuring Visitor Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Heatmapping Software – HeatMap Tracker Review
Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your website or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages inviting users to submit testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (make sure to provide simple instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you can then send users to your “Testimonials” section.
Check out the WordPress testimonial plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into your pages and posts using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert 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, a company logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also can be upgraded to a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
Go here to learn more about using the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your pages and posts. You can insert testimonials content via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
Testimonials Widget offers a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in options for better search engine results and plugin support.
To download the plugin, visit this site:
This premium WP plugin offers plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for displaying correctly on any device or browser.
- Options to display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, 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, customize font and background colors, font types and more.
Go here to download and use this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Customer reviews and client testimonials are powerful 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 feedback, reviews, and testimonials from your customers or clients, and publish positive content about your business on your site.
For additional information on creating effective clients testimonials refer to 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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