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 customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that trying to generate new business can be extremely difficult, time consuming and frustrating. Just trying to survive in business takes up a lot of your time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s digital, mobile and social-driven economy, ignoring what your customers may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Don’t ignore what your customers may be saying online about your business!
You may also be doing your business a disservice if you are not promoting the positive things your customers are saying about your products, services, client support, training, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market and promote your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.
In this article, you’ll learn how to improve your conversions with awesome client testimonials.
P.T. Barnum, legendary showman and successful promoter, 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”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful and effective way of promoting your business. Reviews from existing customers are far more persuasive when it comes to drawing new clients than anything you have to say about your own products or services.
There is clearly an untapped source of business growth potential that most businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … testimonials and reviews from your existing clients!
Testimonials and reviews are terrific for building credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by marketing companies all seem to lead to the same conclusion: adding reviews and customer testimonials to your sales information pages helps decrease doubts potential customers may have about purchasing products, helps users select products and increases sales conversions.
Here are just some of the statistics available to 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 web 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 reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- 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).
Adding Client Testimonials And Reviews – Online Reputation Management
Clearly, you should be adding great testimonials and reviews from extremely satisfied customers to your site.
Testimonials and consumer reviews, however, are like double-edged swords; they can affect your business both negatively and positively.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could be posting updates on Facebook or a discussion group about an unpleasant encounter they’ve just had with you or your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes an important aspect of your online 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 seriously hurting your business without you even realizing it.
See this article to learn more about a tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback:
How To Create Awesome Customer Testimonials – Useful Tips
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing. When you quote responses from users in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly what pains and problems your products and services can help to solve for them and how easily this can be done.
- Help visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and facilitate moving them closer to a decision to purchase.
Here are some useful tips on how to create compelling testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try to use your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
- Use photos: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors 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.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more powerful and memorable than simply providing facts and statistics. The ability to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about how “excellent” the customer service has been 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 to your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help you sell your point. For example, think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s perception if you were to insert a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are truly ecstatic about your customer service before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would find more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for helping us grow our revenue by $84,225 in the last fiscal year,” or “XYZ software definitely helped us grow our sales?” Whenever possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their profits 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 financial quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same client testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out or have very few clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your web pages. 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 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 best customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects can relate to can be an extremely 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 fantastic feedback on your Facebook wall praising your products or services, send them a message asking for permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Most people can tell if you are employing professional writers to create your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective customers need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity or reputation with ”made up” testimonials.
How To Get Customer 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 from clients:
- Contact your clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 30 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you did not obtain one after completing a service.
- Include a field for testimonials in all your client surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next meet with a client or hand over a completed job and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for the client and make sure to record their positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy for them. When a client sends you positive written feedback 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 the client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have done this 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 Post A Link Back To Their Site Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients to provide you with a testimonial. It also makes an implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real 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 a periodic newsletter broadcast. Preferably, this should be done after your customers have had a chance to experience your solution. 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 honest feedback, a testimonial, or a review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you obtain testimonials from other members for your profile. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is user-friendly and the person providing the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Section On Your Site
Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “read more client testimonials …” link to your main testimonials page whenever you add single 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 the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to monitoring what visitors are doing on your site.
We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your site to monitor visitor behaviour here:
- How To Track Visitor Behaviour On Your WordPress Site With Analytics Software – Heat Map Tracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your website or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add a form 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), you can then send users to your “Testimonials” section.
Here are some plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free WP plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you insert a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which you can use for adding a photo of the testimonial author, their company logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also provides users with a “pro” version that offers additional features and developer support.
To learn more about the plugin, go here:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you add random or selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your pages and posts. You can insert user 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 plugin makes loads of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and technical support.
Go here to download and use this plugin:
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 options for your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, grid layout, list layout, etc. using 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.
Go here for more information about this plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Testimonials and customer reviews are great sources of content that help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your clients or customers, and publish positive content about your business on your web site.
The articles below provide useful information on creating effective users testimonials and were 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 actionable information and practical tips that will teach you 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 100% FREE!
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now