How To Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain new customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that trying to generate new customers can be quite difficult, confusing and frustrating. Just trying to remain 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, it’s a mistake to ignore the significance of online consumer behavior, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Ignoring what your clients 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 spread the positive things your clients say about your services and products. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing.
In this article, we’ll show you ways to achieve better results online with awesome client testimonials.
Testimonials And User Reviews
P.T. Barnum, the great, legendary showman, 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. Testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers are far more persuasive for attracting new customers than anything you say about your own products or services.
There is clearly a source of untapped business growth potential that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … reviews and testimonials from their customers!
Reviews and customer testimonials are a terrific way to build credibility for your business.
Studies conducted by leading firms all seem to lead to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and customer testimonials to your sales pages helps decrease doubts potential customers may have about purchasing a particular product or service, helps users select products and helps increase sales.
Here are just some of the statistics available to 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 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 user reviews per product can mean 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).
(Above figures sourced from eConsultancy.com)
Adding User Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding great testimonials and reviews to your website from existing clients is important for helping you grow your business and creating a solid online reputation.
Reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and impact your business both in a negative or positive way.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your business, products or services directly to you, but they could have posted disparaging remarks on a discussion thread about an unpleasant encounter they’ve just had with one of your staff members and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vital part of your business and content marketing strategy.
Misconceptions about managing your reputation online, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need to worry about it) may be seriously causing damage to your business without you even being aware of this.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective user review management:
Tips For Creating Customer Testimonials
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you promote and market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content. When you quote your own user responses in your content, you:
- Show others exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help prospects identify their objections and address these.
- Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and facilitate moving them closer to a buying decision.
Here are some practical tips on improving your sales conversions with client testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leave little grammatical or spelling errors in the content. This helps keep your testimonials ‘real’.
- Use real photos: Marketing studies show 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 will help increase visitor engagement with your content.
- Use the power of storytelling: Stories are much more powerful and captivating than providing mere facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution saved the day will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than presenting generalized statements about excellent service and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: Add testimonials to your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help sell your point. Think about the impact you will have 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 product or service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your support when offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful… “As a direct result of using your services, we have noticed a revenue growth of $79,997 during the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution has helped us grow our sales?” Whenever possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs 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 during a specific business quarter, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same customer testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult when you are just starting out and have very few clients, it’s best to avoid using the same testimonial repeatedly throughout your web 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 choose 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 can relate to is a powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that appeal directly to your ideal customers.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If you get fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your customer service, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the content on your site.
- Never use fake client testimonials. Your potential customers need to see that the testimonials provided on your site are real. Don’t compromise your integrity or reputation with a false testimonial.
How To Get Client Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these tips for soliciting testimonials:
- Contact clients after 14 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after completing a service.
- Add a field for testimonials in client surveys.
- Take out your phone when you next meet with 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 your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to record the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy for them. When 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 best sections (only use what they have written – don’t 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 edit what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Post A Link Back To Their Site
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 not fake and can be verified.
Add Testimonial Requests To 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 done after your customers have had a chance to measure the results of using your products. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking clients for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to solicit testimonials that become part of your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite 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 (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their profile in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Page On Your Site
Create a “Testimonials” page and place a “read more testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials page whenever you have displayed new testimonials on your site.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your testimonials by how long visitors stay 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 a heatmap analytics technology you can add to your website to measure visitor behaviour here:
- How To Understand User Behaviour On Your WordPress Site Using Heat Map Software – HeatMap Tracker Review
If your site or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add a form to your pages inviting users to submit feedback and testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for using the testimonials submission form – if available), you can then refer customers to your “Testimonials” section.
Check out the WordPress testimonial plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into posts and pages using a shortcode. Easy Testimonials also lets you add a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used to add a photo of the testimonial author, their business logo, etc.
Easy Testimonials also provides users with a “pro” version that has additional features and plugin support.
To download and use this plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos or images on your posts and pages. You can insert testimonials using a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
Testimonials Widget has plenty of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in functions for improved search engine results and technical support.
Go here for more information about using the plugin:
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.
- Display your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, list layout, grid layout, etc. by adding a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.
Visit this site to download the plugin:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Conclusion …
Testimonials and user reviews are powerful sources of content that help your business add credibility, build authority, improve online reputation, and grow your sales funnel. Always ask for feedback, reviews, and testimonials from your clients or customers, and start publishing these on your web site.
For additional information about creating effective testimonials read the articles below:
- 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 teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, 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!
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