How To Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User 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? As most business owners know, that generating new business can be quite hard, time consuming 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 media-driven economy, you simply can’t afford to ignore the effect of online consumer behavior, especially if they are posting negative comments about your business.
Don’t ignore what customers may be saying online about your business!
You are also doing your business a disservice if you don’t promote the positive things your clients are saying about your services, solutions, customer training, support, etc. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are persuasive ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content.
In this article, you’ll learn ways to improve your conversions with highly effective client testimonials.
Client Reviews And Testimonials
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 way of getting your business promoted effectively. Quoting genuine reviews directly from existing customers is satisfied users are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers, clients or users than anything you have to 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 … client testimonials and reviews!
Testimonials and reviews are fantastic for building credibility for your services and products.
Studies conducted by many leading research companies all seem to lead to the same conclusion: adding reviews and customer testimonials to your point of sale pages helps to eliminate doubts potential customers may have about buying products or solutions that you are trying to sell, helps users select products and helps increase sales.
Here are just some statistics that 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 user reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can translate into a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Website 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 Client Testimonials And Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding testimonials and reviews to your site from clients who are thrilled with the results they’ve obtained by using your services is important for growing your business online and creating a solid online reputation.
User reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and affect your business both positive and negative ways.
People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to your face, but they could be posting disparaging remarks on a forum about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had with your services 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 an integral part of your business and content marketing strategy.
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 to worry about it) may be causing damage to your business without you even being aware of this.
See this article to learn more about a simple tool for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your services through effective user review management:
Creating Standout Customer Testimonials – Useful Tips
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content. When you include your own client responses in your content, you:
- Show others exactly what problems and pains your products and services can help solve for them and how easily it can do this.
- Help potential customers identify and address their objections.
- Help prospects connect with their aspirations and motivations and this facilitates moving them closer to a decision to purchase.
Here are some useful tips on improving your sales with captivating testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try using the actual words used by your customers as much as possible. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps keep your testimonials sounding authentic.
- 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 client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help your visitors and potential prospects take notice of your content.
- Tell a story: Stories are so much more powerful and captivating than simply providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generic statements about excellent customer service and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: It’s good to add testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s perception by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution can be purchased for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are genuinely ecstatic about your support before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful: “Since using your services, we have noticed a revenue growth of $87,535 in the previous financial quarter,” or “XYZ product definitely helped us grow our business?” If possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, 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, 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 a little difficult when you are just starting out or have very few clients, it’s best to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site. Depending on the type of business you run, 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 ideal customer: As every infomercial featuring a celebrity endorsement, subject expert or “busy mom” knows, if you know who your ideal customer is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become is a 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 a great comment on your Facebook page praising your business, send them a message asking permission to reprint the comment or post on your blog.
- Only use genuine testimonials. Many people can tell if you are employing copywriters to write your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective customers need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your integrity or reputation with false testimonials.
How To Get Testimonials From Clients
When you complete performing a service, or a customer says they are really happy with your product or service, ask them for a testimonial.
Here are some tips for soliciting testimonials from your customers:
- Contact your clients after a specific period of time, e.g. 14 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
- Include a field for entering testimonials in all your client satisfaction surveys.
- Pull out your phone next time you meet with 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 short video testimonial/feedback interview. While recording the video, describe to viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to capture your client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy for them. Whenever 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 juiciest sections (only use what they have given you – don’t 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 edit what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link To Their Site Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to publish a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing a testimonial. It also makes an 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 list of subscribers, include requests for a testimonial in a periodic auto responder message. Preferably, this should be done as soon as your customers have had a chance to use your products or services. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in the subject of your email and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking subscribers for honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to solicit testimonials from other members that become part of your account. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite 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 site (tip: offer to add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).
Create A Customer Testimonials Page
Create a “Testimonials” page and add a “more testimonials …” link to this section whenever you display new testimonials on your site.
Useful Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your user testimonials by how long visitors stay 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 a heatmap software you can add to your sites to observe visitor behaviour here:
Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your website or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also let you add forms to your pages where users can submit testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then send clients to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are some plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is an easy-to-use free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into your pages and posts using a shortcode. The plugin also lets you publish 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 comes with a “pro” version with additional features and plugin support.
Visit this site to learn more about using the plugin:
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 WordPress site. You can insert customer 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 Testimonials Widget plugin comes with a range of additional features via a premium version, including built-in functions SEO functionality and plugin support.
To download and use 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 correct display on any device or browser.
- 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 testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.
To download this plugin, go here:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Client testimonials and customer reviews 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 testimonials, reviews, and feedback from your clients or customers, and start publishing these on your website.
The articles below provide useful information about creating engaging users testimonials and were also 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
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