Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, and getting the exact same results? As most business owners know, that trying to generate new business can be extremely hard. Just trying to stay in business takes 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, you cannot afford to ignore the significance of what your potential customers are doing online, especially if they are posting comments about your business.
Don’t ignore what consumers may be saying online about your business!
By the same token, you may also be doing your business a disservice if you are not boosting the positive things your clients say about your products, solutions, customer support, training, etc. User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective ways of helping you market your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing strategy.
In this article, you will learn ways to improve your visitor-to-sales conversions using meaningful user testimonials.
User Reviews And Testimonials
P.T. Barnum, the great American showman, is often quoted as having stated that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-based content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Testimonials and reviews quoted directly from satisfied clients are far more persuasive when it comes to attracting new customers than anything you have to say about your own products or services.
There is a source of untapped business growth potential that most businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … client reviews!
Testimonials and consumer reviews are great for building credibility for your products and services.
Studies conducted by many marketing research firms all seem to point to the same inevitable conclusion: adding reviews and testimonials to your site decreases doubts potential customers may have about purchasing particular products or services, helps users select products and increases conversions of visitors into sales.
Below are just some findings 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 reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, customer reviews can produce an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more consumer reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Website 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).
(Above figures sourced from eConsultancy.com)
Adding User Reviews – Managing Online Reputation
Adding testimonials and reviews to your website from satisfied clients is essential for creating a solid online reputation.
Reviews and testimonials, however, are like double-edged swords; they can impact your business both negatively and positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your services directly to you, but they could have posted negative feedback on Facebook, or a discussion group or forum about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vital aspect of your success.
Misconceptions about engaging in online reputation management practices, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need it) may be causing damage to your business without you even being aware of it.
See this article to learn more about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage user feedback:
Tips On How To Create Effective Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials, and case studies are effective when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be used in your content marketing. When you include responses from users in your content, you:
- Show prospects exactly with similar problems and pains how your products and services can help them.
- Help visitors identify their objections and address these.
- Help prospects connect with their motivations and facilitate the sales process.
Here are some tips on improving your sales with awesome testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: You should try to use the actual words used by your customers as much as you can. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelled words in the content helps to keep it ‘real’.
- Use photos of real people: It’s a proven fact that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors browsing a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Tell a story: Stories are much more powerful and memorable 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 far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about excellent service and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Keep it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials in your site copy where it makes the most sense to place them, and where you believe these can most effectively help you sell your point. For example, think about the impact you can create on your visitor’s mind if you were to add a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting your service pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped your clients solve before discussing the benefits of your services, or testimonials where clients are genuinely thrilled about your customer service before offering guarantees or addressing objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for increasing our bottom line by $84,785 during the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ solution helped us grow our sales?” 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, 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 repeatedly 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 using the same testimonial everywhere on your site. Depending on your business, you could try to obtain more customer testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special launch discount for 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 aspire to become can be 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 best audience demographic.
- Reprint testimonials across different platforms. If someone publishes a great comment on your Facebook page praising your customer service, send them a message asking permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Only use real testimonials. Your potential clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with a ”made up” testimonial.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Clients
Getting a testimonial from a satisfied customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful guidelines for requesting testimonials from your clients:
- Make a point of contacting customers after 90 days with an email request for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
- Add a field for entering testimonials in your client surveys.
- Pull out your phone next time you visit a client or hand over a completed job and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a short video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording your video, explain to viewers what you have done for your client and make sure to record your client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. Whenever clients send 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 written – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to use it. Explain that you have already prepared something to save them time and invite them to change what you have written however they see fit before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link To Their Site
Offer to add a link back to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is often enough of an incentive to get clients providing you with a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Include Testimonial Requests In Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include a request for a testimonial in one of your autoresponder mailouts. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to assess the results of using your products. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking clients to provide honest feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature is a great way to solicit testimonials for your account. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your site (and offer to add a link back to their website or profile in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Page
Create a new section for testimonials and add a “read more customer testimonials …” link to your main testimonials section throughout your site.
Practical Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your client 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 visitor behavior on your pages.
We have written an article about adding heatmap analytics to your sites to measure visitor behaviour here:
- How To Observe User Behavior On Your WordPress Site With Analytics Software – Heat Map Tracker Review
Using WordPress Testimonial Plugins
If your site or blog is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages where users can submit testimonials.
Once your plugin is installed and set up (remember to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you can then send users to your “Testimonials” section.
Check out the plugins below:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add customer testimonials to the sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you publish a list of all your testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include images with testimonials, which can be used to add a photo of the testimonial author, a logo, etc.
The plugin also provides a “pro” version that offers additional features and technical support.
Visit this site to download the plugin:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with images or videos on your WordPress site. You can insert testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and specify different display options such as random or specific ordering.
The plugin has plenty of additional features available via a premium version, including built-in options for better search engine results and developer support.
To download the plugin, go here:
This premium WP plugin offers a range of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for correct display on any device or browser.
- Display options for your testimonials in a widget or as slideshows, sliders, list layout, grid layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of the testimonial, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customized font and background colors, font types and more.
To download and use this plugin, go here:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Customer reviews and client testimonials 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 customers, and publish positive content about your business on your web site.
The articles below provide useful information on creating effective clients testimonials and were used when researching 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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