Boosting revenue and fostering customer loyalty hinges on robust customer review strategies.
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The impact of reviews on your brand is immense— according to Gartner’s latest Global Software Buying Trends report a whopping 86% of business leaders actively seek verified reviews when evaluating B2B software. For SaaS providers, it’s not just about gathering reviews; it’s about effectively managing them with a well-thought-out strategy.
Two major hurdles for SaaS brands are securing genuine reviews and effectively engaging with reviewers.
In this blog, we discuss the importance of having a review strategy, how you can assess its effectiveness along with the practical ways to implement it in your brand journey.
Benefits of a Review Strategy For B2B Saas Brands
Reviews play a crucial role in establishing trust, driving user engagement, and enhancing your product’s reputation in this day and age of social media influence, hence it’s important to build a strategy around it.
In situations where reliable recommendations are lacking, BrightLocal reveals that a whopping 98% of consumers who peruse online reviews for local businesses place the same level of trust in these reviews as they would in personal recommendations.
This underscores the significance of online reviews as the utmost trustworthy and credible form of “advertising” available.
Here’s a closer look at the key benefits:
1. Boost Social Proof
- Reviews provide potential users with insights into their peers’ experiences, building trust in your software.
- With 68% of buyers involving the sales team late in the decision process, reviews become a powerful channel to gain trust and influence purchasing decisions.
2. Establish a Recognizable Reputation
- Continuous feedback in reviews helps create a distinct identity among your target audience.
- Highlighting specific features, like proactive customer support or user-friendly design, contributes to building a strong reputation.
3. Foster a User-Centered Approach
- SaaS reviews offer valuable insights into user preferences and areas for improvement.
- Analyzing reviews that highlight likes, dislikes, and challenges helps shape a user-centered product, demonstrating responsiveness to customer feedback and reducing churn.
4. Drive New User Sign-Ups
- Reviews rank among the top four influential sources for buyers, alongside industry experts, professional networks, and internal influencers.
- Potential users use reviews to validate their specific requirements, relying on positive experiences shared by others, improved search rankings, and the establishment of trust to drive sign-ups.
How to Design Review Strategies For B2B SaaS Brands?
Following are the steps to take to craft an effective review strategy for your B2B SaaS brand.
1. Directly Engage Customers
A significant 71% of buyers are open to sharing feedback for their purchased products, making direct requests an effective approach. You can utilize this 1:1 relationship between customer-facing employees and users. Customer Success Managers, Account Managers, and Sales reps can strategically ask for reviews via various channels such as email, Zoom, Slack, or other preferred platforms.
Here are 3 ways you can get it done:
- Event-Based Review Requests
- Leverage customer-only events, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, as opportune moments to solicit reviews.
- Implement creative approaches, like Webex Events’ digital scavenger hunt, where customers earn reward points for reviews, fostering engagement and participation.
- Review Booths at User Conferences:
- If hosting user conferences, set up review booths to garner reviews directly from attendees.
- Hopin’s collaboration with G2 at their 2021 event, Illuminate, included incentives such as Amazon gift cards and donations to Girls Who Code, resulting in a substantial increase in G2 reviews.
- In-App Notifications for Reviews:
- Implement in-app notifications strategically, ensuring they are sent after users have engaged with your tool.
- Gong successfully encourages reviews by offering users a $10 gift card in exchange for their feedback, respecting user engagement and timing to gather meaningful insights.
2. Utilize NPS Surveys to Collect Reviews
Next in line, employ Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to gather reviews – these surveys gauge how likely your customers are to recommend your product or service to others.
The Sendible team applied this strategy for B2B SaaS review generation, as explained by their Founder, Gavin Hammar:
“We utilized NPS surveys to pinpoint our promoters. Subsequently, we initiated an automated email campaign reaching out to these promoters, urging them to leave a review on G2. Initially, we attempted to incentivize them with gift vouchers, but that didn’t yield significant results. So, we experimented with swag, and it garnered numerous reviews! Each reviewer received a Sendible hoodie, serving not only as an incentive but also enhancing brand awareness.”
~ Gavin Hammar, Founder at Sendible
Apart from motivating promoters with company swag, you can offer incentives such as a complimentary month’s subscription, an Amazon voucher, or a charitable donation.
However, ensure that your review request email minimizes friction, making it easy for reviewers to share feedback by simplifying the process. For example, Otter sends feedback requests to users after they complete the first task with their tool. The email is concise, and to the point, and manages expectations by emphasizing that sharing feedback will only take a minute.
Additionally, ensure your automated email maintains a human touch and avoids sounding robotic. Personalize the task, and include a brief note explaining how their review will contribute to product improvement or introduce the tool to their peers.
Did you know?
TCC is rated 4.9 by B2B SaaS businesses and has grabbed The Clutch Champion for Fall 2023 and The Clutch Global Leader 2023 Award!
3. Implement an Automated Email Review Request
Initiate review requests through automated emails when your users:
- Accomplish a milestone with your tool
- Finish their initial task using your product
- Display a record-high or notable use of your tool
CaptivateIQ offers an example that streamlines the review generation process by incorporating distinct call-to-action (CTA) buttons for reviewing on different platforms.
Automated email review request:
This approach minimizes friction, particularly for users who prefer a specific review platform. For instance, customers using Capterra can directly select the CTA button relevant to their platform without the need to navigate to G2, streamlining the review submission process with just a few clicks. Additionally, you have the option to automate your review request emails based on time-triggered events, such as reaching the 90-day milestone as a customer or after renewing or upgrading their subscription. This ensures timely and targeted review requests tailored to your users’ engagement with your product.
4. Delegate Review Generation to a Review Platform
A significant 76% of buyers consider SaaS review sites highly trustworthy. Consequently, half of the buyers leverage these platforms to educate themselves on a product’s benefits and risks, aiding them in making more informed and confident purchase decisions.
While encouraging users to submit reviews directly to these sites is effective, you can also collaborate with the review site itself to streamline SaaS review generation. This strategy not only saves you time but also lightens your workload, although it’s worth noting that the conversion rate may be lower compared to direct requests.
In a collaboration with a platform like G2, for instance, you simply provide them with a list of your users for review solicitation. The trusted third-party review site, in turn, initiates a three-email sequence to these users, prompting them to share their experiences and insights through reviews.
5. Craft a Personalized Request in Your Customer Newsletter
Begin by identifying customers who consistently open and engage with your emails. Create a segment comprising these active users and share a newsletter specifically tailored for them, including a personalized request for reviews.
For instance, communicate how their feedback would be invaluable in improving your products or services. Additionally, showcase positive reviews within the newsletter to inspire subscribers to contribute their thoughts and experiences.
How to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Review Strategies?
Thankfully, analytics comes to the rescue! The effectiveness of your SaaS review strategies can be gauged by monitoring the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Cost per ticket: This involves evaluating the value of your support agent’s time in comparison to the average time spent addressing a user review or support ticket. Striving for efficiency can lead to a reduction in the cost per ticket.
- Average reply time: The faster, the better. A prompt reply time can contribute to a decrease in the cost per ticket, emphasizing the importance of efficiency in managing reviews.
- Average first reply time: Ideally, providing an initial response within an hour is optimal. However, considering platform limitations, such as the App Store, where responses may take up to a day to appear, it’s crucial to manage expectations accordingly.
- Total reply rate: Ensure no review is left unattended. Responding to all valuable reviews and utilizing automation to address routine reviews can contribute to an effective overall strategy.
- Average updated review score change: This metric provides insights into how many reviews experienced a shift from a low score to a high score, offering a valuable perspective on the impact of your review management efforts.
Things to Steer Clear of Before Implementing Review Strategies
It’s crucial to steer clear of certain approaches when soliciting reviews to maintain authenticity and sincerity, ensuring a positive impact on both existing and potential customers.
- Avoid Incentives: Resist the temptation to offer rewards for reviews. Authentic reviews are more valuable than those driven by external rewards, as incentives can lead to reviews that lack genuine sentiments.
- Don’t Treat it as a Formality: Requesting reviews should convey a genuine interest in improvement. Approaching it as a mere formality may discourage customers from providing constructive feedback and result in less meaningful reviews.
- Don’t Overwhelm Customers: While you may have a presence on multiple review platforms, refrain from burdening customers with requests to post reviews everywhere. Focus on specific platforms relevant to your business.
- Address Negative Reviews: Ignoring negative reviews can create the perception that you are not receptive to feedback. Acknowledge and address negative comments to demonstrate a commitment to improvement and customer satisfaction.
In summary, well-crafted review strategies, complemented by automation or readiness to implement it, is a game-changer for boosting your B2B SaaS brand’s growth. Rather than letting things unfold organically, actively engage with your users and ensure their satisfaction.
Being available when they need assistance is a meaningful gesture that won’t go unnoticed, ultimately contributing to your success.