The following is a guest post by Niraj, founder of Hiver.
You might have a great product, but if your reviews are lukewarm, you will find it harder to attract new clients.
Businesses cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to driving quality reviews. After all, 90% of purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews. Basically, quality reviews translate into dollars.
In this post, we take your through five ways B2B companies can drive quality reviews without burning a hole in your pocket.
Let’s dive in:
1. Ask for reviews just at the right time
Time is the one factor that will decide how successful you will be in getting great reviews. Calling out clients at odd hours won’t get you meaty reviews no matter how happy they are with your service.
The best time is when the client is happy enough to put in those good words for your business. Think of reviews as a reward for offering great service.
Here are the best times to ask clients for reviews:
- They just upgraded. A purchase upgrade is a telltale sign that the client loves your product. Capitalize this love by asking them for a review right after the upgrade.
- They just achieved something big. Ask for a review from clients who exceeded their sales target using your product.
- They reach out on social media. Address queries coming from your social media feed. After that, ask for a review.
- Their ‘big’ problem was resolved. Ask for a review after you resolve a big obstacle – bug issue, system crash, and all of that.
2. Segment efforts according to demographics
Before asking for reviews, segment your clients — industry, pricing plan, buying stage, geography, so forth and so on. It helps you come up with questions that are more relevant to clients. Relevancy is a powerful potent to retrieve quality reviews when seeking client feedback.
The most common way of sourcing reviews from clients is sending them an email. You should customize your email campaign based on the segments you want to target.
Here’s one way to do it:
Email #1 – New client
Email #2 – Repeat client
3. Write an email copy that doesn’t look automated
The one thing you have to remember about emails asking for reviews is clients love it when you sound like a human and not a bot.
I am not asking you to give up automation altogether, but ensure that every email has some personalized elements.
Here’s how an automated email looks:
What’s wrong with this email:
- Clearly, someone forgot to tell their customer support about email etiquette. Otherwise, they would have mentioned the client’s name and not ‘Dear Sir’.
- They have no social proof to validate company’s achievements.
- They are going to ‘try’ to give best prices. Such an unsure statement is bound to make prospects worrisome.
Instead, create an email copy that feels personal, authentic, and rewarding.
Personal – Thank them for their business and highlight how much their association means to you.
Authentic – Add a human face, possible a current customer with their review.
Rewarding – Give discounts not for their review but for their loyalty.
Place a CTA or a review link in the email signature at the end of the email. People would be more than happy to give you a stellar review for the effort you have put in making the email tailor fit to their needs.
Here’s the right way to do it:
4. Ask influencers to review your product
Give influencers a free access to your product, let them try it out and learn the product functions in detail. After they have understood the product, ask for a review.
You can express influencers’ opinions in the form of blogs, videos, or podcasts. Share it on social media and tag them as well.
The fact that 49% of folks rely on influencer recommendations, there is a great chance that people will follow suit.
Time Warner Business Class has used clients who also happen to be influencers to promote their brand.
5. Drive feedback from early adopters
B2B companies can drive quality reviews not just for existing products but for the new ones as well. Before the official launch of the product, allow a group of people (early adopters) to use your product.
Once they have a good understanding of the product, ask for feedback. Make the insights public: write a blog post, share it on company’s social media handles and relevant communities.
You can find people on beta testing sites who are willing to give genuine feedback quickly and in most cases for free.
- Betalist. A diverse community of beta testers, offering different perspectives.
- Betatesters. This works well if you want testimonials for a new mobile app feature.
- Hackernews. Get rich feedback from a tech-savvy audience.
B2B companies won’t find driving quality reviews a painful process as long as they make it super easy for clients to give feedback. Unclear links and CTAs can make customers back out from giving reviews due to frustration.
KISS: Keep it simple, silly. You can drive great reviews by making the process simple and less time consuming. This kind of courtesy shows clients that you value their time and in all likelihood helps you get what you want.
Niraj is the founder of Hiver, a powerful email management and collaboration tool. When not working at Hiver on programming or customer support, Niraj likes to play guitar. Niraj can be reached on Twitter @nirajr.