If traditional physical companies are not exempt from the importance of online reviews in their business, how could a software company be any less? Impact of reviews and opinions in SaaS sales is as important as it is for any company.
Reviews and opinions are part of the experience of buying a product or service. We interact with them on a daily basis. If we want to go try a new restaurant, we look for reviews on Tripadvisor, or we evaluate the opinions a Blablacar driver has before we get into a stranger’s car.
As a consequence of the internet, the consumer journey has evolved into a much more elaborate and complicated process. We are no longer consumers, we don’t just buy a product. We are prosumers, we buy the product, we use it and spread the word about it.
For SaaS companies and B2B buyers it is no different. This information generated by the customers themselves about the service or product provides value and builds trust. The impact of reviews in SaaS sales is key, consumers want to hear the opinion of other consumers to ensure that their purchase investment is safe.
How do reviews and opinions influence the different stages of the SaaS customer?
From an inbound perspective, all customers go through three stages before buying a product or service. Here’s what they are and how the opinions of previous buyers influence your potential customers.
Discovery and learning
At this stage the customer doesn’t know you. They are identifying a problem, an opportunity or a need and learning about it.
It is essential to generate a good impression of your brand to the consumer. In the future, if you have built enough trust, they will consider your products when they are comparing and weighing options.
Reviews help users get to know your company and your services. The more reviews, the greater the impact on search rank. Opinions generated on specific software or B2B review websites (Capterra, G2, SoftwareAdvise or Trustradius, among others) will make your company and services appear in the organic search of potential customers.
The 2019 study “The Value of Trustorthy Brand Reputation” reflects that a consumer at this stage of the buyer researches an unfamiliar brand through reviews and opinions 93.4% of the time.
It also states that companies with a good online reputation increase the trust of potential customers by 95.6%.
Positive opinions about their products and services increase this trust by 93.7%. A higher percentage than other aspects of the company such as customer service.
On the contrary, the biggest factors that devalue trust in the brand are:
- Deleting negative comments. This lowers trust by 95%.
- Having negative opinions decreases by 88.8%.
Recognition and search for solutions
The customer has identified what they want to solve, is searching and comparing possible solutions and alternatives.
Having generated trust in the company and products before, thanks to the reviews of previous users, opens the door for the consumer to take you into account when drawing up a list and start comparing options.
Reviews and opinions build value and trust. London Research’s “The Value of Customer Ratings and Reviews in Advertising” found that 64% of respondents admit to being often and very often influenced by reviews. They consider this tool to be effective or very effective 63% of the time.
Sixty percent are also influenced by star ratings (1 to 5). These reviews add context about the product or company. They help the consumer to identify relevant aspects, such as how long to wait for results or identify problems they had not considered. This is useful when comparing alternatives.
Final purchase decision
Reaching the end of the path, the potential customer has identified his problem and compared different alternatives. Now he must decide with which product or service he has decided to solve it.
Following London Research’s previous study, we find that in the specific sector of SaaS companies: technology and electronics, 64% of respondents believe that the rating ratio and the opinions of other users would be very useful for their final purchase decision.
For 77% of people, a good product review will significantly increase the consumption of a brand.
A 4.8 rating out of 5 works two and a half times better than a score of 4.2. According to ReviewTrackers, 80% of users do not trust businesses with a rating below 4.
A product with more than 3,000 reviews increases the chances of a sale by 13% over a product with 500 reviews. Even when the price is higher, users decide to buy the product or service that has the best and most reviews.
The impact of reviews in SaaS sales: the more and better reviews you have on the Internet, the more people will be willing to buy your products.
What to do in case I get few or bad reviews?
Now, achieving a high level of positive reviews towards your brand and quality of your SaaS services is considered a competitive advantage because obtaining them is not easy. It is a form of content over which the company has no control.
Your vast majority of customers will not leave a review about their experience with your company if you don’t make it easy for them to do so. Eighty percent of reviews are generated from follow-up communications.
An effective form of follow-up communication is to contact the customer by email a few days after the purchase has been made. In this way we allow the consumer to have tried the product and generated feedback.
When this follow-up is not done properly, we tend to see only the most polarized opinions. Whether from dissatisfied customers or the most fanatical customers. An ideal rating is considered to be between 4 and 5 with no repeated polarization of values 1 and 5.
If the service and product offered is good and effective, 90% of the ratings will be positive.
The number of reviews generates notoriety and popularity. However, a negative review does not alter your positioning, the search engine interprets it as something natural. However, despite not being relevant in your SEO positioning in specialized review search engines, according to the ReviewTrackers study, up to 94% of users have avoided a company after reading a negative review. To deal with and resolve negative online reviews you should follow these steps:
Do a regular search of your customers’ reviews.
Do a regular search of your customers’ reviews on specialized portals in your industry, such as Capterra, G2 or SoftwareAdvise, to identify your dissatisfied customers.
People in the online world can be cruel. A bad comment may make you angry or hurt, but it’s important to stay calm.
Respond to the comment to seek a possible solution to your problem. By not responding to negative comments about your company you send two messages to your customer and potential consumers: your company’s reputation does not influence you and you are not aware of what is being said about it, you are not interested in it.
Avoid discussions and try to solve the problem and start a conversation through a means of communication outside the review portal, such as an e-mail or a phone number.
Don’t give prefabricated answers. Personalizing messages to your customers is very important, it creates feelings of closeness, trust and interest in your company.
Learn from your mistakes.
Finally, ask yourself if there is something true in the dissatisfied customer’s review to improve your services. A good business identifies and learns from its mistakes.
How to follow up correctly to increase the reviews of my SaaS?
The best way to get more reviews for your business is to guide the customer in a simple and immediate way. t is important to perform this follow-up as we will generate a lot of impact through reviews in our SaaS.
As we have mentioned, emails are a good option when it comes to follow up. Email allows you to automate the sending process and be personalized with your database for each of your customers. Remember that the consumer is more engaged with your company when receiving and testing the product. You should not leave a long period of time between the purchase of the product and the follow-up email.
Before you follow up, you should be clear about where you want to direct your customers to give feedback on your products. You have two options:
- Reviews on your own website: Thank the customer for their trust and politely ask for their opinion through a direct link to your review section on your website.
- Reviews on external websites: In addition to thanking the customer for their trust, demonstrate your company’s presence on the Internet. Ask them in a polite way to make a comment in an external review portal. Your company should be listed on specialized review portals in your industry. Make sure you know the policies of external portals when redirecting your customers to these portals. In the case of SaaS companies, a good example is Capterra. This portal recommends sharing their feedback form that appears in the “Reviews on the Capterra Provider Portal” section.
In conclusion, the impact of reviews drive conversion, they generally become relevant once a user has discovered your business and is looking for validation that interacting with your company is a good fit. An extensive catalog of real reviews from satisfied customers is extremely influential at all stages that a SaaS customer goes through, regardless of whether you are dealing with private or B2B customers. That is why reviews has such an immportance in SaaS sales.
Consolidate your post-sales work to ensure that satisfied customers can also help your business in the future with their feedback. Get the customer to make an impact with their reviews on your SaaS.