Customer reviews have revolutionized the way that consumers make buying decisions.
The vast majority of consumers are actively seeking out reviews – and won’t even consider making a purchase until they like what they read.
That said, these reviews don’t only impact the buyer’s experience. They actually have a massive effect on the reviewed company itself, and it’s potential for growth.
In the world of SaaS, this is particularly true, as authentic reviews have become increasingly important. If buyers are expected to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a software subscription, you can most certainly bet they’ll be doing their research first.
In this article, we’ll cover the importance of customer reviews and how your customer’s authentic insights can drive growth.
Brand advocacy and quality reviews support SaaS growth
Customer reviews serve a much bigger purpose than just helping buyers make decisions. Read on to learn the massive impact they can have on your SaaS company and ultimately, its success.
Reviews drive product Improvement
I’d bet that Salesforce looks a little different today than it did when it launched in 1999.
In fact, I know it does.
Based on the image below, it’s quite obvious that Salesforce’s user-interface has had a facelift (or two) over the years.
In an industry that’s as saturated as the one surrounding software-as-a-service, these improvements are necessary to stay relevant. And as companies become increasingly innovative, meeting your customers’ needs is crucial to achieving high-growth.
That all said, don’t fall into the trap of making updates just for the sake of, well, making updates. If you’re going to devote manpower to making changes, you should be sure that it’s based on your customers wants. Is this new feature going to make their life easier? Will it make them more productive at work? If not, why bother?
This begs the question: how can we best understand our customers’ pain points?
Enter customer reviews.
Customer reviews offer incredibly valuable (and free) insight into your customers’ experiences. By focusing on the not-so-good reviews, you’ll get the best possible understanding of the features and fixes your audience is actually looking for.
This isn’t to say you need to implement every suggestion received – you’d never be able to. Instead, try to identify the most common themes. If a single customer asks for customization, it may not be a true priority. On the other hand, if 80 percent of your negative reviews express disappointment with the same feature, it’s likely something worth looking into.
In SaaS, being a customer-first company isn’t just a bonus – it’s essential. By letting customer reviews guide your product roadmap, you’re doing just that.
Reviews authenticate your sales pitch
Your company can’t experience hyper-growth if it doesn’t have any customers.
In order to have customers, people need to buy your product. In order for people to buy your product, somebody needs to sell it.
Okay – duh, right?
Unfortunately, people often underestimate the modern consumer. And that means the sales pitch you’ve rehearsed in your head over and over again probably isn’t going to cut it.
When somebody is choosing between two restaurants for dinner, they go check out their respective ratings on Yelp. If a busy pet owner is trying to decide which vacuum will actually pick up the dog hair from the white couch, they’ll go and read Amazon reviews from like-minded individuals.
People aren’t scouring magazine ads or watching infomercials. Instead, they’re actively seeking social proof.
So why – and I can’t stress this enough – are we assuming companies don’t shop for the software the same way?
Well, they are. And the sooner your team embraces this, the better.
Incorporating customer reviews into your sales pitch adds a much-needed layer of authenticity. Instead of hiding reviews, embrace them by featuring some real quotes in your sales deck, like in the example below.
Your software likely isn’t the perfect tool for every business, and your prospect knows that. Instead of pretending it is, use customer reviews to show exactly how well it will cater to their company’s unique needs.
Start by taking a deep-dive into the reviews you already have. Can you find a reviewer whose role, industry, or company size is similar to that of the prospect you’re pitching?
If so, you’ve struck gold.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, you’re able to cater your sales pitch to the individual prospect. In doing so, you’re leveling expectations for the future and proving that you’ve done the research necessary to truly help them succeed.
Reviews help you turn customers into advocates
Next time you’re seeking out that perfect case study candidate, turn to your product reviews.
Customer reviews aren’t just an addition to your sales pitch. They’re also an incredible way to keep a pulse on your user’s happiness, manage relationships, identify high-risk accounts, and turn your happiest customers into full-fledged brand advocates.
SaaS companies typically operate on a subscription basis, which means each customer’s purchase agreement contains a unique contract with its own start-and-end date. As opposed to on-premise software options, which require a significant payment up front, SaaS companies receive more modest payments at regular increments throughout the lifecycle of their customer relationships.
Now, say one of your customers leaves a negative review, and you realize their contract isn’t up for another three months. If you regularly monitor your company reviews and catch this early on, there’s a chance you could still salvage the relationship before they opt out of their next renewal.
While we don’t necessarily want to see a negative review, they can be incredibly valuable in helping you identify high-risk customers and make the necessary changes.
On the other hand, customer reviews help you identify your happiest customers. What that really means is that they help you identify the customers who are most likely to become your brand’s most loyal and excited advocates.
While SaaS tools aren’t quite as susceptible to influencer marketing as the hair vitamins you see all over Instagram, it’s still essential to your company’s growth to have a few key customers who aren’t shy about singing your praises. Your most glowing customer reviews will help you identify these individuals, so you can work on building and maintaining that relationship.
Time to start gathering reviews
If your team hasn’t started actively seeking out customer reviews, I have one question for you.
What are you waiting for?
Need help gathering reviews? Consider investing in an online reputation management software and watch the reviews roll in.