b2b online customer reviews

Photo courtesy of Henry Perks, Unsplash.

One of my favorite online platforms, Proposify.com’s recent blog post shares insightful information on mistakes we make with Business to Business online reviews.

1. Not asking customers to leave a review for you

Only about 1 in 10 happy customers will leave a review. However, unhappy customers will tell everyone.

Prompt your happy clients to review you online. Don’t forget to make it easy for them by reducing friction and the number of clicks involved in leaving a review.

Some other ways to ask for reviews:

  • Show messaging requesting reviews to your most-engaged clients in your app or website
  • Run an email and/or social media campaign soliciting feedback
  • Offer a reward for those who leave an attributed review

2. Shying away from attributed reviews

It can be tempting to shortcut your efforts to get more reviews by allowing people to review you anonymously. More reviews must mean more positive reviews, right?

Reviews with names attached are actually substantially more positive. Research shows that verified buyers are more likely to give 4 – 5-star reviews whereas anonymous ones are more likely to give 1 to 2-star reviews.

Like anywhere else online, anonymity provides the necessary cover to say not-so-nice things without any of that negativity blowing back on the commenter.

3. Not responding to your reviews

When people take time out of their day to help you out by reviewing your company, yous should thank them. Not only is this polite, but it also shows others reading the reviews that you take feedback seriously.

Showing appreciation is well and good for positive reviews, but what about neutral or negative ones? A brief ‘thanks’ comes off as insincere at best.

You probably can’t counter bad feelings but you should acknowledge them. Be upfront and honest about your limitations, but also don’t let bad information sit unchallenged. You can, for example, respond to a review that says you don’t have a key feature they wanted when you actually do offer it.

This doesn’t have to strictly be a sales function—responding could fall to your marketing, customer success, and/or product team members. But salespeople should at least be aware of what customers are saying in their reviews, how your company is responding, and where any disconnect might be happening to inform their future pitches.

4. Not sharing your customer reviews

Helping prospects find your reviews shows that you value transparency and builds trust. When you don’t offer up places where prospects can find your reviews, even if you have a great score, it looks like you have something to hide.

Make it easy for prospects to find peer reviews. Create a section on your company website for case studies and share links to sites that collect reviews from verified users like G2 Crowd and Capterra.

5. Deleting bad reviews

Nobody likes getting a bad review, but prospective customers love reading them. So much so that they’ll be wary of a company with few bad reviews or none at all.

In fact, the quickest way to tell if a company’s reviews are left by legitimate clients is to look at the neutral to negative ones. For example, red flags include not providing specific reasoning or offering an “out” that takes the blame off the company.

Like, “I didn’t like this product but we only used it for one week so maybe that wasn’t enough time to see results.” These sketchy reviews hurt sales more than help and you’re more than justified in removing them.

Not only should you leave negative reviews by actual customers up, but you should also try to respond to them, as mentioned above. Many other prospective clients are going to be reading these reviews and you want them to be getting a true picture.

6. Going for perfection

The other positive outcome of keeping more neutral or negative reviews around? It turns out that a perfect review score is a perfect way to turn prospects off.

Having an impeccable rating can actually be detrimental to your sales results. Research shows that purchase likelihood peaks in the 4 – 4.7-star range.  and decreases as the ratings approach a flawless five-star rating.

7. Thinking that reviews only influence smaller B2C purchases

When a buyer is on Amazon looking for the best running shoe, reviews can be important. But do people really care when you’re selling higher-priced B2B products and services?

Yes, even more so, actually. Studies have shown that for lower-priced products, online reviews increased the conversion rate by 190% while having reviews for a higher-price products increased the conversion rate by twice that amount.

8. Thinking that reviews only matter in top-of-funnel marketing

Getting and managing reviews isn’t the sole domain of marketing.

Though reviews are important during the awareness and consideration stages up at the top of the sales funnel, buyers also use reviews during their selection and purchasing process.

This could include reading reviews for the shortlisted vendors to compare implementation expectations or including review data in their purchase recommendations to other decision-makers.

Written by Lauren d’Entremont,