Online reviews are no longer just a B2C thing. They matter for B2B businesses too.
The software finding platform G2 Crowd reckon that 92% of B2B buyers “use online review sites to get information and recommendations to support their purchase decisions” while 71% of buyers actively seek out reviews.
If that wasn’t argument enough, here are five further reasons why you should be harnessing the power of your independent reviews to promote your business.
1. Proving how good you are
You may well have glowing testimonials on your website but prospective customers know they’ve been hand-picked by you and that significantly reduces how much attention they get. If you really want to prove how good you are, you need to show people a complete picture of all the feedback you get; and preferably on an independent website. Coursecheck can do exactly that, as we explain here
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engines love third-party reviews. This is because of their perceived authenticity and the way they’re trusted by people searching. Google goes a step further and automatically adds Google stars to review-based search results and to your Google My Business panel, which is great for making them stand out. Better still, according to research by Google, people clicking on search results with stars, are three times more likely to go on to make a purchase.
If you’d like to embrace the power of reviews, here’s our quick guide to adding the Coursecheck widget to your own website.
In the ‘olden’ days, you could create a brand by spending (a lot of) money creating an image of yourself that reflected the way you wanted to be perceived. But reviews and social media have had a profound effect on that. These days, a brand is determined far more by the way you’re seen to interact with your customers. Successful companies understand this and support environments where their customers can share their experiences and be heard by everyone. The era of fake news and Facebook scandals has damaged our trust so the ‘social proof’ provided by independent reviews has a positive effect on buying decisions.
4. Negative feedback
Since the purpose of showing off feedback is to provide reassurance to potential customers, you might think that publicising negative feedback would be counterproductive. But it’s not necessarily the case.
Showing a negative review and then your pro-active, customer-focussed response in addressing that review can be a really positive thing. People understand that nobody’s perfect and online reviews are a great way to show that you are honest and open, and that you know how to put things right when you need to. In fact, showing how you responded in those situations can actually leave your customers with a better perception of you, than if the problem had never occurred in the first place.
5. Millennials/Gen Z
It’s no coincidence that so many successful technology-based products and services for business are based on ideas that are already well established in people’s personal lives. And so it is with reviews and ratings. People entering the workforce today have grown up being able to access multitudes of information instantly so they are making business decisions based on the same ‘search and sift’ criteria they do in their personal life. Of course, this habit is growing as our working population ages, so it is a trend that is here to stay. For example, millennials or Generation Y (those born from 1981) are already turning 40, with the first of Generation Z (or iGen, those born since 1997) already settling in jobs.
If you know your customers generally say positive things about you, then you should make the most of this valuable asset. Handled correctly, reviews can be an extremely powerful marketing tool, highlight where you could improve, and drive measurable business benefits.