You may have great software, but it doesn’t mean much if nobody knows about it. One of the best ways of getting the good word out without having to empty your wallet on traditional marketing is software reviews.
Software reviews offer a unique avenue of promotion that is distinct from in-house advertising. They are authentic and personal. Software reviews are real-life snippets of how buyers experienced your software.
According to Bright Local, 91% of consumers will read online reviews as a trusted source of information before making an online purchase.
That is a lot of consumers you’re missing out by not harnessing user reviews.
As the old adage goes, ‘show, don’t tell’.
Consumers want to know about the experiences of other consumers. Not the marketing-savvy descriptions and summarizations that businesses offer.
Read on to find out what the advantages of user reviews are for your software.
Advantages of SaaS listing websites
If customers enjoy your products and services, why not provide them an easy platform to let others know?
One of the best ways of standing out in a sea of competing software is to increase the number of people talking about your product. User reviews, star ratings, likes, testimonials etc. They all go a long way in showing potential customers that your product is top of the range.
This is why SaaS listing websites are hugely popular.
They offer comprehensive product information that includes user reviews and feedback, that enables buyers to reach an informed decision.
Most importantly, software listing websites, such as Crozdesk, are also third-party and operate in a similar way to consumer market websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. They have no affiliation to the software they host which provides a high degree of authenticity that can’t be found elsewhere.
Most of all, studies have shown that B2B buyers will typically visit a software listing website when searching for a SaaS product, as opposed to an actual software website. In conjunction, 77% of B2B buyers conduct extensive research on a software before they even consider talking to sales representatives.
Suffice it to say, listing your software has never been a more important factor in promoting growth.
Advantages of user reviews
Think of software reviews as a social currency.
We live in an age where consumers are more aware than ever before. Looking up a product and doing research before making a purchase is a universal practice.
Studies have shown that 72% of customers say that positive reviews will make them trust a business more.
Here are the top reasons to get more user reviews on software listing websites.
- Buyer confidence – Reviews legitimize the claims you make in your own marketing content and give consumers an additional avenue to validate a purchase. Social confirmation is one of the best ways to gain confidence in a purchase. If enough consumers are endorsing a product, the likelihood of a prospective buyer making a purchase will improve.
In fact, this recent study suggests that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Buyer loyalty and satisfaction – A strong and loyal customer base is what all businesses strive for. User reviews can help with this by building trust and emphasizing the positives of your software. A buyer that forms an emotional bond with your brand is a powerful thing. Not only will they stay with your business indefinitely, they can also recommend you to people they know.
- Buyer feedback – There are always areas of improvement. Constructive criticism is a pivotal aspect of improving your services. One of the most organic ways of acquiring feedback is through user reviews which are beneficial to both SaaS business and buyers. Not only will their honest opinions give other users a preview of your services, but they will give businesses valuable information that can foster improvement and allow you to improve your product into the best product it can be.
Advantages for your rankings
User reviews are a prominent aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). There are a number of considerable advantages that will help you rank higher in search engines.
- Long tail traffic – Consumers are increasingly more likely to search for the name of a software + the word ‘review’. As discussed above, reviews are becoming an integral part of the customer journey, and you will increase the likelihood of your service appearing in search engines.
- Regular and unique content – New content is always a plus. User reviews provide a regular source of unique content. This can be more valuable to search engines than service and product specifications and generic descriptions.
- SERP rankings – Users reviews and star ratings are one of the many criteria Google uses to rank websites. Online reviews are especially important for local SEO. According to this Moz report, users reviews can make up a whopping 10% how Google ranks search results.
By the time a buyer has started to read user reviews, they have already decided that they have a desire for a product. User reviews will help sway them one way or the other.
Encourage your users to leave reviews
If your product is on a SaaS listing website, it would be immensely beneficial to ask your users for reviews.
You may think that consumers won’t bother with writing software reviews, but recent research has shown that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they’re asked to.
There are a number of steps you should take when asking your users for software reviews.
- Try to avoid using popups when users open your software – A user will open your software for a reason and will likely have a task in mind and a goal to accomplish. An on-screen roadblock will only result in them hitting the X button.
- A better time to use popups is when a user has completed a task – For example, let’s say you have an email marketing software, it would be ideal to use a popup when a user finishes creating an automation.
- Use email to directly ask your loyal customers – Customers that have been using your software for a long period of time are more likely to review your product and give it a positive rating. It is always good practice to outline the aspects of your software that you would like them to review. For example, pricing, ease-of-use, features, interface, visual elements could be prioritized in the review depending on what your software niche is. You could even ask them to identify how your software has improved the bottom line of the buyer’s business.
- Be courteous and make your request convenient – Let the buyer know that you appreciate their business and that a review will be pivotal in improving your software. In conjunction, by providing a review template and links to the software listing website you will increase your chances of getting a review.
- Offer users incentives! – Give your users a little something in return for doing a favor. Tokens of gratitude such as coupons will be sure to turn some heads if nothing else will. Not only that, but many SaaS listing websites offer their own rewards for software reviews which can act as an additional sweetener.
Responding to software reviews
When you do get user reviews, it is key to respond to them regardless of their positivity or negativity.
Showing consumers you value their input will go a long way in showing that you value their time.
Here are a few quick tips for responding to positive reviews.
- Step 1: Say “thank you.”
If a customer has taken the time out of their day to leave a positive review, the least you can do is be courteous and appreciate the feedback.
- Step 2: Recognise and reiterate what the user enjoyed the most
Push the idea that this particular aspect of your service is truly great.
- Step 3: How you can improve
No matter what, there is always room for improvement! Let your customer know your business is always looking for ways to improve by asking if there is anything you can do better.
If you put all of that together, responding to a positive review should look like this example from SurveyLegend.
The benefit of negative software reviews
Reviews that offer constructive criticism may seem like a lot of trouble and aren’t ideal in high ratios, but there is enough evidence to suggest they can in-fact help your business
According to Reevo, 68% of consumers gravitate towards products that have some constructive feedback.
Conversely, a product with 100% positive software reviews can often seem a little fishy. Nothing is perfect and consumers are aware of this fact. Some consumers will question the integrity and trustworthiness of the reviews – they may suspect anything from censorship to faked reviews.
100% positive reviews can seem a little too good to be true.
Customers appreciate transparency and authenticity. So, if negative software reviews make a very small minority of your overall reviews it can benefit you in many ways as they make the positive reviews more authentic.
Just like you would in a debate, consumers want to hear both sides of the argument.
In addition, constructive feedback gives your business a second chance. Another opportunity to win a customer back.
View them as a challenge. The fact a customer has taken the time out to write a review at all often means that they’re invested enough to read your response.
It’s a win-win situation.
Win them over and you’ve got your customer back. If not, it shows other potential customers you care about customer service, which can be worth its weight in gold. In addition, you’ll gain valuable feedback that will be key to improving your products and services for the future.
Negative reviews vary more than positive reviews. Here are some quick tips for how to respond.
- Step 1: Keep a cool head and determine if it’s even worth responding to
Some reviews can be incomprehensible. If it’s laden with profanities, grammatical errors, and non-sequiturs, it most likely wasn’t made in any genuine capacity. If a review is clearly irrational, it’s not worth your time.
- Step 2: Thank the reviewer, apologize and acknowledge the primary concerns
Just like how you would respond to a positive review, you need to thank the reviewer and sympathize with the primary content of the review.
- Step 3: Explain how your services are intended to work, or what you’re trying to accomplish
By explaining the optimal experience, you’re not only placating the reviewer by confirming their review is reasonable, you’re also incorporating some marketing content into your response. (Just make sure it’s not too on the nose!)
- Step 4: If the reviewer is not satisfied, offer to take the matter offline
You might find that a consumer is impossible to please, no matter what you say. Therefore, it is a good idea to take the conversation into a less public channel such as email. It never looks good to have a complaint spill into a multi-post back and forth.
For an example, check out this excellent response from the team at Really Simple Systems.
Software Reviews Takeaways
According to Nielson, 85% of consumers regularly seek out trusted expert content & reviews when considering a purchase.
As a result, user reviews can often be the final piece of the puzzle that leads to higher revenue.
For example, have your traffic and social media presence increased, without the added sales and revenue that you would expect?
A lack of software reviews could be the reason.
Reviews are an essential aspect of operating a SaaS business. Not only can they convince buyers that your services are superior, but they can also increase your rankings in search engines.
The manner in which a business cultivates and responds to reviews can be a key differentiator in the success of a software product.
In this article, we have outlined how you can utilize the potential of software reviews on SaaS listing websites.
What steps have you taken to ensure that you get the most out of user reviews? Let us know in the comments.