As a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, it’s especially important to have customers leave reviews of your product or service. Building a solid reputation can help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate that your product or service is the right choice. But how do you ensure that your customers are taking the time to leave reviews? It’s important to know how to convince your customers to review your SaaS product or service. In this blog post, we’ll discuss effective strategies for getting customers to leave reviews and tips on how to make it easier for them to do so.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important?
One reason customer reviews are important is that they help with SEO, especially if you are a local business. But speaking of benefits for any business in general, having reviews on popular review sites lets you own more SERP real estate for branded search terms.
Most importantly, reviews are crucial for your business because they have a huge impact on the buying decisions of your prospective customers.
As consumers and prospects have turned more to self-guided research, they rely more on the opinions and experiences of other customers in reviews when evaluating options and making purchasing decisions. Our research also confirms that “customer proof” is the most important factor when evaluating 2 (in our case) software products.
Lastly, having positive reviews helps build trust and confidence in your business and its products/services.
The Benefits of Gathering Feedback
Collecting feedback from your customers offers many benefits. Positive feedback can be a boost for employees and can be used in recognition schemes. It can be used in case of studies, to enter awards, and to provide customer testimonials. Feedback can inform future campaigns or product development (through replicating what works and improving what didn’t).
Negative feedback will identify any problems that your customers may not have mentioned. Often, slight niggles will frustrate customers and tempt them to go elsewhere. Resolving these issues will potentially stop them from leaving in the future.
The insights obtained through collecting feedback can improve every aspect of your business. From product development to sales strategy, marketing activities, and customer service.
Though customers may be invested in businesses that they are engaged with, they sometimes need a little convincing to spend time giving you feedback. A study by SurveyMonkey found that consumers typically respond to requests for three reasons: they want to be helpful, they enjoy the topic or there’s some kind of incentive for them.
So, what’s an effective way to gather customer feedback? Here are five ways to encourage your customers to provide feedback.
5 Tips to Convince Your Customers to Review Your SaaS
1. Make it Easy
When inviting a customer to offer feedback, make it as easy as possible for them. A great opportunity to gather feedback is when a customer is already engaging with your business. They have already received a service, or information or purchased from you. So, they may feel more open to giving back to your business through a review and rating.
This could be as simple as a few post-purchase questions on an order confirmation page, to a thumbs-up or down on a knowledge base article. Live chat on a website is another potential medium, along with a dedicated email address ([email protected], for example).
Customers usually interact with businesses in many different ways. Having a range of feedback channels, such as email, in-store, and on social media, can encourage more interaction. People can choose how and when they feedback to you. However, make sure you have enough resources to monitor all of your feedback channels – nobody wants to feel ignored!
Skype’s post-call survey is a good example of a simple feedback-gathering tool. It launches as soon as a call finishes, with just one question for customers to answer. In rating the quality of the call, Skype gets vital information on its product’s performance and can infer how satisfied its customers are.
Skype’s survey highlights another key tactic used by leading companies to gather feedback: putting questions where customers are likely to be. If your customer spends a lot of their time on social media, use a quick Twitter or Facebook poll. If they often communicate via email, then request feedback there. For businesses with a physical premise, having a survey on a tablet or card machine can obtain customer information as they browse or purchase in-store.
Avoid any mediums that your customers don’t use or like. Millennials are well-known for hating phone calls, with 75% of adults stating that they never answer phone calls on their smartphones.
It’s also worth telling people how much time they’ll spend filling out a survey. If it’s a quick 5-minute form that they can fill out on their phone or during their lunch break, they’ll be more likely to complete it.
Offering a perk for completing a survey is a tried-and-tested technique. Responses increase by 10-15% when an incentive is offered. Of course, the benefit should be something that your customers would appreciate. For some, that will be a prize draw for the latest piece of tech. Others may respond for a free month’s subscription to your product or service.
Discounts or exclusive deals also work well. Or, for a charitable spin, offer a donation to a charity of their choice. Whatever tactic you use, make sure it invokes that FOMO (fear of missing out) to encourage people to take part.
You should also consider your employees. How can they convince people to give feedback? Incentives can encourage them to gather feedback. Cashiers could collect information at point-of-sale, for example, or an account manager could request feedback at a weekly client meeting. Have a ‘Feedback Champion of the Month award and offer a sweet treat, gift cards, experience days, or extra days off for the employee who collects the most responses.
3. Make it Personal
Tying in closely with this is personalizing your requests. Where appropriate, reach out directly. If you have a customer success or account team who deals regularly with a client, get them to request feedback on a call or via email. For higher-value customers, they could even meet in person for an informal chat over lunch or coffee. However, there is a thin line to tread between being personal and putting someone on the spot.
Personalized emails and social media messages can also work. Amazon often does this, personalizing the request with details of what they ordered.
4. Build in Processes
The most effective feedback programs are planned. This rings especially true for SaaS products that are used recurrently. Have a clear feedback process that your customers are informed about. That way, they can report any issues or bugs whenever they occur. They will also anticipate regular feedback requests.
You can set your feedback schedule to collect information every quarter, annually, or at the end of milestones (such as customer onboarding). Just make sure you pick a time and stick to it.
Most SaaS companies can also see when a customer suddenly stops using their product. If this happens, a customer feedback request could help uncover why.
Former VP of Customer Experience for HP Maurice Fitzgerald recommends setting your feedback request frequency based on what you hope to achieve from it. When aiming to improve a product, he suggests contacting customers at two different times: when they have unboxed your product and 6 months into using it. He adds, “If yours is a technology product, I suggest sending the survey request or phoning the customer within 48 hours of delivery.”
For relationship and brand surveys, Fitzgerald states that “Twice a year is a good frequency for your most important customer relationships and may work best for your brand surveys.”
5. Show Your Customers That You’ve Listened
Telling your customers how previous feedback has been used is a good way to encourage participation. It will show how much you valued their time and feedback. Also, include how their feedback will be used. Amazon does this well by tailoring feedback to its products, marketplace offerings, and packaging.
It divvies up different parts of its operations into small, quick surveys to make it more likely that people will respond. Telling them how their contribution helps the company adds another reason.
Hilton Hotels regularly shares the results of customer feedback. Some customers even receive a phone call follow-up from the manager of the hotel that they stayed in. Real-time data is fed back directly to each hotel manager. They can compare the day’s performance with the day or weeks before. By telling its customers how their input has been valued, Hilton’s response rate has grown by 30%. Its survey abandonment rate has dropped by 6%.
Getting customers to review your SaaS can be difficult. However, by consistently asking customers for feedback, providing incentives, and having an automated review system, you can successfully boost your reputation and increase customer satisfaction. By taking the time to solicit customer reviews, you can ensure that your SaaS product is seen as reliable and trustworthy, and help pave the way for long-term success.