If you want to grow your business, attract new leads and customers, then you have to focus on more than just marketing.
But you can achieve much more when you couple that with an impeccable online reputation.
Because you see:
The majority of your potential clients will research your company for at least 1 – 2 months before deciding to hire you. Keyword being at least!
To address this, acquiring online reviews should be as important for your business as attracting more people to your site.
And in this post, I’ll show you exactly how to use reviews to boost your MSP company’s sales and growth.
Intrigued? Then let’s get right to it.
Why Having Online Reviews is Such a Big Thing?
I admit:I used to associate online reviews solely with B2C businesses.
To me, a B2B business relied on testimonials and case studies to prove their value to potential clients.
But that’s the wrong way to think about reviews.
Today’s customers research companies they’d like to hire in the same way they seek opinions on B2C products or services before purchasing them.
They’ll scout out online review sites, pay attention to star ratings, opinions, and monitor how a company responds to those too.
They’ll also ask their social media connections for recommendations, or even to see if anyone’s had any dealings with a particular company.
All of the information they find affects their buying purchase.
There’s plenty of research to prove that. For instance:
We know that 88% of customers read reviews to determine the quality of a company they consider hiring. (source)
75% of B2B buyers consult reviews before buying technology, according to the data from Software Advice.
And Capterra discovered that 70% of consumers admit that they pay closer attention to business services reviews than personal services.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The most important fact is why they research business reviews.
And you know what:
As it turns out, the no.1 reason buyers read reviews is to build a shortlist of companies to evaluate further.
In other words, buyers use reviews to select potential vendors just like you!
So it goes without saying, doesn’t it?
Your business should be collect online reviews.
But collecting reviews is one thing. Knowing how to use them to boost your company’s growth is something else.
And here are 4 ways you could use reviews to increase your sales and propel your growth.
#1. Use Reviews to Back Up Your Key Selling Points
Look, if you’ve designed your website to help you grow the company, then you’re probably making claims about your business.
These statements aim to help a visitor understand the value you can provide to them, and position you as an expert in your field.
The thing is, most of those statements mean nothing to a visitor if they come from you.
After all, would you say anything but praise about your business?
But… imagine they’d read the same words in reviews and testimonials across the web.
I’m sure you’ll agree, that would make anything you’ve said more believable, wouldn’t it?
That’s what a report by Demand Gen discovered.
According to the report, 97% of B2B buyers say that the user-generated content such as peer reviews is more credible than other types of content.
And that provides you with an opportunity to boost your credibility.
How? By showcasing those reviews that back up any claims you make in the copy.
Instead of featuring any positive reviews on your site, select those that mention and back up your key selling points.
Here are a couple of examples from IT websites:
#2. Position Your Business Where Customers Are Looking for You
Today’s buyers use many different channels to find businesses.
Some of them will start their buying journey on Google.
But many others will also visit local business directories and other 3rd party business listings when looking for service recommendations.
For instance, a study by Normal Nielsen Group discovered that a staggering 82% of Yelp users visit the site when planning to spend money on a product or a service.
(And in case you think that they don’t look for IT services on the site, consider this. 51% of Yelp users look for professional services).
But what’s important, many local business directories like yp.com allow users to rate and review businesses they’ve previously hired.
Some others, like the Better Business Bureau, also publish detailed statistics about the type of reviews a business has got from their users.
What’s more, they display business star ratings and a number of reviews in the company’s listing.
This, in turn, makes users more likely to notice and select such a listing.
Set up your business profiles on local business directories and other platforms and start collecting reviews to increase your online visibility.
#3. Build Trust by Offering Social Proof
You know, it’s an interesting consumer behavior:
We naturally trust recommendations from friends, family, and the people we know.
But we also believe reviews from complete strangers….providing there are many of them.
A report by Groundswell (via Harvard Business Review) discovered that up to 60% of customers trust reviews by complete strangers … but only if there are many of them.
As HBR points:
“If 100 people on eBags say a laptop bag is great, then it is great. If they say it’s inferior, then it is inferior. Regardless of what a so-called “expert” might say.”
This behavior relates to a phenomenon called Social Proof. In a nutshell, social proof works in a simple way: if we’re unsure about how to act, we tend to imitate the behavior of others.
In relation to business reviews, though, social proof theory suggests that for a customer feedback to boost your conversions, you need to collect a lot of it.
Other research findings confirm this point. For example, according to a review platform, Reevo, your conversion rate will continue to grow with the number of reviews. (source)
And BrightLocal discovered that 85% of customers need to read at least 10 reviews before they begin to trust the business.
How can you apply this knowledge in practice?
Create processes to continually collect and increase the feedback from your customers.
Here are a couple of ideas:
- Include links to review sites you want a customer to leave a review right on the invoice.
- Set up an automated email system to send a review request after a pre-defined time of you two working together has passed. You can also download our email templates for asking customers for reviews.
- And mention reviewing your business during regular follow-up calls with clients.
In today’s market, to grow a business, you need more than just a strong marketing strategy. You need credibility, reviews and an impeccable online reputation are a great way to achieve this goal.
Clients interested in hiring you will seek out online reviews to learn more about your business and make up their mind about hiring you.
But to make the most of the online reviews, you need to use them beyond just featuring testimonials on the site.
And hopefully, by now you know the three ways to use reviews to boost your MSPs sales and growth. Let us know how it goes!