Celebrating our customers’ voice
For Office Timeline, customer reviews have represented an invaluable source of insight into how we can grow as a SaaS business. For the past four years, we have relied on customer feedback to get an accurate picture of what our users think about the products we offer and to learn how we can deliver an improved experience along the way.
In a previous blog post, we’ve talked about the importance of ratings and testimonials for our brand, but today we turn our attention to the customers themselves as we celebrate an important milestone that we couldn’t have reached without them: 5,000 reviews on our reviews platform TrustPilot.
As a way of thanking them for achieving this special landmark, we’ve created the present article that delves into how a consumer review can empower others and help businesses like ours provide better products and services.
Customer reviews impacting the buying process
Over the last decade, the rise of online marketplaces and social media marketing has generated a plethora of information. To navigate this rich-content environment, consumers have started to document their journey through reviews and testimonials.
Detailing a consumer’s interaction with a particular product/service, these personal accounts have gradually gained popularity and came to serve as recommendations for others, helping them make more informed purchasing decisions.
This is how a real review economy has emerged, with numerous people seeking out external opinions before committing to the same experience. If you are not convinced, think about the last time you’ve tried out anything promoted online without researching what previous consumers had to say about it. A Spiegel Research Center study shows that nearly 95% of shoppers are reading online reviews before they make a purchase.
Within the relationship between a product/service provider and their end users, customer reviews bring value to both parties as they shed light on the expectations involved. If you are a prospective buyer, reviews will help you know what to expect; if you are a vendor, feedback from existing customers helps you understand what you are expected to deliver. With this knowledge at hand, both the reviewer and the business being reviewed have something to gain.
A short history of the customer review economy
As humans, we often seek advice before making a decision, especially if it is an important one, with long-term implications. This applies to purchases as well. With social media’s constant expansion, we can now quickly reach out to our network or community and receive dozens of recommendations in terms of where to eat or spend our holidays, what product to purchase or what service to use.
Initially, this process was as simple as asking opinions on a group or communication channel. As people responded to your inquiry, you could use the input to form a clearer idea of what your future experience might be like.
Our increasing desire for sharing/learning about candid user experiences has led to a surge in feedback provision which, in turn, has created an exciting market opportunity for third-party platforms to centralize this type of information. Today, you can find such third-party review websites everywhere you look.
Customer reviews’ value for the SaaS industry
As consumers, we rely on the customer review economy on a regular basis, referring to other people’s recommendations and testimonials for both low-consequence and high-impact purchasing decisions. It is, however, in the latter case that reviews prove to have a greater say in the buying process – a vital fact that businesses providing high-end goods (technology and SaaS among them) need not forget.
Nowadays, such companies can use their customers’ reviews to learn first-hand from other professionals in similar industries how their product worked (or didn’t) for them. This is especially important since a Google/Compete study shows that today, 60% of tech buyers are reading reviews before making their software purchase. We can definitely speak of an elevated level of feedback that allows the reviewed party to make specialized adjustments.
These having been said, we believe it becomes evident why any professional business should invest efforts in developing and implementing a solid customer review strategy. This shouldn’t focus only on collecting feedback, but also on leveraging it as a powerful resource to:
- improve their offering (product or service);
- set their customers up for success;
- establish better relationships with and foster loyalty among end users.
In conclusion, the importance of customer reviews for online businesses in today’s marketplace is undeniable. Reviews have greatly contributed to transforming the buying process into a two-way street, where consumers gain transparency into the details of a potential purchase, and vendors get valuable insight into their customers’ experiences.
Discover what users have to say about the Office Timeline products on our TrustPilot page.