Can Customer Reviews be Effective as a Marketing Tool for B2B Companies?

Nobody can be little the role of online reviews when it comes to building brand reputation. 88% of customers, who wish to purchase something online, go through the online reviews that are present either on Google, social media, Google play or any other platform on which websites are rated and reviewed by genuine customers. This rate is quite high considering the fact that most of these reviewers are strangers. However, this does testify, that even in this digital age, the traditional ways of peer recommendations and reviews still hold a lot of significance.

Online Reputation Management of a B2B company is a core necessity for its survival in the market. As per recent studies conducted by Trip Advisors, in collaboration with Ipsos MORI, reveal that business owners deem this feature of reputation management as being highly important, i.e. almost 97%, and 92% believe that social presence and reputation is equally important. These results are not surprising. Consumers now hold a major control over the market than they ever did in the past. With over a trillion websites uploaded on the internet, there is no dearth of options for them. They are no longer dependant on a few local companies that could provide them with the services that they want. With such options, come edgier competitions that have been lethal to a lot of companies that did not keep up with the latest practices to scale businesses.

How can online reviews affect sales and marketing of your company?

Reviews are highly important for lead conversions. A visitor, who will stumble upon your website, will check reviews for your products. The best feature of online reviews is that they are dissociated from the website and thus, cannot be controlled. Negative reviews for your company can increase your website’s bounce rate by almost 22-60%. This can negatively impact your business’ sales, as due to this you will not be able to gain new customers.

However, if the companies’ reviews are positive and also, comprehensible, in the sense that they can be easily understood by the customers and authentically review the services provided by that company, it can be used as a smart and effective marketing tool in the digital marketing ecosystem by promoting these reviews online. This will help in reaching out to more potential customers, thus, marketing the company and its best features extensively.

How can reviews be used for digital marketing?

Though, reviews are very useful tools, they have to be used, especially for marketing with utmost care. When it comes to B2B companies, they are dealing with a professional and intelligent set of audience, who might be well aware of all the practices that are not genuine. They will filter out a company, which has posted fake reviews and deleted the negative ones, and immediately block out that company from their business.

In such a scenario, while dealing with the Online reputation management; take care of the kind of reviews that are being posted for your company. Just keep a few points in considerations:

1.  Don’t do away with negative reviews- Deleting negative reviews is like cheating on your customers. If all the reviews for your company are positive, keep in mind that this does not speak very highly for your company. Albeit, it can be a dubious situation, where the company, which was looking for collaboration with you, will dig deeper into finding more about your company and can discover many loopholes that you wished to hide. This will be terrible for your business.

2. Deal with the negative reviews wisely- Negative reviews are not the end. If there are negative reviews for your company, the best way to deal with it is by responding and apologizing to that comment and ensuring quick rectification. This will totally turn the impact of that negative review as it will show the company that you can accept your fault and are very responsive. Customer interaction, as we all know, is one of the best features that can enhance your business’ reputation.

3. Don’t post vague comments- B2B companies have to be very careful with this. For B2C companies, reviews that are filled with grammatical errors and are vague can still work, since their audience is different. However, when B2B companies look at reviews they wish to see what companies have collaborated with you on which services, and how did it help them. Short and vague comments are pointless. If your clients are posting reviews on your companies’ website, ask them to be more eloquent. Ask them to include any recommendation that they have for you, as this will lighten the tone of a negative comment and will be overshadowed by the positive aspects.

Reviews are a great way to market your business, as it can give your potential clients a clear glimpse of the products that you offer and how can they be benefitted by them. These are more believable than the aggressive and direct marketing that you might indulge in.