5 Tips for Nailing Online Reviews

June 15, 2017 Julie Vreeland

Building a Reputation on the AppExchange

Whether I’m in need of a vendor for work or just a new color lipstick, skimming online reviews is a necessary step in my purchasing process. If there’s a high volume of recent reviews with four stars and above, I can usually expect a similarly positive experience. In this digital era, if I land on a site with no reviews, or one that is lacking the functionality to leave a review, it’s pretty much a non-starter. Early adopters are a small piece of the market, and like most, I lean on my peers to be the guinea pigs before handing over my precious moola.

Chances are you’ve done something similar.

As socially-savvy online consumers, we put some weight into reviews. It’s not the be-all and end-all for purchasing decisions, but it definitely contributes to brand perception and has the power to influence whether or not to purchase, as well as the the speed at which we purchase. Especially when it comes down to competing products and services, if the features, pricing, and promotion are similar, the reviews can be the differentiator.

Shopping for apps is no different, which is why it’s crucial to have a strategy when it comes to acquiring reviews on the AppExchange. As a Salesforce Partner Success Manager, I see time and time again that reviews give apps more visibility, help businesses improve, and can generate some serious referrals. Most importantly, they help customers find apps that will solve their needs.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Step 1: Iron out the details.

It may or may not make sense for you to request a review from every single customer across every single product at the same time. Think about what’s best for your business, your customers, and the type of prospects you’re trying to attract. Here’s a checklist that can help:

  • Identify the customers you want to target.
  • Determine the best time to ask for a review. Think about the customer’s experience with your app and pinpoint the milestone(s) that should trigger a request and fulfill a positive review.
  • Give the responsibility of asking for the review to the role that has the strongest relationship with the customer at the time of the milestone. The request will be more genuine.
  • Solidify your request with the right message. This is an opportunity to thank your customer for their business and ask for feedback that will help your business improve and deliver value.

Step 2: Make it easy.

In some cases it might make sense to ask for a review over the phone, but always follow up with an email including your AppExchange listing review link. That way, all your customer has to do is click through to leave a review.

Step 3: Monitor reviews.

When a negative review sits at the top of the page with no reply from the business, it’s a red flag to shoppers. Make sure someone is checking daily. Enough said.

Step 4: Plan for the good and bad.

Every review won’t be a gem. Timing is everything when it comes to handling feedback, so be prepared to respond promptly. This is an opportunity for your business to understand what they did wrong, prevent similar negative experiences for others, and make things right with the customer if it’s warranted. In some cases you’ll want to take it offline or even correct false claims — use your best judgement. Positive reviews can also be a great way to identify success stories and use cases for other marketing purposes.

Step 5: Keep the momentum going.

Even after hitting 100 reviews, it’s important to continue accumulating more. New reviews keep your app’s credibility relevant, and the more reviews you have, the less power a negative review can have on your rating.

Following these five tips will give your app a great foundation for building its online reputation on the AppExchange and can easily be built upon. For more resources like this be sure to check out the Partner Portal.

Have a tip, trick, or question? Start a conversation and post below.

5 Tips for Nailing Online Reviews was originally published in Inside the Salesforce Ecosystem on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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