Do you read reviews before making a purchase on Amazon.com or installing an app on a consumer app store?

79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Online marketplaces have brought unprecedented access and convenience to the consumer world.  Many people rely on Amazon.com and other online shopping for a higher percentage of clothing and home accessory purchases than ‘on-premise’ shopping.  And the Apple App Store and Google Play (formerly Android Market) have around 2 million combined apps.

However, despite the convenience factor, there can be uncertainty when shopping online.  You can not directly see, touch or try out a product like you can in a traditional store. Reading reviews gives consumers the ‘real story’, allowing them to comparison shop more easily and providing greater confidence in moving towards purchase (or non-purchase).

The same concepts apply to the AppExchange.  Business app customers often seek to compare apps and understand the pros and cons.  Reviews deliver greater insight in these key areas.

Nearly 80% percent of users who install AppExchange apps read reviews first.  That statistic alone should justify a focus on generating reviews.  The top performing AppExchange listings have a high volume of total reviews, recent reviews and high ratings.

So, how do you get more reviews?  Let’s take a look at 9 surefire ways…

  1. It’s a team effort.  Reviews require coordination between team members in marketing and those in customer facing roles (such as sales and customer success).  Create formal responsibilities for each of these roles, including rewards for success.
  2. Set goals.  Target a number of reviews (perhaps 10 per quarter for a smaller company), and make it one of your formal employee measurements.  Ratings are also important – only reviews at a 4.0 level or higher should count towards your goal.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask.  This can be challenging, because you are already asking your customers for so much.  But it is worth requesting reviews from your satisfied customers.  Often they are happy to oblige, and this can be a first step in making them a reference in other ways.
  4. Review in the moment.  If your sales person is having a positive check-in meeting, or your customer success manager is on a positive call with the customer, this is a great time to generate a review together, in real time.  You could ask your customer to log in, walk them through the process and be done in under three minutes.
  5. Don’t be afraid to get multiple reviews from one customer.  Many app customers have multiple users in various functional areas using your app.  It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for several reviews from the same customer if this is the case.  In fact, it’s a good method to bolster the volume of your reviews.  Now it would be a bit unbalanced to have 20 reviews from one customer and zero other reviews.  But mixing in a handful of reviews from the same customer is a legitimate approach.
  6. If they tried it, they can review it.  Even if a customer is still evaluating your app, you should still encourage them to post reviews.  They can talk about the great evaluation to-date, the excellent personal engagement with you and any other positive aspects of their experience.
  7. Promote your positive reviews elsewhere (with permission).  If you have a great review, it’s a good practice to ask the writer if you can quote them in your marketing materials (website, sales presentations and elsewhere).
  8. Join the conversation.  It’s fantastic to see many app providers engaging within the review interface.  This is perhaps most important with negative reviews.  If someone is compelled to post a negative review on the AppExchange, there’s a good chance they are speaking negatively about your app elsewhere.  Engaging can ‘nip this in the bud’, and there have been many examples where the negative reviewer has removed the review, and even sometimes become a positive voice.  It’s great to also engage with some positive reviewers.  By showing your appreciation, other users will see that there are real people providing great customer success for your app.
  9. Keep ‘em fresh.  It’s great to have lots of reviews, but if your most recent review is several months old, then the value is diminished.

  10. So there you go – nine ways to master the art of generating positive reviews.  To learn more, join our Partner Marketing office hours every Thursday at 10am Pacific Time.  And stay tuned for upcoming blog posts and best practices materials, discussing other ways to make your AppExchange listing a success.

    Now please leave a positive review (or social media engagement) for this blog post!

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  • http://www.quoteroller.com/ Mikita Mikado

    Reviews are important and that is true not only for SalesForce AppExchange but for any other software marketplace. We at Quote Roller try to connect with every customer who came through a marketplace to ask to review our product. If the volume is bigger than what we can handle (iTunes), we add review prompt functionality within the app.

    • http://blog.shivanathd.com/ Shivanath D

      Do you have an AppExchange Listing for Quote Roller .. ? could not find it …

      • http://www.quoteroller.com/ Mikita Mikado

        Unfortunately we’re not at SalesForce’s AppExchange yet; however, we’re working hard to get through.