Categories: Product Marketing
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July 28, 2021

5 Ways to Fuel SaaS Companies’ Intelligence with Review Platforms

By Aggelos Mouzakitis

We all want to make better buying decisions. That’s why we turn to online review platforms, before taking the big step. But for SaaS companies, review platforms can be far more beneficial than just influencing purchasing decisions. They are actually the best place to get to know the users and the market.

It’s a fact that customer reviews work as a type of digital word-of-mouth. They heavily impact user trial or purchasing decisions. This makes software review platforms spaces where real users gather to “gossip” about products. 

By setting your ear to their sayings, you will not only listen to happy and unsatisfied customers. You will also hear about their jobs-to-be-done, the language they use to describe problems and needs, the way they value your competitors e.t.c.

In this article, we’ll discuss 5 ways SaaS companies can get the most out of review platforms, to increase their competitive intelligence.

1. Use your customers words to upgrade your messaging

No matter how expertly your messaging is crafted, it’s still created by your marketing team and promotes the company’s perspective. Reviews are here to provide you a continually refreshed stream of customer perspectives. By listening to users’ language, by observing and collecting their words, you get a simplified human description of your products’ value proposition. 

All you have to do is inject this phrasing into your landing pages. This will take you from selling technical features to potential users, to offering real solutions to people that need help with their jobs-to-be-done.

Furthermore, review sites work as a great source of new content ideas. By looking at similar product reviews, you can identify common themes and trends that customers tend to discuss or worry about. These themes can become great new content topics that will be both beneficial for users and for your website’s traffic.

So, read reviews on online review portals, learn what customers see as your product’s biggest selling points, and highlight those points in your content marketing.


2. Increase Credibility Through Customer Validation

Consumers who used to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, now rely on online reviews. You can leverage that by enriching landing pages with data that support buyers in their decision-making process. 

This actually is an ex-growth hack that still works amazingly. A couple of years ago, marketers realised (through A-B testing) that landing pages enriched with reviews, had a positive impact on conversion rate optimisation. That’s because displaying verified ratings throughout landing pages and digital assets, increase credibility around the company, the product and the solutions it offers.

The very same rule still applies. The more people say they use your service, the more it looks like a good service. In short, you need to show how satisfied people are by using your product.


3. Use review platforms as a free and accurate market research tool

SaaS review platforms are probably the most comprehensive software search resource out there. In addition to providing insights into your organization’s performance, reviews help you stay one step ahead of larger market, product and vendor trends. 

Let’s take a look at how you can leverage review platforms to learn more about your competitors’ products and services, while also measure the pulse of the market. 

A. Competitors’ analysis through online reviews:

  • Reviews reveal true competition. In other words, from which product did users switch to use the one they are about to review. So you don’t just narrow down competitors based on similar features. You truly investigate any solutions users use before/ after your product.
  • Online reviews also help you understand competitors’ ideal customer profile (ICP). There are many details about users who publish reviews on review platforms. By knowing their profile, the company they work for, or even their job title, you can draw a very accurate ICP.
  • You can also find out about competitors’ go-to-market. Whether other companies use a market-led approach, demos and sales-men, content, organic, leads or a product-led approach, review platforms are an easy way to find out.
  • Last but not least, user reviews reveal products’ strengths and vulnerabilities. It’s the most trustful way to evaluate the marketplace and bring to light which companies are thriving and which are struggling. You can even use reviews as a research tool to benchmark your product against others.

B. Market Analysis through online reviews

Review sites offer a unique opportunity to engage customers in dialogue about products and services. Both negative and positive reviews reveal geographic and thematic verticals that make up the big picture of the market. These inputs can be valuable in constructing a realistic map that exposes business opportunities or crowded places of the market. 

It’s not by accident that some of the most successful SaaS companies in the world use review platforms to constantly have a 360 market view.


4. Read real opinions, get instant feedback

For most companies, review platforms mainly work as instant feedback inputs. 

With instant feedback from real users, you will always have up-to-date information about what users need and what their jobs-to-be-done are. This feedback can help you prioritize or deprioritize new features and make crucial decisions on product development. 

Moreover, you can use feedback from reviews to evaluate and improve customer interactions. All these insights about users’ expectations and needs, can help customer support and sales teams increase effective communication with users.


5. It’s the best marketing practice (and SEO as well)

Customer journey passes by googling, comparing and checking reviews. If you actually think about it, we don’t even order takeout or book a hotel without reading a few reviews first. Let alone try a SaaS product and invest time, effort and money to learn how to use it. 

Online reviews keep working long after they have been posted. They constantly provide a positive image to potential customers. They also create a continual brand awareness that works for both the short and the long term. Your users do the marketing for you! So, consider review platforms as the most crucial step of a customer’s journey.

Last but not least, review platforms are a powerful SEO tool as they really help businesses rank well. Good reviews will ensure Google sees your website, not only as a real business, but also as a quality resource for your community. High reviews are the best clue for google to make your website pages appear higher in searches.


What to do next time you visit an online review platform

Online customer reviews are a great avenue for grabbing consumer’s attention and increasing sales. But it’s also one of the most powerful tools for companies that want to constantly keep an eye on the market. 

Learnings from review platforms can be used throughout departments to enjoy greater success in key initiatives, including customer experience optimization, sales and marketing content development, brand awareness, product development and more.

Here are some notes to take with you next time you visit an online review platform:

  1. Read reviews, learn what customers see as your product’s biggest selling points, and highlight those points in your content marketing.
  2. The more people say they use your service, the more it looks like a good service. Never neglect to insert reviews in your landing pages to show how satisfied people are, by using your product.
  3. All market opportunities as well as competitors’ strengths and weakness are hidden behind users’ comments and reviews.
  4. Unbiased review data from real users, is the most valuable instant feedback source for your product/ service and can be used to upgrade customer interaction teams’ effective communication.
  5. With online reviews, you actually let your users do the marketing for you!
Aggelos Mouzakitis

Aggelos is the founder and Growth Product Manager of Growth Sandwich. He is among the first Customer-led experts in the world, leveraging advanced, Jobs-to-be-done customer research to orchestrate and guide Growth for B2B SaaS companies. A- and B- series SaaS are hiring him to organise, design and execute programs that infuse the whole company with qualitative data, empathy and the necessary knowledge to address any growth dilemma. In the last 4 years, he has worked with more than 100 SaaS companies and trained literally, thousands through my physical and online courses.