A Review on Getting Reviews for B2B

When it comes to getting online reviews, most businesses think this is only for B2C companies. Yes, this may be true, but how about B2B firms?

Consider this: 186 million people use Yelp each month and those users write nearly 150 million business reviews. Also, 90% of consumers read an online review before visiting a business. From those numbers alone, there are significant opportunities for your business to thrive if you focus on encouraging your customers to leave reviews, not just on Yelp but on various different platforms as well.

Primarily, reviews help potential clients make an informed decision about your business through the lens of your customers. They also can be used to make adjustments based on feedback.

Build Your Credibility and Trust

The importance of online reviews comes down to a very simple idea: people trust other people over the word of the business itself. 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 84% of those people trust them as much as a personal recommendation. Even if a potential customer gets a recommendation for your business from a friend, they are still very likely to go online and look at reviews. These days, people do more research online than ever before on a service before committing due to ease of access to information through their many devices and channels.

No Reviews = Skeptical Customers

Hypothetical scenario: A customer goes to your company page and sees that there are no or few reviews. This sends up a red flag that either no one has used your services and or your company doesn’t care about their customer relations. So, if your company has not yet explored a bonified review strategy you are missing the boat. Having no reviews makes customers skeptical of your overall business, not just the service itself.

Negative Reviews = Authenticity

If you believe that you don’t want reviews for your company because of the potential for negativity, then this section is for you. According to an article published in Medium,  Researchers have found that 35% of surveyed participants say that one negative review can make a customer not purchase a problem. However, it has also been found that negatives reviews aren’t necessarily a death knell. For your company, having a mix of both positive and negative reviews actually demonstrates to potential customers that the reviews on the site are authentic and brings credibility to the company.

Negative reviews are actually a great source of feedback for your company and offer the opportunity for you to grow better as a business. If a customer is not happy with their experience and they don’t leave a review, then you as a business will never know that you need to fix that aspect of the company. If they do leave a review, then you have the insight into the mind of what the customer wants and the ability to make a change. 45% of survey respondents in a Review Trackers survey state that they are more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews. Ways to deal with negative reviews include responding promptly, be real and admit mistakes, and lastly provide restitution if it’s warranted.

Top Review Sites

So, you decided that online customer reviews are important, but you have no idea where to start. The best place for you to begin is to understand the different websites that customers do their research on. The first-place potential customers are going to look at is your company website, so including reviews on there can be helpful. Next potential customers will go externally and below is a shortlist of the major, general business review sites that your potential customers may be looking at:

Remember that each industry has its own set of websites specific to its industry like Trip Advisor for travel or Angie’s List for services. To increase your company’s reach, utilize multiple websites to gain access to those new customers, but be diligent in updating and checking each site.

A Review of a Customer Journey

If you do a search of a company on the Internet and you see a company with reviews, what does this look like? Most likely the user will click on reviews to help them make a decision on who to hire, so let’s look at an example of reviews on Google. The two examples of company reviews below are from the same search of “Insurance in New York,” however, if you were a customer looking for that specific service, it is pretty obvious who you would trust more for the job: Company A. This particular company has mostly 5-star reviews with only a few 4-star ratings. If we break down the winning differences here however, it stretches beyond just the overall ratings.

Company A has 363 reviews, whereas Company B only has 11 reviews. The more reviews your company receives, the greater your credibility. If you have the same overall rating as your competition, but your company has significantly more reviews than the other, your company will look better because more people can vouch for why you deserve that rating. Another great takeaway from this company review comparison is that Company A took the time to respond to the reviews of their customers, even the positive comments, whereas Company B left their negative reviews alone. As previously stated in the last section, responding to all reviews, especially negative ones, will increase your chances of getting hired. Lastly, Company A has received positive, effective reviews to create that quoted section above the actual review section. This is great for potential customers who do not want to read through all of the comments but still want the quick gist of the reviews.

Company A: Company A   Company B: 

And Now the Magic Question – How Do I Get Reviews?

The hardest part of the process is getting your customers to actually take the time to write a review. It is important to create a game plan for review generation and if planned out methodically, it shouldn’t be that difficult. Given that reviews for B2C companies are their lifeblood, B2B firms need to take a page from their playbook. Here are some great tips to get reviews for B2B.

Ask Customers for Reviews

This may sound simple, but after creating a relationship with a customer, it is okay for you to ask them to review your business as long as it is framed correctly. Do not tell them what to say, instead encourage them to leave an honest review of their experience with your business. Put up signage in your office, send out an email to your most trusted relationships and how about putting a link in your email signature. Another great place to encourage reviews is when you send out an invoice. A sincere message such as: I appreciate your business, if you are satisfied with our service, can you please leave a review. Remember, do not incentivize your customers with things like discounts because some 3rd party review sites have strict rules on how a review is obtained.

Run an Email Campaign

If you already have a list of customer emails, this is a great time to utilize it. Through the email, you can ask the customer after an assignment is complete to review your service. This is a great way for you to direct the customer to whatever site you want the review to live. Common practice is to wait 3-5 days after a transaction to send a review by email. Another form of email campaign is sending out customer feedback emails each month to clients and including a “please review us” section at the bottom of the page.  This is a relatively inexpensive way to connect with customers and ask for reviews.  

Include Review Links Where You Interact with the Client

Including review links after the transaction or thank- you for your purchase pages is another method of asking for reviews. This option is excellent for obtaining a review of their overall experience with your company.

Reduce Friction and Keep it Simple

One of the major reasons why people don’t leave reviews is because they are busy and don’t want to spend the time writing the review. That is why your company needs to make the experience as seamless as possible. The easier you make it for the customer, the more likely the customers participate. One way around this is to include some options so that the customer can choose whatever platform they are most comfortable with. Make sure to include a link to that website so that they know exactly where you want them to put the review. Another tactic to put the reviewer at ease is to mention how quick this process can be. For example: a couple minutes of your time would be appreciated. Lastly, prompt the writer so that they are never at a loss for what to write or give them a partially written review that they just fill in with their information.

Promote Great Reviews

Once you start to accumulate positive reviews you can also gain exposure by sharing to different platforms including on your company website. Sharing your reviews can be motivating to other customers as well because we all know that people love the opportunity to be appreciated.

Don’t Forget To Follow Up

If you have pursued one or more of the tactics above, remember that it is okay to request a review from them again. In a lot of cases, people may not have seen the first attempt, or even your second attempt can show just how much you actually would appreciate that review from them that they did not understand the first time around.  People tend to not follow through the first time, so don’t be afraid to re-send the request again to those who were agreeable to it previously.

Business reviews are one of the best marketing tactics that a B2B company can employ, since it helps businesses to increase their reach, and consumers can support because it helps them find the right service. These days everyone is making their decisions online before making an engagement decision, so why wouldn’t you want to have customer reviews about your company?

Speaking of reviews, CS Designworks would appreciate your review of us on these platforms:

Google My Business

LinkedIn (Recommendation Section)






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