It's a brand new year, and B2B marketers should start it off on the right foot by building their products' good reputations. Here are three things you can do now to ensure that your product or service enjoys a prosperous 2013.
Turn customers into evangelists. Take a look at your list of satisfied customers, and view each as an opportunity to boost the reputation of your product or service. Shoot an email out to everyone on the list asking them to provide feedback and reviews on your site or on review sites for SMBs or big businesses. If you don't feel comfortable requesting reviews outright, consider encouraging feedback by including a link to your review page in your email signature and on your website. (Making sure your customers have easy access to your review page is a good idea regardless.)
Of course, not all your customers will give you a five-star review, no matter how amazing your service or product is. But you should still try and view each review as a win. If it's not a 100 percent rave review, take the comment as constructive criticism, and use it to improve your service or product. People like seeing that their comments are read and addressed.
Don't just listen to the conversation -- join the discussion. Though 71 percent of B2B companies with listening tools use them for market research, and 66 percent use them for brand tracking, only 40 percent use them for influencer marketing, according to Forrester. Review sites aren't one-way venues. They are interactive sites that allow for communication between users and vendors. It's important that you recognize and respect the efforts and opinions of your users by responding to their reviews -- both positive and negative.
Though the prospect of negative reviews can be scary, they shouldn't be; 80 percent of online reviews are four or five stars, according to research from Google. And negative reviews can be addressed. Letting a reviewer know that you fixed a bug, for example, can take the edge off an otherwise scathing review. When you respond to client reviews, you're letting people know that their opinions matter.
Deliver stellar service and high-quality products. Even the most praiseworthy reviews and the best PR won't be able to boost your reputation if your product is faulty or your service is lacking. The most important thing you can do to receive positive feedback is to deliver the best product and service and the most impressive customer support possible. Being great is the only way you'll gain recognition for being great.
Are you ready to boost you're product's image and earn the winning reputation your company deserves? Use your client reviews as a jumping-off point for improvements, publicity, and increased user-vendor communication, and you'll be in prime condition to enter 2013 on the right foot.