This post is part of Made @ HubSpot, an in-house series of thought leaders, where we draw lessons from experiments conducted by our own HubSpotters.
Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, has said it many times: Every day, more companies die from overeating than from starvation. They are divided into so many different priorities that it becomes impossible to make any greater impact with any of them.
The same applies to the management of customer ratings for your company. There are so many different places for a company to be vetted today that it feels a bit like a whac-a-mole game keeping them all in order.
(Some examples would be G2, Gartner Peer Insights, and Capterra.)
This was the problem we faced at HubSpot. If we tried to give the same care and attention to every single review website, we would have minimal impact on each website. While it was important for us to read and consider any feedback, it was also important for us to understand which websites would have the greatest impact on further developing the HubSpot mission: helping millions of companies grow better.
But how exactly can we determine which locations are likely to have the greatest impact? We had to figure out which websites were healthy branded companies and which were just yummy distractions.
This is why I developed the HubSpot rating algorithm for customer and user ratings. I designed the algorithm so that we could objectively take into account dozens of different criteria that assess the importance of various third-party websites. With this algorithm we could determine how to focus our efforts in the coming months.
The components of the rating algorithm for customers and users
I realized that for our specific business (as an in-house SaaS company) it required three main assessments to have a full view of the review pages in our orbit:
- Health score: How positive is HubSpot currently on this website?
- Sales Enablement Score: How important is this website for sales promotion?
- Capture / visibility value: How important is this website for the acquisition of new users or the general perception of HubSpot and its products?
For each rating, I chose a variety of criteria that I could measure (see below) and rated each site based on the criteria. I was then able to weigh the criteria against each other so that criteria that we thought were more important would have a greater impact on the score.
For example, we found that our review rating (out of 5) on each review page is more important than the total number of reviews we had on each website.
Above all, take a look at the criteria I used to create each rating, and click here to see a sample Google Sheets template for the ratings section.
Use of the rating algorithm for customer and user reviews
To really understand how the individual review pages are aligned, I recorded the data in two different grids. This process enabled us to see the Sales Enablement Score and the Acquisition / Visibility Score, which were each plotted against the Health Score.
The grids below show what this was like for HubSpot a few years ago. The colors of the grid represent how much attention should be paid to improving the health of HubSpot on the specified site (see the relevant notes in red).
The Sales Enablement Grid – English focused
The Acquisition / Visibility Grid – English Focused
With objective data and these handy grids, not only have I been able to better control my own review-driven efforts, but have much better targeting and buy-in from other teams that use or influence customer reviews.
As a result of the campaigns that emerged from this research, we were able to post hundreds of five-star reviews, increase our star rating on our landing pages, and influence countless deals.
If you want to spin the flywheel of your business and attract new customers, a positive online reputation is a must. Approaching these reviews can feel a little intimidating due to the sheer volume of websites, but fear not! With this point system, you can boil the ocean and focus your attention only on the essentials.
Check out this template to get started today!