This post is part of Made @ HubSpot, an internal thought leadership series through which we draw lessons from experiments conducted by our own HubSpotters. HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan has said it many times: More companies die every day from overeating than from starvation. They are spread over so many different priorities that it is impossible to get significant traction with any one of them. The same is true when it comes to managing customer reviews for your business. There are so many different places a business can be checked out today that keeping them all in order can seem like a game of Whac-a-mole. (Some examples would be G2, Gartner Peer Insightsand Capterra.) This was the problem we faced at HubSpot. If we tried to provide the same care and attention to all review sites, we would only have minimal impact on each site. While it was important for us to read and consider all feedback, it was also crucial for us to understand which sites were going to have the greatest impact in advancing HubSpot’s mission: helping millions of organizations grow better.
However, how could we determine exactly which sites could have the most impact? We needed to find out which sites were good branding and which were just fun distractions. That’s why I developed the HubSpot “Customer and User Review Scoring Algorithm”. I designed the algorithm so that we could objectively consider dozens of different criteria that assess the importance of various third-party sites. With this algorithm, we could determine how to focus our efforts over the next few months.
The components of the customer and user review scoring algorithm
I realized that, for our specific business (such as an inside sales-based SaaS company), there were three main scores needed to get a full perspective of the review sites in our orbit: Health Score: How positively it is represented HubSpot currently on this site? Sales enablement score: How important is this site to sales enablement? Acquisition / Visibility Score: How important is this site to the acquisition of new users or the general perception of HubSpot and its products? For each score, I chose a variety of criteria that I was able to measure (see below) and rated each site based on the criteria. I was then able to weigh the criteria against each other so that the criteria that we considered most important had a greater influence on the score. For example, we determined that our review rating (out of 5) on each review site was more important than the total number of reviews we had on each site. See above for all the criteria I used to create each score, and click here for a sample Google Sheets template of the scoring rubric.
Leveraging the customer and user review scoring algorithm
To really understand each score and how the different review sites compare to each other, I plotted the data on two different grids. This process allowed us to view the sales enablement score and the acquisition / visibility score, each of which was compared to the health score. The grids below represent what this was like for HubSpot a couple of years ago. The colors in the grid correspond to how much attention should be devoted to improving HubSpot’s health at the site in question (see corresponding notes in red).
The Sales Enablement Grid: English Centered
The Acquisition / Visibility Grid – English Focus
Armed with objective data and these handy grids, not only was I able to better direct my own review-oriented efforts, but I was also able to gain much better alignment and buy-in from other teams that are leveraging or impacting customer reviews. As a result of the campaigns that emerged from this research, we were able to generate hundreds of five-star reviews, increase our star rating on our goal sites, and influence countless offers. If you are looking to turn the flyer of your business and acquire new customers, then a positive online reputation is a must. Approaching these reviews can be a bit intimidating simply because of the sheer volume of websites, but fear not! Armed with this scoring system, you can boil the ocean and focus solely on what matters.
Check out this template to get started today!