The role of reviews
The role of customer reviews is a recurring theme that surfaces every time we talk to QuickBooks® users about considerations that are important when making app purchase decisions. Reviews provide customers with unbiased validation about an app from other users like themselves. This is, in fact, quite consistent with industry research on this topic. For instance, credible external research studies cite:
- 92% of consumers claim they read reviews before purchasing online.
- 16% of consumers think reviews are too old after three months, 36% after six months, and 65% after a year.
- Customers are more likely to favor a product based on the quantity of reviews, rather than what they say.
Needless to say, not only are reviews important, but the volume and recency of reviews matter as well.
Review solicitation on the app marketplace
While we have always advocated the importance of reviews, we have thus far not pursued any proactive platform measures to get more customer reviews. Within the marketplace, review solicitation is a fairly organic process and completely dependent on customers taking the time and effort to write a review. However, for QuickBooks customers, time is always at a premium, and proactively taking time to write a review is not always top of mind. This leads to lower review volumes and reviews generally being skewed either to the high end (when solicited through proactive partner engagement) or to the lower end (from customers who are generally unhappy with the product).
Review solicitation through Post Interaction Emails (PIE)
Post Interaction Emails (PIE) is a popular review solicitation technique that many online marketplace leaders leverage to get more customer feedback. We have turned on PIE on the QuickBooks apps marketplace. Here is a high level summary of how it is instrumented:
- QuickBooks customers who connect an app will receive a review solicitation email roughly 30 days after connecting the app.
- Being mindful of the number of emails we send our customers, we will, at most, send one review solicitation email in a year; once a customer has received a PIE email, they will not receive a second email if they connect another app before 365 days elapses.
- PIE emails support multi-product submission; if a customer has multiple apps connected, it will allow them to submit reviews for more than one app .PIE emails support in-mail submission that embeds a responsive submission form allowing users to rate and review from within their email.
- PIE emails allow progressive submission; users can rate the app without a written review. This is proven to reduce abandonment.
- PIE will allow recipients to opt-out, if they so desire.
Currently, we are sending PIE emails only to U.S. customers who connect apps.
Our leading strategy was to significantly drive review volume by leveraging a proactive review solicitation mechanism, such as PIE. After turning on this functionality, we have seen overall review volume increase approximately two fold while opt-out rates are within permissible levels. We are excited about this all around win, and would love your thoughts or feedback by sending an email to email@example.com.
PIE emails are sent on behalf of the QuickBooks app marketplace, and we do have the flexibility to turn it off at any point in time. Likewise, if for any reason, you would like to opt-out of this feature, please open a support ticket letting us know you want your app removed from the PIE emails and we should be able to add the required exclusion logic.