Why M2M is making the perfect 5* peer review more credible

As strategic advisors on enterprise peer reviews, we often encounter vendors who are frustrated that competitors have achieved yet another perfect review score – the full five stars on Gartner Peer Insights (GPI) and G2, or the perfect 10 on TrustRadius.

“How can this review be real?” they question. “They can’t have THAT MANY happy customers, surely!” Their sentiment is shared by the review sites – with TrustRadius encouraging vendors to take its TRUE trust pledge (Transparent, Responsive, Unbiased and Ethical) and GPI’s Customer First initiative, which asks vendors to add a widget to a website’s landing page and promise equality in sourcing reviews.

Yet a couple of cold, hard realities are stifling the success of both very worthy initiatives.

The first: “Yes, I know we just said that the full five stars aren’t great when THEY keep getting them – but we truly deserved this full five, didn’t we?” Vendors are at pains to point out that these glowing 5* reviews underline how they went above and beyond to deliver – so in the vendor’s rose-tinted glasses, awarding maximum points was only fair.

Vendors embellish that by commenting that buyers WANT to read success stories. Three (or even one-star) rants are awkward. There’s truth in that: when someone in a busy restaurant gets all uppity with the wait staff, most people will side with the server, not the customer.

The second reality: No vendor is seriously going to ask an unhappy customer for a review. Are they? As per our last post, this can happen when customers are cold-emailed. It’s one of the nuances of a successful reviews campaign – only fools rush in, etc.

Back to the perfect score. Yes, they’re a necessary evil. Machines don’t care about the actual reviews. They just look at aggregate numbers and analyze sentiment and keywords.

We don’t expect M2M-commerce to replace the human in the loop on the enterprise buying cycle anytime soon. But the voice of the customer – manifested through reviews and ratings – is increasingly visible for M2M. Just look at Gartner’s core site, where the highest-rated three vendors on any given GPI category are now displayed in a bar on the right of research search results.

You’re fourth? Tough luck.

Machines don’t read individual reviews, they read them in bulk. ChatGPT is capable of reading 100 reviews and creating a credible SWOT analysis in less time than it took you to read this sentence.

If you’d like to see for yourself, just give ChatGPT or your preferred gen AI app a basic prompt like this: What are three top-rated primary storage vendors by enterprise customers? And why?

The results demonstrate why there is still room for peer reviews in M2M. If you’re competing on scalability, then your reviews should cover this. Machines aren’t emotional and don’t care about marketeers’ weasel words or brand-dominant voices. They cut straight through to the cold, hard facts – as seen through the buyer’s lens.

Destrier supports vendors large and small in evolving their strategic approach to enterprise peer reviews. If you’d like to find out how we could help your brand cut through, let’s connect.