Where do you look for information when you’re shopping for a new piece of software? According to G2’s 2021 Buyer Behavior Report, most people consult the software company’s website — but only 38% of people consider it to be the most trustworthy source.
Think about it: every software company has invested a significant amount of time and effort into their own website. And that’s with the specific aim of convincing potential buyers like you of their product’s value. But just because an intranet provider has a flashy website and a well-written blog, that doesn’t (necessarily) mean its products are right for your organization.
In this article, we’ll share five methods you can use to find real, unbiased intranet reviews to supplement the information on the vendor’s website and give you a fuller picture of the intranet platform. We’ll also share our top tips for using these reviews effectively once you’ve found them.
How to find unbiased intranet reviews to inform your purchasing decision
The best way to find out what an intranet platform is actually like is from people who have used it. But how do you go about finding those people? Here are a few methods you could try:
Method #1: Reach out to customers from published success stories
Most software companies publish case studies or testimonials to show off their happy customers. And who better to ask about a software platform than people who have already used it?
When you see customers featured in testimonial videos or mentioned in case studies, consider reaching out to them on LinkedIn. Most people love sharing their opinions, and many will be happy to set up a quick call to tell you about the intranet software.
Here are some questions you might want to ask:
How easy is the software to use?
How was the implementation process?
How is the ongoing support?
Why did you choose this intranet over another one?
What do you wish you knew before launching your intranet?
Software comparison sites are a great place to look for honest intranet reviews. However, it’s important to stick to reputable sites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice. These sites allow users to share their opinions on all sorts of software, including employee intranets. Crucially, they also independently verify each review, so you’re much less likely to see fake ones.
Another advantage of these sites is that you can filter reviews according to criteria like company size, role, industry, and region. So, if you’re an IT support engineer in a mid-sized marketing firm in Germany, you can filter your results down so you only see reviews from people with similar profiles.
Method #3: Use Crunchbase to create a list of current customers
Another option is to use a company insights platform like Crunchbase to come up with a list of companies that currently use the intranet software you’re researching. Then, you can search for the relevant people within those companies on LinkedIn, and reach out to ask about their experience. Not sure who to search for? Leaders in HR, IT, or internal communications are usually a good bet.
Always remember that these people are doing you a favor if they agree to speak with you. One way to sweeten the deal is to have a conversation over a virtual lunch, and offer them an UberEats gift card as a thank you.
Method #4: See what users are saying on social media
Social media is another good place to look for real, unfiltered opinions about an intranet platform. Start by checking the company’s page and reading through some of the comments — which might be positive or negative.
It’s also a good idea to search for the company name so you can see other posts people have published about the software. Keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons people tag companies on social media is to complain. Looking at how the company responds to complaints can be interesting, as it gives you an idea of what their support service looks like.
Method #5: Request a free demo
While it’s not exactly a way to find intranet reviews, the best way to develop your own opinion on a platform is to see it in action. And most intranet providers will happily walk you through their software and answer your questions on a demo call.
Make sure you come prepared with a list of the specific features you want to see demonstrated, and any questions you want to ask. Here are some questions to consider:
Which features are the most/least popular?
How do your features differ from your competitors?
How does the intranet page builder work?
What is your average roll-out time?
Which features do people find most difficult to use?
How to use reviews to find the right intranet software: 4 tips
Knowing where to look for intranet reviews is just the beginning of the process. To find the right intranet software for your organization, you need to know how to use and understand the reviews you find. Here are a few tips to follow:
Filter down to the most relevant reviews
Filtering online reviews can help you to narrow them down until you’re only seeing the most relevant ones. There are a few ways to do this. First, as mentioned above, you can use sites like G2 to find reviews from organizations that are similar to yours.
Alternatively, you can filter reviews by theme by searching for specific keywords based on the aspects of the software that are most important to you. For example, if ease of use is a key consideration, you might search for keywords like “user interface”, “learning curve”, or “deployment”.
Double-check the authenticity of intranet reviews
If you’re going to base a buying decision on a review, it’s important to be sure it came from a real person. But unfortunately, not all reviews are genuine. Thankfully, there are some common red flags you can look out for that might indicate a review isn’t real:
Anonymous posts: Real reviewers usually use their real names instead of posting anonymously — and the company they work for should have an online presence too.
Only positive or negative: Most reviews contain both positive and negative feedback — reviews that only lean in one direction may not be genuine.
Generic statements: Real reviews contain specific details about the product’s features and functions — not just generic statements.
Read both positive and negative reviews
Sites like Capterra and G2 provide an average rating for each software, which can be useful for comparing different tools. But even if a product is highly rated, it’s a good idea to read some negative reviews. This way, you’ll learn which features people didn’t like — which could inform your choice if they’re particularly important to your organization.
Equally, even if a company has a lot of negative reviews, it’s worth looking at the positive ones too. This tells you what the provider is i>doing well, and might give you some things to look out for in reviews of other products.
Pay attention to when reviews were published
Another important consideration when reading online reviews is the date when they were published. Software can change significantly over short periods, so reviews over 18 months old are likely to be outdated.
Also, software providers often base updates on the feedback they receive from customers. That means that the very things people were complaining about six months ago might be the things the company is excelling at now!
Use intranet software reviews to make an informed buying decision
Choosing an intranet solution is a big decision, and you should go into it armed with all the information you can find. Yes, that means looking at the intranet platform’s website — but you shouldn’t just trust what they say. Instead, check out their social media, read some reviews on reputable sites, and ask for a demo when you’re ready.
Speaking of which, how about seeing Happeo in action? Book a free demo callwith a member of our team to learn more about our intranet platform.