At the beginning of this year we decided to join the ratings and review platform, Clutch. For those unfamiliar with the platform, their team works directly with B2B service providers to conduct validated client reviews.  We had some trepidation since client relationships are the lifeblood of our business. Why would we let a third party talk to them? The answer is that we wouldn’t unless we trusted the reviewer with our confidential information. We trust Clutch because of our own vetting conversations with them as well as our conversations with other CEO’s of DC-area agencies.

Currently, six of our clients have given Clutch reviews of their experience with us. More are on the way. We’re excited to say that in our short time on Clutch, we’ve been able to rise through the ranks of DC app developers.

Our profile on Clutch has been a great resource for addressing reference requests early in the selection process. We also find that Apollo is more discoverable overall because of Clutch’s strong online visibility.  While we have traditionally just referred prospective clients to our references for direct conversations, we see the use of this structured third-party reference system as less invasive for our clients and easier to process for companies considering doing business with Apollo Matrix. A cool option for the client is that they can decide, while speaking with Clutch, whether to include their own name and/or company name, or use broad titles/categories. I like that this privacy can be provided without compromising the quality of the review itself. Behind every review is the assurance that Clutch interviewed the actual client and vetted the organization before redacting confidential items.

Even though we think Clutch is a great way for us to deliver references to our public, we are always willing to let potential clients talk directly to our current clients after we’ve asked their permission (and they have always said yes!).

Below is a sample summary review to give you an idea of what the interviewer collects and how it is presented on Clutch:

That’s just one snapshot of a full-length review. Be sure to take a look at all of our reviews, and to learn more about the reviewing organization check out

In summary, I would say that Clutch is a fantastic resource for proven services firms with clients who know they have a strong portfolio of client relationships. For services firms just starting out, it may be better to wait. We’ve known for a couple of years that we had assets to unlock in the form of great client relationships. Finally, we have found a partner to help us take those assets to market in a way that respects our clients and helps us achieve our growth goals.