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Should I Respond to Reviews?

You have reviews! This is wonderful news, however, what do you do with them? The answer is simple: respond!

True or false: responding to reviews is only for negative reviews. False!

Responding to positive reviews validates customers, increases brand loyalty, and creates stronger customer relationships. A simple “thank you!” can go a long way.

Plus, Google looks for responsive organizations and we believe rewards them for doing so.

So, how do you do it?

Affirm the Affirmation:

Reply to every positive review

In face-to-face interactions, we thank people for their compliments. We shouldn’t treat customers differently because they are online instead of face-to-face. You appreciate them, let them know.

Be genuine and sincere

Your brand has a personality; now is a great time to use it!

Thou shalt not copy and paste responses

Each person has a unique experience with your brand and therefore deserves a unique response.

Reinforce their positive remarks

Specifically acknowledge something in their remarks. This is a great way to show the message is personalized to fit their review.

Sparingly use your business name and SEO keywords in your response

This is posted on the web, so feed it a little Google juice (do NOT go over the top or make it obvious that this is what you are doing).

Write an appropriate length of response

If a customer only leaves a five-star rating, a simple  “thank you!” is sufficient. If they write a paragraph, respond with a kind sentence or two.

Share it with your company

Let your staff know they are doing well.

7 Tips for Handling Negative Reviews:

Now let’s face reality: negative reviews will happen. Some days our customers may simply be having an off day. Plus, we are all human and mistakes will happen. The true test is how we respond to those issues.

Dissatisfied customers want to be heard. However, they don't always handle it the best way! Unfortunately, they take to review platforms, social media, etc. rather than directly contacting your company.

So, here’s what to do when you get a less-than ideal review:

1) Take a sober, calm look at negative reviews

Does the customer have valid complaints? Use these as learning opportunities. Negative reviews can be beneficial, pointing you towards areas of your business that need improvement.

2) Do respond

The worst thing you can do is to do nothing. Even a less-than-perfect response is better than no response at all because at the very least, these customers know they are being heard. Think of it this way: if a customer came into your store and had a complaint, you wouldn’t turn around and walk away. You don’t ignore your customers in real life, therefore don’t ignore your customers online.

3) Respond privately and publicly to negative reviews

Write a simple apology directly to the post, then proceed with the conversation in private. Remember, the rest of the world can see your response, so be polite.

4) Respond quickly to the complaint

Within one week of the negative review is best. 95% of customers who were dissatisfied said they would consider returning if the issue was resolved in a timely manner.

5) Do not respond out of emotion: do not be defensive or push the blame onto the customer.

Take time to calm down and think rationally before responding to negative reviews.

6) Validate the customer and their complaint

Explain to them how you plan to fix the issue, both for them now and in the future, explaining the preventative measures being taken so it does not happen again.

7) Be real. Be genuine.

This is not a time to advertise. Avoid asking for something in return or offering them anything. This may come across as bribery and not an attempt to make amends. You’re focus here is repairing the broken relationship.

Making amends with complaining customers can be more beneficial than if the issue hadn’t happened at all. It is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service, to show integrity, and to show a genuine care for customers.

We are here to help you!

Managing several review sites can be tricky, especially when trying to respond to every review. Our review management tools pool all of the reviews into one convenient place, making it easier than ever for you to respond to reviews.