What’s the best way to respond to reviews?

how to respond to online reviews

Responding To Online Reviews

There is no real excuse for businesses that don’t allocate time to respond to online reviews. After all, the customer has taken time to leave the review so you should take time to respond.

No matter if the person is reviewing your business by leaving a negative review or recommending your business by leaving a positive review, you need to answer all online reviews.

Below are a few tips on how to reply to positive and also negative reviews.

How Customers Can Give Reviews

Past customers and clients can leave reviews in quite a few ways:
– With a simple star rating on one of the hundreds of review platforms like TrustPilot, Google or Facebook
– They could leave the same star rating review but also leave a comment
– Clients may review your business by contacting you directly
– Or they may email you privately with their comments

How to respond to positive online reviews

positive reviews

Make Your Responses Unique

No matter if they are positive or negative you need to give a unique response to each person leaving the review. You might feel it is easier to have canned responses but you should remember your response will be public and available for anyone to read. The same word for word reply to lots of people will not help potential customers to trust you.

A unique reply shows the customer who left the review that you have taken time to view what they said and adds the trust factor and value to anyone reading your reply

How to respond to great online reviews

1. Thank the customer, and pick out something specific from their compliment

For example, if the customer enjoyed the food, or had a particularly good experience with Bob the sales person, mention that in your reply. Keep it personal and relevant to what they’ve said.

2. Use their name, your business name

Along the same lines, keeping it personal and show that you care by using their name (if you know it). Include your business name, and maybe even your own name to add that personal touch.

3. Add in some keywords

Keywords that would be relevant to your company, product or service are always a good thing to have online along side any reference to your product. e.g. if you’re a local business, mention your city and service, like, “thanks for joining us at our family coffee shop in Soho London”

4. Invite the customer back in a personal way

It’s always good to finish in a friendly way that will bring them (and others) back to your business. So finish by saying something like “we look forward to seeing you again soon (and why not try our new chocolate orange pancakes next time :)”

Example of replying to a positive review

Hi (Customer name if known). Thank you for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review of our hotel (hotel name). We are pleased you found the decor of your room to your liking and the beds comfortable. We would love to welcome you back in the future and maybe next time you can sample the food in our bistro.

Note. The reviews and responses are read not only by the public. They are read by Search Engines. So the more keywords you can have in the reply the more search engines will find you.

By including the final sentence you are also doing a little bit of extra marketing by telling anyone who reads the review about your bistro

How to respond to a positive online review

How to respond to negative online reviews

negative reviews

Responding to poor reviews can be tricky. However there are a few golden rules you should always remember.

How to reply to negative online reviews

1. Don’t take it personally.

No matter how good your product or service you will always have some people who want to complain

2. Stay calm

It is the easiest thing in the world when someone says something uncomplimentary about your business. This is especially so when you feel their comments are unjustified

3. Take a deep breath.

Don’t respond straight away. Although you should respond to all reviews as soon as possible, you need to consider your reply by leaving it for an hour or so to let it sink in.

4. Sympathise and empathise. 

You may not feel like doing this but in the long run it will pay off. Remember the review and your reply are public.

5. Remain Polite.

Name calling or oneupmanship will do you no favours at all. By staying polite you could turn a complaining customer into a happy one

6. Acknowledge their comments. 

After all they may be making a valid point

7. Take it offline. 

You definitely want to respond once to the negative review, however after one response suggest that they contact you directly.  Give a direct email address or phone number where you can discuss it directly away from the public forum.

Example of reply to a negative review

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. I am sorry your stay didn’t meet your expectations, specifically with (insert a specific issue the customer had). We continually strive to improve our guests experience and your comments are greatly appreciated. I would like the opportunity to answer any other concerns you have so please feel free to contact me on name@yourbusiness.com

Note. For the negative review you do not want to repeat your business name nor any specific issues they mentioned. This is for the same reason as why you do mention them in positive reviews. All you are doing is helping search engines find negative reviews by doing this

The power a good response and customer service can have

Check out this revised yelp review

After the initial bad review, and the business responded in right way, the customer has updated their review to a glorious 5 stars.

Read George M.‘s review of stanley security on Yelp

You can always tell on Yelp if the review has been updated. just look for the “updated review” signal on the reviews.

So never take for granted that a bad review is there forever. Give great customer service, and respond promptly and professionally to all review, and you’ll not only turn unhappy customers into your advocates, you’ll bring in more new customers.

Now is the time to start managing your online reputation

It’s not always easy to be on top of all your review platforms, or keep track of which reviews have been responded to.

Through our dashboard, you can see at a glance which reviews have, and which haven’t been responded to.  This will ensure you’re always on top of responses, and is just one of the many features of our reputation management software

So get started with your free trial, and see how we can help your businesses reputation.

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