Responding to online reviews takes time and effort. You can give infinite review responses, but you must be careful to make a good impression. You, as a business owner, should be responding to positive and negative reviews for many reasons. That’s right; even positive reviews deserve responses!
Remember, you’re representing your business. Your response will determine how customers see you online or in person, which may sway them toward or away from your business.
Here are a few helpful tips to improve your responses to online reviews.
It’s important to respond as quickly as possible (without being too rash). When you let a bad review stay up for too long without replying, more people will see it. This isn’t good for your reputation.
You may also forget about it. Responding to reviews can easily slip your mind when you have many other responsibilities as a busy business owner.
Take a brief amount of time to decide how you will respond. While you should react quickly, don’t let yourself be careless. Give yourself time to cool off (if the review was inflammatory) and decide the best response.
Ignoring bad reviews won’t make them disappear, especially if you don’t have many reviews. Even if you’re feeling anxious, responding within a few days (if not a single day) is a good move. Get it over with.
Learn From Your Reviews
When you get a review, try to take something from it. If the review is positive, keep in mind what you’re doing right and make a note to continue doing it (or even expand upon it).
If the review is negative, determine what you can change. Sometimes, negative reviews aren’t your fault but don’t immediately jump to that conclusion.
Politeness is critical when responding to online reviews, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative. Even if a review is downright mean or inappropriate, you need to stay as professional as possible.
You have your reputation to consider. While responding to negative reviews with the same energy the customer used is tempting, you’re running a business. Consider how that would look to other people.
Your response is public, so taking the high road is best.
This can also help you diffuse the situation. People who leave negative reviews often want to know someone is hearing their concerns. When you respond with kindness, their motivation to “fight it out” may dissipate, and they may open themself up to a rational and calm interaction.
Keep Review Responses Brief
It’s best to be brief (while still thorough) for positive and negative reviews.
For positive reviews, a quick “thanks!” and perhaps a CTA / call-to-action (asking the customer to tell their friends or check your shop later for new products) is more than enough to make an impact. Most people don’t expect responses to positive reviews at all so that you will stand out.
You will need to go into more detail for negative reviews, but not too much. Make sure you address the problem, apologize, and give your customer steps to take.
It’s often best to save the more extended conversations for private messages or emails so you don’t pay too much attention to the review but still pay enough attention to the customer.
If you defend your business against a troll comment, you may have to go into more detail but offer enough information to clear the air. Remember that most people won’t sit and read lengthy review responses. You don’t gain anything from writing several paragraphs in response.
If It’s Negative: Make It Right
If someone leaves a negative review (and the review is legitimate, of course), you’re being given an excellent opportunity to make things right. How will you do that?
Again, it’s often best to take this conversation into private messages or emails to ensure you can fine-tune your next steps to the disgruntled customer’s needs.
Sometimes being heard is enough, and the customer won’t want anything else. Telling them that you will make changes to ensure the problem never happens again can be comforting.
In other cases, you may want to offer a coupon, replacement item, or service (depending on what your business offers). Note that discounts, replacements, or “freebies” might seem bad for business, but this isn’t the case if it means salvaging your reputation and making a customer happy.
Be Authentic and Empathetic
Customers value honesty and authenticity. While you should be professional in your online review responses, you should also be human. Many customers respond negatively to reactions that seem too “corporate” because they seem inauthentic.
Connect with your customers, and you’ll gain their trust.
How To Respond To Positive Feedback?
- Acknowledge the compliment: Thank the person for taking the time to provide positive feedback.
- Express appreciation: Show your gratitude by thanking the person for their kind words.
- Return the favor: Think of something nice you can do in return, such as offering a discount or sending a gift card.
- Share and spread the love: Share positive reviews and feedback with your social media followers.
- Reflect on the feedback: Take a few moments to consider how you can learn from and apply this feedback to improve your products/services/processes.
- Celebrate your success: Celebrate any successes that result from taking action on feedback, no matter how small!
Responding to Online Reviews Is Essential
Learning how to respond to online reviews is tough and will be a trial-and-error process. As you progress, you’ll discover the best ways to communicate with happy and unhappy customers while maintaining your professionalism and reputation.