Responding to Reviews: How & Why It Matters
Online reviews are a valuable resource for businesses. Not only can they help boost your SEO – getting more eyes on your business, but they can help you build trust with potential customers. 98% of consumers consider reviews as a factor when making a purchase decision. Responding to these reviews is important as it shows you care about customers and their experience with your business.
Check out these tips for responding to reviews – both positive and negative.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Getting a negative review about your business can be tough. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to be able to please everyone, and ignoring them could do harm to the reputation of your business. If handled well, it can help you retain your customers and potentially gain new leads.
People leave negative reviews because they want a response. The longer you wait to respond, the more upset the customer is going to be. 53% of consumers expect a response within a week, but the first 48 hours is most ideal. Take your own feelings into account before responding. Answering when you’re angry or upset can lead to more problems. The more calm and collected you are, the more likely you are to diffuse the situation.
Acknowledge the Person & the Problem
If the person has their name listed in the review, use it to start the message. Then restate the issue and empathize with the customer. Ex. Hello John. I’m sorry your expectations were not met when it came to our selection of flooring. Use I instead of ‘we’ or the company name to help humanize your company.
Collect More Information
In some cases, you may need more information to help resolve the problem. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to take the situation off a public forum. This can help prevent any possible escalation from happening in front of other potential customers. Let the customer (and others reading your reviews) know that you have messaged them directly so it doesn’t appear to later visitors to your business profile that you have ignored the review.
Responding to Positive Reviews
Responding to positive reviews is just as important as responding to the negative ones. Maybe even more so since it costs more to attract a new customer as opposed to keeping those you already have. Even if this person doesn’t personally use your services again, they’re more likely to recommend you to their friends and family if they have a positive experience.
Say Thank You
Remember this person took time out of their day to say something nice about your business. Specifically note what you appreciate about their review. For example, if they mention a specific person on your team, reiterate that in the response to show you read the whole thing.
Make it Personal
People like to know there’s a human on the other end of their interactions. If every positive review has the exact same response, it can feel robotic or inauthentic.
Collecting testimonials can be tricky. This means when a customer leaves a positive review, you need to take advantage of it. Use the review on your website or on your social media to attract new customers through the power of social proof.