The Best Ways to Respond to Positive and Negative Reviews
Reviews are everywhere. Some are good, some are bad, but the way you respond to these reviews is essential.
Responding to reviews…
- Helps you maintain your company’s online reputation
- Shows customers that you’re willing to actively engage with them
- Can help you learn from your mistakes
In this post, I’m going to go over some of the best ways to respond to both positive and negative reviews and how responding to online reviews can ultimately help your business in its success.
Responding to Bad Reviews
First, let’s talk about the not so good: bad reviews. It’s not ever fun to get a negative review, but you may want to keep in mind that it could happen eventually. A lot of business owners are afraid to respond to bad reviews because it’s a form of confrontation that can lead them down a rabbit hole. However, rather than letting negative reviews cause you anxiety, use them as an opportunity to improve your brand and customer service.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when responding to negative reviews:
Don’t react off of an impulse.
Rather than immediately responding to an angry or upset customer, assess the situation first. If you react to a bad review without thinking the response all the way through first, you could end up upsetting the customer even more. Even if the customer doesn’t have a fair reason to be angry with your company, it won’t stop them from sharing what they have to say, and people will likely believe it until they see a reason to think otherwise.
So, when it comes time to respond to a bad review, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Instead, think it through and have a logical response in place before hitting the reply button.
When responding, do it publicly.
It can be nerve-wracking to respond to bad reviews publicly, but it’s crucial that you reach out to them on the platform where they posted the review. It’s also okay to respond privately alongside the public response as well.
Don’t avoid digital confrontation! When you respond to bad reviews, it shows your current and potential customers that you do care about them and want to be attentive to their needs. Being attentive can lead to increased business because people can see that you’re aware of what they think and tend to gravitate towards companies with better overall customer service and experience.
Offer solutions to your customers.
Don’t just spend your time writing back a response apologizing for the customer’s unfortunate experience, make sure you offer them some sort of solution to mitigate the issue. Provide your contact information and follow up with the customer offline. Make an effort to display empathy towards them and put effort into resolving their complaint.
By genuinely showing concern and making an effort to solve the customer’s problems, you may see them bump up their rating on whatever platforms they posted on. When a customer gets a timely response and gets the help they need, they often go back and edit their reviews, sometimes leaving a note that they spoke with customer service and had their issue resolved.
Always try to help customers find a solution, but know that the solutions you can offer may not always be what they want. Even if you can’t give them what they want, other people will see that you’ve made an effort to contact and connect with the customer, which can still have a positive effect.
Responding to Good Reviews
Now that we’ve taken care of how to respond to bad reviews, let’s tackle the positive side of things! Responding to positive reviews is a lot easier than dealing with angry customers saying how terrible your company is. A lot of business owners put responding to good reviews on the backburner so that they can focus on damage control with the negative ones.
Negative reviews always seem to spread like wildfire whereas positive ones don’t. So why spend time and effort responding to positive reviews? It’s important because good reviews lead to fans and proponents of your business which can lead to more traffic and sales. Here are some tips to keep in mind when responding to good reviews:
Acknowledge the customer by their name.
Sure, you could say something like “Good morning” or “Hey there,” but it doesn’t feel entirely genuine. It’s best to address people by their names (unless the name they use on the platform is fake) because it’s more likely to catch their attention.
Be grateful for the positive review.
Don’t expect appreciation if you can’t show any in return. By showing your customer some gratitude for leaving a good review, you’re letting them know that you don’t just pay attention to those spreading fire, but also to those who don’t.
Use this as an opportunity to give customers additional value.
A simple thank you doesn’t provide much value. What makes your brand different from any other one responding to a good review? If your customer leaves a good review, try leaving them with something they can get some value out of, like incentives to come back for more or for being a positive proponent of your company.
Responding to Reviews as a Business Owner
As the business owner, you’ll want to respond to reviews (both positive and negative) promptly and show engagement with your customers. Below are some tips on responding to customer reviews as a business owner:
Give customers customized responses.
You don’t have to spend a long time writing out an essay to respond to a review. What you should do is leave a thank you along with some text that is specific to that person’s review.
Admit fault where it is due.
Accidents happen so don’t hesitate to apologize for a customer’s poor experience. When you apologize as a business owner, it makes you a human being to your customers, not just someone who cares about the numbers.
Work with your customers to resolve issues.
Customers want to be reassured that their negative experience can be resolved and helping that customer can go along way. Results from HelpScout show that while half of customers won’t return after having a bad experience, if you are able to resolve a customer’s complaint, 70% of the time they’ll continue doing business with you.
Online reviews are becoming more and more prominent in today’s society, and whether they’re negative or positive, you should make the time and effort to respond to your customers. Not only will this help you learn from your mistakes and grow as a business, but by engaging with your customers, you’ll be providing them with a great sense of customer service, ultimately leading to more traffic and sales!