We’ve talked about the importance of online reviews before, but when you receive a review, what should you do? Should you respond or leave it alone? What if it’s negative? Responding to reviews requires tact and strategy. If done right, responding to reviews, even negative ones, can give your business a boost! Here, we’ll talk about the importance of responding to online reviews and how to respond to both positive and negative ones.
Why You Need to Respond to Online Reviews
It’s important to respond to both positive and negative online reviews. Responding gives your business a voice in the ongoing conversation consumers are having about your services. It also lets readers know that you’re engaged and care about what they have to say. Even if a reviewer was dissatisfied, a simple and polite response can make a world of difference. But how do you respond to reviews in a way that’s tactful and boosts your business?
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
Every business loves receiving a positive review, so responding is easy. But you can maximize this opportunity , connecting with your customers and promoting your business by remembering these key elements:
- Remember your manners- Always thank a reviewer for taking the time to write about your business. It’s polite! “Thank you! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your visit!”
- Make it personal- Personalizing your response to each review shows customers that you read their reviews and care about what they have to say. To personalize a response, thank the reviewer by name and highlight specifics of their review. For example, if they appreciated your attention to detail, mention that thoroughness is something your business prides itself on. Doing this also allows you to re-emphasize the positive qualities of your business.
- Invite them to come again- Inviting the reviewer to visit again shows that you care about their repeat business and makes them feel welcome. You can also use this as an opportunity to promote a special event or sale you have coming up. “Come see us again for our semi-annual sale starting on June 1st!”
- Use keywords- Reviews can show up in search results, so utilize industry keywords and your business’ name when responding to a positive review so more readers will see it.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Receiving negative reviews hurts. However, they are a great tool for growing as a business, improving the customer experience, and even mending relationships. As expected, responding to negative reviews can be tricky, but with these tips, you can make negative reviews work for your business.
- Understand what happened- What made this customer unhappy? Speak with your employees and try to piece together what happened or what went wrong. This will give you a better idea of how to respond and what you can do to remedy the issue. Was there a misunderstanding? Did your business drop the ball? Or was the customer in the wrong? This is something you should already be doing to improve your business and your customers’ experiences.
- Remain calm- When responding to a negative review, it’s important to maintain a level head. Sounding angry or defensive will only reflect poorly on your business. Remaining calm shows that you are a professional and can take criticism.
- Apologize and sympathize- Even if the customer was in the wrong, always apologize for their poor experience. This shows humility and acknowledges the reviewer’s feelings. This will also show other readers that your business cares about its customers and their experiences. “We’re sorry to hear you were dissatisfied with our services. We always try to put our customer’s satisfaction first, but it seems we’ve missed the mark.”
- Take the conversation offline- Include your contact information and offer to resolve the issue outside of the review forum. This gives you the opportunity to make things right with the disgruntled customer and shows them that you value their patronage. It also shows readers that your business cares about its customers and takes their experiences seriously. If you are able to resolve the issue, politely ask the disgruntled customer to update their review to reflect this.
- Don’t use keywords or your business’ name- As mentioned earlier, reviews can appear in searches. Avoid using keywords or your business’ name when responding to negative reviews so these reviews won’t be seen by other customers.
Reviews are an important part of any business. With these tips, you can maximize every opportunity to connect with your customers. Do you want more reviews for your business? Contact MLT Group at 507.281.3490 or firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about our review campaign services.