How To Respond To Online Reviews

The Importance of Responding to Reviews

Responding to online reviews demonstrates to current and potential customers that you're interested in their business and helping them have the best experience possible. Readers can see that you want to engage with your customers and ensure that each customer is happy with their experience at your business. Reviews also give you a chance to offer assistance to an unhappy customer in the hopes of gaining a new repeat customer.

How to Respond to Positive Feedback

Responding to a positive review should begin with your appreciation. Avoid using a generic message that sounds like it came from an advice booklet or website; specifically highlight something the customer said and thank them for that comment. For example, if the customer mentioned an employee by name, highlight the employee's contribution in your reply and share more detail about why you appreciate that employee. Use your reply as a chance to encourage the customer to make a return visit. Highlighting an upcoming event, such as a sale, can help you advertise your business to more people.

How to Respond to a Negative Review

Negative reviews are usually more challenging to handle than positive reviews, especially if the customer is inflammatory in their criticism. The first rule for responding to negative feedback is to be polite. Even if you feel that the customer is unfairly maligning your business, keeping a neutral tone will help the readers of your reply feel more positive about your company. In your reply, acknowledge the unhappy customer's complaint and issue an apology for their unfavorable experience. Becoming defensive and discounting the experience of the customer is unlikely to win over the original reviewer or gain new customers. Find a way fix the situation for your customer if possible. For example, you could offer an in-store credit to the unhappy customer to encourage them to try your business again. Realize that having an extended conversation with a disappointed customer is not always possible on an online platform. Giving the disgruntled customer a way to get in touch with you offline is a good personal touch that demonstrates your commitment to satisfying your customers. Although the customer may not take your offer, potential customers will be impressed with your customer service skills.

Online reviews are an important part of building your brand. Taking the time to respond to both positive and negative feedback shows future customers that you want to engage with them and earn their business. A polite message and a quick work of thanks can go a long way to building trust with your customers.

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