In part one of our review series, I talked about how important reviews are to the buying/decision process and their importance to search platforms. Asking for reviews is only half of the battle: What do you do when you get a negative one? Should you respond to a positive one? In this blog we will help answer those questions as well as provide some tips on writing responses.
Many people know to respond to negative reviews, but positive reviews also have an impact on search rankings and help to cultivate a good online reputation. When a customer gives a compliment in real life, the natural response is to thank them. That idea applies to responding to positive reviews online. It also gives the business a unique marketing opportunity. Below are a few tips to responding to positive reviews.
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
- Thank the reviewer
Thank them for leaving the review or visiting the business. Also, add in a personal detail so they know the response was written by a real person.
“Thanks for leaving a review and mentioning our server Josh. You’re right he is always smiling.”
- Mention the business name and keywords
Getting reviews is hard work, so when a business receives a good one, you may want to shout it from the rooftops. Mentioning the business name and relevant keywords in the response can improve search ranking. This can also help potential customers find your business.
“The team at [Business Name] is happy to hear that your [Italian dining] experience exceeded your expectations. We’re proud to be a local [Italian Restaurant].
- Add a little marketing
Positive reviews present the opportunity to throw in a little marketing. Since the review is public and will be read by others (including new customers), now is your chance to get them to come back for more. This can include mentioning a new feature, product or promotion or just giving them a little insight into the work that went in to the great experience.
“Did you know we have brunch on Sundays?”
- Invite customer to take action
Good advertisements end with a call to action and your response should do the same thing. Invite the reviewer back for another great experience or ask them to share the review. Asking them to share the review shows that you care about their business and are engaged in their satisfaction. It also can mean more to potential customers if it comes straight from the happy customer themselves.
“On your next visit, you should try [insert product/service here]! We look forward to seeing you again, and bring a friend!”
Ignoring bad reviews will not make them go away. When responding to a negative review, remember that you are also speaking to anyone who may read the review, including future customers. Despite the impersonal nature of online reviews, this is your moment to make things right with the customer. Although most businesses would like to avoid negative reviews, they can help make your business seem more real and open to any type of feedback. Negative reviews are not the enemy; they provide their own unique marketing opportunities for your business. Below are a few tips to responding to negative reviews.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
We are more connected now than we have ever been before and reviews can be read by anyone. Before writing a response and publicly saying something that may hurt your business, take a few breaths and address the legitimate concerns in a constructive way.
- Thank the reviewer
Even though the reviewer is not happy, they still took time to write a review. Thanking them shows that you are happy that they are reaching out and value their concerns.
“Thank you for taking time to write this review. We appreciate all feedback.”
- Move the conversation offline
Providing contact information and asking the customer to reach out is recommended. This will allow you to learn more about the issue and possibly resolve the problem directly.
“My name is [name] and I am the [Title]. Would you feel comfortable contacting me to discuss this in more detail? You can reach me at [phone number/email].”
- Keep the response short and to the point
Keeping the response short and to the point will prevent saying something that may further upset the customer. The best advice is to be polite and professional.
A few other tips to keep in mind when responding to reviews:
- Respond in a timely matter. Although there is some discussion about what that time frame is, ideally a response should be posted within a week of the review.
- Don’t include your business name or relevant keywords in a negative response.
- In a response to a positive review, also thank your staff who were specifically mentioned.
Reviews are becoming a huge business marketing opportunity. Having a good online reputation means more than just being listed on local search platforms. It shows that you are actively managing your business’s online information, including responding to both positive and negative reviews.