Are you struggling with the best way to respond to online reviews? Whether the reviews are positive or negative, you need a way to acknowledge and validate your customers’ opinions.
A small business or startup may respond to online reviews differently than larger companies. For small and mid-size businesses, it’s not uncommon for the founder or owner to respond directly to customer reviews on platforms like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Larger brands usually have digital marketing departments with teams that have been trained in the best ways to respond to online reviews.
According to The Brandify Guide to Review Management and Response, an ebook published by Brandify, 86% of consumers look at online reviews when making purchasing decisions, and 91% of 18-to 34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customers are more likely to visit businesses that respond to online reviews than those that do not, and most expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within one week.
If you have questioned how best to respond to the reviews posted about your company, then try using these templates as a guide.
Not only can negative reviews hurt sales, then can also hurt employee morale. Replying to customers who are upset about the services or products they have received is never easy. It’s not uncommon to get upset or frustrated. Instead of lashing out, though, and posting something that could reflect negatively on your business, take a step back and avoid letting emotions take control.
As you craft your response, consider using this all-purpose negative review template as a starting place:
Dear [REVIEWER], thank you for your feedback. At [COMPANY], we are always striving to meet our customers’ expectations, and it sounds like this time we fell short. I want to assure you that your experience is not common, and I will do everything I can to make sure we do better in the future. If you have any other questions or you’d like to talk more in-depth, please reach out to me directly at [CONTACT INFORMATION]. I really want to make things right, and I hope you’ll give us another chance.
You don’t want to reply in the same way to every review, however. It’s considered a good practice to develop different templated responses for common situations, such as complaints about service, complaints about product quality, and complaints that should be escalated to internal teams.
The way your business replies to negative reviews will determine not just how the reviewer views your company, but also how other people view your company when they search online.
Surveys have shown that companies are more likely to win over reviewers when they thank the reviewer for their feedback and talk about the level of service customers should expect, so try incorporating those elements into your replies.
Thankfully, responding to positive reviews is usually much easier than responding to negative reviews. Responses to positive reviews should be brief and succinct. Thank the reviewer, invite them to come back, and mention something specific about their experience.
Consider using this template as a guide when replying to positive reviews:
Thank you for the [NUMBER] stars! It’s so great to hear that you loved the [PRODUCT OR SERVICE]. Hope to see you again soon!
You could also try something like this:
I’m so happy to hear you had a positive experience at [COMPANY NAME]. I really value your input, and I hope you’ll stop by and say hi the next time you’re in.
Businesses in certain industries, such as healthcare and law, may have specific requirements or guidelines they need to follow when replying to online reviews. Regardless, having a few customizable templates is all a company needs to start replying to online reviews in a strategic way.
To learn more about how to manage and respond to online reviews, download The Brandify Guide to Review Management and Response.