The impact of customer feedback has never been more important than right now in the age of social media and online reviews. Brands and businesses have to pay close attention to everything their customers are saying about them online.
Consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. As such, many companies are learning how to respond to reviews to improve their customer experience and boost their online reputation.
Data has also shown companies that put in a consistent effort to respond to customer reviews enjoy continued growth and easily earn customer loyalty. This is why most online reputation experts recommend having a review response strategy to turn reviews into an opportunity to generate more leads.
In this blog post, we explore how to respond to reviews and how to use review response templates for all kinds of customer feedback.
Why Businesses Should Respond to Reviews
There are many reasons why a company should answer reviews online, but here are some of the most important ones:
• Gain customer trust
• Improve customer retention
• Provide genuine solutions
• Boost customer experience
• Attract more customers
• Correct misconceptions about your company
• Educate customers about your products/services
• Demonstrate care for your customers
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
While most companies focus on responding to negative feedback, it is highly recommended to also respond to positive reviews. In addition to being great social etiquette, responding to a customer who took their time to write a review shows that you appreciate their effort. Here are some ways to discover how you respond to a positive review.
Positive Review Response Examples
1. Hey [first name],
Thanks for leaving us such a wonderful review. We’re happy to read what you wrote. We put customer experience and satisfaction as our priority, and your review reaffirms the hard work we put in every day. So thanks for your kind words.
2. Hi there [first name],
We are happy to know that we are able to provide our services promptly and professionally. Thank you for recommending our services to the community.
Having positive review response examples ready can make responding to reviews faster and easier for you. It’s always wise to have more than just two positive review response examples so there’s a variety in your responses and you don’t sound scripted.
Keep in mind that although having a positive review response template helps save time, it is still highly recommended to personalize every response to a review. Always incorporate the details of the review into your responses so the reviewer knows that you are responding specifically to his/her review and not using a canned response.
Best Practices for Positive Review Responses
When customizing positive review responses, it’s always best to follow some ground rules. This way, you don’t have to keep wondering how to respond to a positive review. These best practices can help you deliver positive review responses that earn customer trust and loyalty.
Since positive review response templates can be quite repetitive, you still need to put an effort to change a few things as you see fit. Not all reviews say the same thing, and you shouldn’t be expected to respond in exactly the same way. The positive review response templates provided here serve as a guide and not an absolute rule.
So how do you respond to a positive review example? Here are some tips:
• Respond Quickly
We recommend responding to reviews within 24 to 48 hours. A quick response shows your customers that you are always listening to feedback. It also demonstrates how serious you are in communicating with your customers even after a sale.
• Use the Customer’s First Name
Add a personal touch in every response by using the reviewer’s first name, if available. Studies have shown that people are more likely to be attentive when they are addressed by their names. You’ll notice that most of the review responses examples in this article use the reviewer’s first name.
• Ask for Referrals
Happy customers can be your best brand advocates. When getting positive reviews, always take the opportunity to ask your customers to share their experience with their friends and family on social media. This is a great strategy for getting new customers to choose you over the competition, as people are more likely to trust personal recommendations.
• Share Positive Reviews
When you get a positive review, you would want your audience to know about it. Showcase your best customer reviews and testimonials and display them up on your website using a widget – an additional software or plug-in you install on your site to add a testimonial or review section. This helps to earn customer trust.
You can also share your best reviews on your social media profiles. Promoting your positive reviews is a great way to attract more customers and help them view your brand as trustworthy.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
While negative reviews are generally seen as a difficulty for business owners to overcome, some of them can turn into opportunities for winning over dissatisfied customers. Learn how to respond to negative reviews in a way that can make the reviewer change their mind about your company.
Unfortunately, companies don’t know how to respond to negative reviews in a way that benefits them. These brands end up implementing bad review response systems. It’s common for brands to avoid replying to negative feedback because they feel it may not be worth the effort.
A Review Trackers survey shows that 45 percent of consumers are more likely to visit a company that answers negative reviews. This is a great example of leveraging negative reviews to earn back the customer’s trust.
Here are some negative review response examples to help you create your own review response strategy:
Negative Review Response Examples
1. Hello [first name],
We regret that you are not satisfied with our service. Our job is to provide you with the best [service/product being reviewed]. We apologize for falling short and we hope we can make it up to you
Please reach out to us at [email or phone number] so we can discuss the issue further and find a solution.
2. Dear [first name],
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Your feedback will help us improve our [service/product] to provide a better customer experience.
Please reach out to us at [email or phone number] with any further comments or suggestions you wish to share.
Negative review response examples can help you respond to every review, but you need to constantly revise it to make it personalized. The last thing you want your customers to feel is that you’re using a script to respond to their review.
Learning how to respond to a bad review example is challenging and can take some practice, but the more you do it, the more you perfect your method.
Best Practices for Negative Review Responses
• Respond to Every Review
Negative reviews, when unanswered, can be the start of a company’s demise. Ignoring negative feedback can do more harm than good for your business. While this sounds like a lot of work, there are review monitoring services you can hire to help you save time. If you are out of resources to deal with bad review responses, you can hire an expert team to do it for you.
• Don’t Get Emotional
Getting bad feedback about your company is likely to affect your emotions. While this is a normal reaction, you need to stay professional and level-headed when responding to bad reviews. Keep in mind that customers will remember the manner in which you engage with them, especially when they are upset. In this situation, you need to show your customers that you can get past your emotions and focus on solving their complaints.
• Verify the Review
Before writing a response, check your records to verify if what the customer claims is true – or if it is, in fact, coming from a real customer. In addition to ensuring that the complaint is valid, you can also flag fake reviews. Some negative reviews turn out to be fake and most review platforms allow you to report these fraudulent reviews. Once you determine the veracity of the review, you can respond appropriately and not waste your time on fraudulent or made-up reviews.
• Offer Solutions
Whether or not you can fix the customer’s concern, it’s important to let them know what steps you are taking towards a resolution. Clearly state what has been done or you are currently doing to ensure that the problem does not persist. Customers don’t expect businesses to be perfect and they will appreciate a company that knows how to respond to a bad review example and works towards improving their service.
• Provide Your Contact Details
Always provide an email address or phone number so the customer can reach you instead of having a back-and-forth conversation in the review section. Taking the conversation offline can help defuse the situation and make the customer feel taken care of. Some companies have learned how to respond to a bad review example by privately communicating with them and offering them solutions made solely for them.
How to Respond to a Fake Review
There are cases wherein made-up accounts in review platforms publish fake reviews. This is a practice where a company hires people to post fake reviews under a fictitious name. Most review platforms like Yelp and Google have systems in place to detect fake reviews. However, some fake reviews still end up getting published. Most businesses have no clue how to respond to reviews like these, or if they should respond at all.
While you don’t have to respond to a fake review, writing a quick reply to show other readers that the review might be fraudulent might prevent the review from having any merit — at least in the public’s mind.
Here’s how to respond to a fake review example:
Fake Review Response Template
We appreciate your feedback. Please provide more details about your experience with us so we can verify with our records. You may reach us at [email address or phone number].
Best Practices for Fake Review Responses
Now that you’ve discovered how to respond to a fake review example, here are some helpful tips to further address the false review.
• Flag the Review
Once you have responded to the review, you can then log on to your account on the review platform and flag the review for fraud. There is a chance that the review site will remove fake reviews. In case it does not get removed, it’s good to have a response to show other readers that the review might not be reliable.
• Keep It Professional
As your business grows, you’ll encounter some fake reviews. Remember to keep your responses professional and straightforward. Learning how to respond to a fake review example helps your business stay credible in the face of a competitor’s unlawful practices.
How to Respond to Neutral or Mixed Reviews
Neutral reviews, which are usually a mix of positive and negative feedback, are great potential for you to win over customers who are on the fence about your service. Simply responding can make a difference.
Neutral Review Response Examples
1. Dear [first name],
Thank you for your feedback. Every detail you provided will be helpful in reassessing and improving our processes. Rest assured that this has been raised to upper management. We do hope you find the right [service/product] that best suits your needs.
2. Hi [first name],
While we are happy to know that you find our service [mention positive comment in the review], we apologize that [reiterate negative comment in the review]. Your feedback is valuable to us and it helps us improve customer experience. Please accept our sincerest apologies on behalf of everyone on the team.
Best Practices for Neutral Review Responses
Taking inspiration from neutral review responses examples can certainly save you time. However, if you want to customize every response, here are some best practices to guide you.
• Thank the Customer
As always, thank the customer for the feedback. Let them know you appreciate their review even though it was not entirely positive.
• Address Both Positive and Negative Comments
Be sure to acknowledge both positive and negative feedback in the review. Reinforce the positive comment. At the same time, provide assurance that you are working on improving the negative aspect mentioned in the review.
• Take the Conversation Offline
Sometimes, reviews don’t provide enough information. If this is the case, give the reviewer the option to reach you via email or phone to discuss the matter further. Taking the review offline gives you the chance to better serve the customer and possibly win them over.
How to Respond to Google Reviews
Google makes up 57 percent of online reviews world wide. The platform is no longer just a search engine but a popular platform for customer reviews. What’s more important is that Google reviews appear in location-based search queries for businesses. If you have a brick-and-mortar business that’s listed in Google My Business (GMB), your customers can leave a review. Learning how to respond to Google reviews might be the most crucial skill you need to develop to maintain your online reputation.
Here are some helpful tips on handling Google review responses:
• Respond Quickly
Time is of the essence when replying to Google reviews. It sends a message to your audience, as well as Google’s algorithm, that you take reviews seriously. They’ll recognize you as a business that knows how to respond to Google reviews. As a result, the person who wrote the review feels valued while others reading the response might see you as a trustworthy company that deserves their business.
• Personalize Your Responses
Because most people are reading Google reviews and Google review responses, they’re used to seeing overused phrases in responses. To stand out, you need to put a personal touch and even a bit of a personality to your responses. Don’t be afraid to use humor or express enthusiasm when it is appropriate. Having your own way of responding to reviews sets you apart from the competition.
• Follow Google’s Review Policies
Before answering reviews on Google, make sure to go over their Review Policies. Google has an extensive list of prohibited and restricted content that applies to reviews. This includes off-topic, spam, fake, illegal and offensive content. Violating these policies can cause problems for your business listing, which you need to avoid as much as possible so your Google review responses stay within their rules.
There’s no doubt that monitoring online reviews and how you respond to them is one of the best practices to maintain your online reputation. With the right strategy, you can turn any review into a way for your business to grow. Keeping your customer’s best interest at heart is crucial to avoid bad review responses. We hope that the review responses examples given will help you with creating your own review response strategy.
While you can implement a review response strategy within your company, it’s always a good idea to hire reputation management experts. An online reputation management agency like Rize Reviews can be a great investment for building a brand that customers trust.
Rize provides personalized review response services that boost positive customer feedback while managing negative ones. Contact Rize today and get started with better review responses that bring you more customers.