A man who understands how to respond to reviews who is pointing at a smiley face.

How to Respond to Reviews

Have you ever found yourself compelled to leave a review for a product, service or an experience you’ve had? Or better yet, respond to a review that’s been left about you or a service you provided? How to respond to reviews is not something most of us learn.

We normally just speak our mind by giving our opinion, right?

Most of us have had an opportunity to leave a review about something or someone. And like most people, we feel our review matters. We feel it will help someone make a better decision, or we wouldn’t bother leaving one. 

Leaving reviews has evolved into a serious factor in a businesses success.

Learning how to respond to reviews is just as important as the review itself.  

So, today we are going to uncover the best ways to respond to reviews – both good and bad. You will learn about  4 types of reviewers and some guidelines on how to respond with grace.

Responding to customer reviews helps improve customer communication and retention. It can also be a snapshot of how your brand handles situations with its customers.  

Are you ready to learn how to confidently respond to reviews? 

Let’s get started.

Why are Customer Reviews Important?

Think about this question – what can you learn from customer reviews?

The answer… everything you need to know about your brand. Customer reviews are a direct route into the mind of your customer. 

They are explaining first hand what works and what does not work. Consequently if you ignore your customer reviews you begin to drive them away. Which displays for future clients that you avoid them when something is wrong.

By not responding to them it communicates you don’t care about your customers experience in any way. 

A 2019 consumer review survey showed that among the consumers that read reviews – 97% read the businesses responses to those reviews. And in the same study, it was shown that a consumer on average must read a minimum of 10 reviews in order to trust a business.

There is no denying the shift in the direction online business is moving. It is based heavily on getting reviews and more importantly learning how to respond to those reviews appropriately so you build the reputation you want to be known for with your customers. 

Other Reasons Reviews Help

Now that we have discussed the main reason customer reviews are important, let us briefly discuss the other benefits received from customer reviews. 

  1. Google snippets of actual reviews can appear in search results, which normally are first on the search engine results page. 
  2. Reviews can also assist in helping with local SEO.
  3. Responding to reviews directly shows your customers you value them and care about the customers experience (extremely important). 

Now that we have driven home the value reviews hold. It’s time to list out some review types and some appropriate ways to approach responding to these reviews. 

How to Respond to Reviews (The 4 Main Types)

The Negative Review

Responding to negative reviews can be so difficult. It can be hard to hear something bad about your business or service. And sometimes reviews can be downright merciless. 

How to respond: 

  • First remember not to allow your emotions dictate your response. What works best is to highlight what the main complaint or disagreement is. Then analyze the situation from a perspective of accountability on your part. Is there some truth to what the customer is saying? 
  • You must apologize for any inconveniences (on behalf of the company) and for their experience not matching your company mission or expectations. Engage with the customer and focus on next steps to ensure it will never occur again. Have a way for the customer to be given support directly, either through you or a service team (make sure to follow through on solving the issue). Thank them for their review sincerely and explain your company will be better for it (which is true). 

The Positive Review

We all love these don’t we! There is not much to say here but these reviews still need your undivided attention. These reviews allow you to seize an opportunity to create customer retention.

How to respond:

  • Just like anyone paying you a compliment, it’s polite to say thank you. Tell them how much it made your day. Appreciate them for being a customer. These types of reviews are great social proof and can help attract new clients.
  • According to online surveys showing gratitude is one of the best ways to improve customer loyalty. Above all be genuine, there is no room for cookie cutter responses. 

The 3 star or (neutral review) 

These situations present themselves when things went well but a small confusion or hiccup got in the way of a fully smooth transaction. 

How to respond: 

  • As always, thank your paying customer for supporting you, and taking the time to write the review. This is an opportunity to focus on the positives. If the review holds any positives bring that to the light in your response. For example “We are so glad you enjoy our __”.
  • If negative feedback is present in the review, it’s crucial you address that calmly and clearly, hold yourself accountable and express an eagerness to investigate some more. If you need more details, this is the time where you give the customer the direct support they need to turn that 3 star into a 5 in the future.

The Complainers Review 

This is your customer that is the hardest to please, they most likely review every product and business they use. They have high standards that often can be unrealistic. None the less you must respond, with an open mind to their concerns. 

How to respond:

  • First off you need to be careful how you use your words. It is important to address each point they make, regardless of how long the review is. Your response needs to match the effort they used. . 
  • Note how appreciative the company is to address their concerns.These consistent complainers are used to finding multiple things wrong and are hard to please. But you must engage and respond. 

Final Thoughts

Online reviews are the new life blood of your business online. SEO, Marketing strategies and a fancy facebook page won’t mean a thing if the reviews on your website ruin your reputation. 

Knowing how to respond to reviews, is a talent that must be acquired in order to remain a top competitor in the business arena. Today we uncovered 4 major types of reviewers and easy and simple guidelines to respond to those types of reviews. 

Remember: The way your business is perceived matters. Not just by what you say, but more importantly by what your customers are saying.  

Portside Marketing is an agency that knows a thing or two about helping small to medium size businesses get found by customers and thrives on helping you participate in improving your businesses online reputation. 

By working with them, you will have all the resources available to hit the ground running and properly represent your brand online. Give Portside Marketing a call at  (972) 979-9316.