How do I respond to reviews?

Bad reviews happen to all good businesses. 

Your reviews are a valuable asset when it comes to marketing your business. Collecting more reviews is a good way to improve your reputation online, but we are not the kind of people that stop at “good”. To get the maximum benefit out of your new reviews, respond and add some content to your review page!

Why you should respond to reviews

Responding to reviews shows your reviewers how important they are to you. When someone leaves you a great review, hype them up even more by responding and thanking them! They did you a favour by leaving a review so let them know that you appreciate it.

Bad reviews may come your way too, and they can be a let down, but don’t panic. Responding to the bad review can show that your company has a commitment to customer service, if done the right way.

How you should respond to positive reviews

1. Thank your reviewers

One of your clients did you a favour and left a review for your company. Don’t let their efforts go unnoticed! Let them know that you appreciate them taking the time to leave you a review by thanking them by name. Read their review, and try to reference something specific that they mentioned in their review.

Thank you so much for your review, Penelope! We are so glad to hear you are doing well and have benefitted so much from your time with Dr. Wong.

2. Keep it short

No one wants to read a paragraph, so keep your responses brief and impactful. Make every response personal but also short and to the point.

Thank you for the great review Michael. We appreciate that you put trust in our care and look forward to your next visit.

3. Share your stellar review

You’re collecting reviews like a boss, so why not share it with more people? Take your positive review and share it on your Facebook or Twitter page. You can also include a testimonial page on your website with your latest reviews.

How you should respond to negative reviews

While you don’t have to respond to every positive review, you should respond to negative ones ASAP. Negative reviews can really hurt your business if there are not enough positive ones to back you up, so make sure to protect your reputation with a good response.

1. Apologize gracefully

Even if you don’t think the customer is right, apologize anyway. Your customer is frustrated and just wants to be heard out. Saying sorry will provide them some relief. It doesn’t have to be complicated either, just a simple and straightforward statement

I’m sorry to hear that you were not happy with your treatment. Can you email me directly at  ***@gmail.comso we can ensure that we make things right for you.

2. Sat Calm

Don't let your emotions get in your way, and don't get defensive. Respond with a cool head to avoid making the problem worse. 

3.Recognize the issue

Sometimes customers just want to know that they have been heard. Show them that you recognize their issue by starting like this.

Example: Thank you for providing your feedback and bringing this issue to our attention.

4. Provide a reason, if you need to

A lot of the time, saying your sorry is enough to rectify the bad review. However, the odd time you may need to provide an explanation as to why a situation has occurred, and clear up and misunderstandings.

Make sure to provide your reason in a respectful and professional way. Take responsibility for the event that occurred. Communicate clearly why there was a misunderstanding.

Hi Martha, we are very sorry that there has been a scheduling issue on our website. We have updated our technology so that this will no longer be a problem. We want to let you know that it is now possible to make an appointment with us through our website or by phone. We hope we have a visit from you soon.

5. Find a solution

Once the problem is recognized, it can now be resolved. Provide the reviewer with an email or phone number they can reach you at so you can talk more with them. You may even want to compensate them if the problem has cost them time and money. Offering them 20% off their next visit, may convince a lost customer to come back again.

6. Moves Things Offline

Offer to speak to them privately to remediate the situation quickly. It much easier to communicate via phone or messaging then going back and forth on Google or Facebook. It's also much easier for the customer to explain their situation and easier on the business's reputation :)

General Tips

1. Use a review management platform

Time is money, and it takes a lot of time to manage all of the reviews coming in from all of your different channels. Use a review management tool like to manage all of your review content, as well as efficiently ask your current customers to leave you a review through text message.

2. Respond right away

Reviews are usually posted immediately after an experience with your business. A timely review, deserves a timely response. Don’t let your review linger for months on end - if you do, it will look like you don’t care, even though your customer cares a lot.

On May 11, 2018, Google posted on their Twitter page that they launched an email notification system to let customers know when a business responds to their review. Since customers are now notified when you leave a response, make sure to not leave them hanging for too long. If you respond months later, they will know, and it will make them feel like you don’t care about their review.

3. Be a friend, not a robot

Someone took the time to write a testimonial about your company, so the least you can do is take the time to write them a human response. Don’t copy and paste the same response, even though it might be easier. Your response doesn’t have to be over the top, just let the reviewer know that you read the review and appreciate their feedback.

Even though it may seem like a lot of work, responding to your reviews is well worth the effort as it is a key piece in managing your reputation. Be proactive and take control of your reputation today.

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