A good online review management strategy should consist of three parts. Cultivating relevant and current customer reviews, monitoring them when they go online – and replying to both the good and the bad. Even if you have 20 or 30 great reviews of your business, it’s not enough to just sit back and feel smug about it. Naturally, it’s great that your business is getting good feedback from satisfied customers and of course this will have a positive impact on your business – but by responding to reviews you will take their impact that one step further.
Why should you respond to reviews?
- It’s what customers want. According to Neilsonwire survey, 81% of customers said that it was important that reviews be acknowledged and responded to by businesses. 52% of review posters expect a reply within 7 days, while 25% expect a response within 3 days. This is an acceptable time frame for positive reviews but I highly recommend that you respond to negative reviews within 24 hours to minimize their harmful impact.
- It shows that you care about customer feedback. Joining the conversation on about your business on review sites and replying to every customer review shows that you value your customers’ feedback and what they think of your business. You value their feedback because it helps you build on your strong points and make improvements where necessary, which also shows that you’re committed to customer satisfaction.
- Key to your search engine ranking: Sites like Google, Yelp among others actually determine how and where your business appears in their search rankings based not only on the number of your reviews but also on your responses to reviews. The more presence you have online interacting with your customers, the more these sites will like you.
- It’s a great marketing tool. This one is more appropriate for positive reviews, where you can take the opportunity to plug an upcoming event at your business such as a sale, special offers or discounts. For example: “Hey Sam; thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed doing business with us. Don’t forget to check our website for our upcoming sale next week!” Needless to say, a customer who has just left a critical review does not want to know about that in your response!
- Creates customer loyalty. Responding to reviews is a great way to connect with customers outside of your business. The personal interaction with customers will make them feel that you are much more than an impersonal business and will encourage their loyalty.
- It’s an extension of your customer service strategy. Let’s face it; in the end, many businesses and products are more or less similar in the services and products they offer. The key factor that distinguishes one from the other is outstanding customer service. Showing existing and potential customers that you value their feedback, both positive and negative, is proof of your dedication to customer satisfaction on every level.
Replying to customer reviews is easy and actually fun and you can do it all from within the ReviewerPro.com dashboard! It doesn’t require a lot of effort or time, unless you are getting a dozen reviews a day. To follow are some best practices for answering your good and bad online reviews,
- Make your response to good reviews as personal as possible. Address the customer by their first name; thank them for doing business with you. Never use one templated reply to respond to good reviews. Each response should be individual, upbeat, and customized to that particular review. Two or three thoughtful sentences are all you need. For example: “Hey Joe! Appreciate the feedback and thanks for doing business with us. Hope to see you again soon.”
Never let a bad review go unanswered for more than 24 hours. Again, your response should be personal courteous, sympathetic and contain a resolution to the client’s issue.
- Never respond to negative reviews with anger or rudeness. If the issue is resolved professionally and promptly, you will be more likely to convince that customer to pull the review or amend it.