Responding to Reviews—the Right Way

If you’re like most consumers, you’ve probably read reviews before making some sort of transaction. According to a Spiegel Research Center study, nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. In this article, we'll provide you with tips for responding to those reviews.

Why You Should Respond to Reviews

Can you think back to a time when you made a significant purchase or picked a restaurant without first checking the reviews? You probably can't—and you're not alone. That's because 90% of consumers say their buying behavior is directly influenced by online reviews. The impact that reviews have on businesses is rapidly growing.

Additionally, a study by Moz revealed that reviews account for 15% of all the factors that Google considers when ranking businesses. This finding reinforces the fact that reviews (and your response to them) are key to building trust and engagement with your customers.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

As a business owner, receiving positive reviews not only feels good but is also great for your online reputation. Here are some things to consider when replying to a positive review:

Thank the Customer for Leaving a Review
A "Thank You" goes a long way. Let the customer feel your appreciation for taking the time to leave you a review.

  • Example 1:
    "Thanks for your kind words!"
  • Example 2:
    "Thank you for reviewing our business!"

Address Specifics in Their Review with Keywords and Your Business Name
If your customer had a good experience with a specific person, product, or location, make sure to note that in your reply. Additionally, use your business name and relevant keywords to help with SEO efforts.

  • Example 1:
    "We're so glad you made the switch to [ABC Dental]. We appreciate you trusting your teeth cleaning and filling needs with our talented dentists. We look forward to seeing you next time."
  • Example 2:
    "Taking care of our customers is our top priority, and we're thrilled to hear that Emily provided you with outstanding service! We'll pass along this message to her."

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Although receiving a negative review is never fun, think of it as an opportunity to make things right with the customer. Responding to negative reviews shows the reviewer and other readers that you are aware of potential issues and want to resolve them. Here are some things to consider when replying to a negative review:

Apologize for Their Negative Experience
People typically leave reviews, good or bad, because they want to be heard. For negative reviews, acknowledging the customer and their frustration is key. Even if you can't determine that the reviewer was an actual customer, start your response with sympathy.

  • Example 1:
    "Hi Amy. We are so sorry to hear that you had issues with your flooring."
  • Example 2:
    "John, we hate to hear that our service did not live up to your expectations."

Move the Conversation to More Appropriate Channels
Sometimes, it may be necessary to move the conversation to a more appropriate channel, such as email or a phone call.

  • Example 1:
    "We strive to provide our best service, and if you would like to discuss this more in detail, feel free to reach out to us at [phone or email] and ask for [person or department]."
  • Example 2:
    "To make sure that this doesn't happen again, please reach out to us at [phone or email] and ask for [person or department]."

Start with Stratus

The review management features within Stratus can make replying to reviews fun and easy. Gain insights about how you’re performing on Google and Facebook and use reply templates to quickly reply to reviews. Ready to get started? Start your free Stratus trial today.