Tips on How Your Business Can Respond to Customer Reviews

Responding to reviews has never been more important than in today’s digital world. 88 percent of customers consider online reviews to be just as valuable as personal recommendations, and nearly 90 percent of customers surveyed said they trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from family and friends.

The bottom line is directly tied to how your business appears online, so the quality of how you respond is imperative.

Here’s how your business can respond in the most productive way, even if the review isn’t a positive one—turning haters into huggers and potentially damaging online reviews into ones that help, not hurt, your business.


Always Monitor

Before a plan of action is set, you have to know where your customers are able to leave reviews. Start by checking Yelp and Google. Many smartphone users rely on Google Maps to find local businesses, so be sure to find and verify your business so you can respond to reviews there. Don’t forget about social media channels, either, especially Facebook as many customers share reviews (rating businesses from 1 to 5 stars).

Determine who on your marketing and/or customer service team will be the one(s) to check in on these platforms throughout the day and monitor the conversation. Having an internal process set up will ensure that positive responses get done both quickly and effectively.


Always Respond

Whether the comment is positive or negative, it should be responded to. Customers want to feel like they’re being heard and that their opinion matters. And guess what? It does matter.

Bad reviews need to be dealt with promptly and responsibly. The best thing about a bad review is that you have the opportunity to respond in a way that can win over customers. Be sure to acknowledge the bad experience, respond in a helpful, efficient way, and tell them how your team plans to make a change in the future to ensure the issue that caused their concern doesn’t happen again. If the negative comment was made via social media, you can ask the reviewer to contact you privately via private message or phone to get the negative conversation off your page(s).

Customers tend to put more weight into the business’ response rather than the review itself—customers hate to be ignored. By responding quickly and efficiently, especially to negative comments, you’ll be in a better position to build relationships and resolve any issues.


Always Keep Track

Once you’ve accumulated reviews, you’ll be able to notice any trends or feedback patterns. If your business is receiving complaints about the same thing over and over, it may be a sign of a larger issue that should be looked into and addressed.

While you should never remove a negative review, you should be aware of fake ones.  It’s okay to flag any review that seems to exist only to recommend another product or does not mention your business at all. These types of reviews can be removed.

Keep track of times your team turned negative experiences into positive ones, and analyze the team’s response time to reviews as well. Any positive review can be used across various communication channels and repurposed into content on social media and other marketing efforts. You’ve gotten good feedback—you should use it!

Answering reviews quickly, efficiently and constructively is valuable to your small business and will help to keep your customers happy, helping to bring in new customers as well!

Remember … the Internet is always on, so you and your team always need to be ready to monitor, respond and track.