Are You Responding to Customer Reviews?

Getting customer reviews online is an important part of today’s business culture. In a way, it is free advertising—even if you are paying extra for “premium” business accounts on sites like Yelp. People are voluntarily writing testimonials for your business. Unless you are doing something really wrong, most of these reviews will be positive. If they are routinely negative, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your approach to service.

Reviews Are Going to Be Written

In the social media marketplace, people are not shy about sharing their opinions on just about every subject under the sun. Millennials are now the most influential consumer group and the next generation is on their heels with an even more candid style of sharing everything about their lives on social media.

You should be pushing customers to write authentic reviews. Even if you don’t, plenty will still be posted and you have to pay attention to what’s being shared on social media and online review sites.

How to Respond

Next, you should get in the habit of writing personal responses to each review that is posted on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other relevant site for your business. I recently took over this task for one of my clients and it is a very powerful thing you can do.

Most reviews will be positive and you don’t need to write much. A simple “thank you” message is fine. Reiterate some of the positive comments they may have made about your staff, your product or your services. If there are any special messages that you can include such as a warranty or return policy, do so without pushing too hard. Keep it light, direct and friendly. Those reading these reviews will easily see that you are a business that cares about its customers.

What if the Review is Negative?

It’s almost unavoidable that you will eventually get a negative review. Unfortunately, these negative reviews are almost always longer and more detailed, which helps them get picked up by the algorithms on sites like Yelp that display the “most relevant” reviews on the main page rather than the most recent.

A negative review might even be a fake from a troll, spammer or petty competitor. Oftentimes, these reviews discredit themselves if you read them closely enough. Maybe there’s an inappropriate comment, a lot of grammar errors or it’s clear that their complaint really isn’t relevant to your business.

How you respond to these negative reviews can be tricky, but it is something you need to do. You have to be tactful. You have to defend yourself without being defensive. You have to be friendly even while calling them out on any inconsistencies in their story. You can read more about this approach in a previous article I wrote on this exact subject, but the biggest key is to maintain a friendly and helpful demeanor in your response. Just remember the response is not necessarily for that reviewer, who will not likely be a repeat customer. It is for anyone else reading that review. A thoughtful response to a negative review can actually work in your favor because it will show others that you care.

To learn more about online review response writing services from NextGear Marketing, contact us today.

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