In this week’s video, I talk about responding to customer reviews – how quickly to respond, what to say, and why responses to bad reviews are incredibly important. Check out the video for all the awesome details…

Video Transcript

Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays! This week I’m talking about how to respond to customer reviews, and why your responses are important for attracting future customers.

Customer reviews are a huge part of attracting new business. A few videos back, I talked about optimizing your review process and making it easy for customers to leave a review. But your job isn’t done once they leave a review – you’ve got to respond to every single review you receive.

Most importantly, it makes you look involved when you respond to every review. When you look like you truly care about what your customers say about you, you’re more likely to attract new customers.

Plus, Google alerts reviewers when a business responds to their review, so each customer will know you cared enough to respond to what they had to say. Your response makes a positive reviewer’s experience even better.

And obviously, responses to negative reviews are incredibly important. Like I mentioned in a recent video, most people won’t read through all of your positive reviews. Think about what you do when you’re shopping online or at businesses online – you jump right into the negative reviews to see what happened in bad situations.

A well-worded, strategic response to a negative review will help keep that review from scaring potential customers away. No one expects you to be perfect, and we all know that there are grumpy trolls out there who leave bad reviews everywhere they go. A good response to a negative review shows potential customers that you care about every customer’s experience and that you did your best to make the situation right, even if the reviewer didn’t give you the chance.

The most important thing to avoid with review responses is using canned responses. Sure, it’s easier to just cut and paste something, but think about how it looks to potential customers who are looking at your reviews… With positive reviews, if the responses are all basically the same, you look lazy – it’s not hard to take the time to write a quick thank you.

With negative reviews, the same response posted to every review will definitely hurt you. It’s incredibly important to write something unique so potential customers know you took the time to address the situation.

Positive responses are easy – just write a quick thank you, and if you know enough to reference their experience, include that in your response. It’s not as important to answer quickly with positive reviews. If you want to save time and just respond once a week to everything that’s come in since the last week, that’s totally fine.

It’s important to answer negative reviews as quickly as possible. Ideally, you should post a response within 24 hours – or if the bad review comes in over the weekend, as quickly as possible once you’re back to work.

It’s important to understand that your response to a bad review is not for the person who left the review – it’s for every potential customer who reads that review in the future.

You should do your due diligence and contact that customer offline and try to make the situation right. In many cases, the right response can turn a bad review into a positive review. If a mistake was made, the customer just wanted to be heard, and if you take care of them, they’re usually happy to change the review to a good one.

Even if you reach out and there’s no way to make them happy, the important thing is that you tried. Once you’ve talked to the customer, or at least attempted to, you can write your review response and include the additional information about what you did (or tried to do) to make the situation better.

The worst thing you can do is use a canned response that says something like

We’re sorry you had a bad experience, we strive to provide great customer service to everyone we deal with. Please call me at 888-867-5309 at your earliest convenience, Sincerely, Jim Bob, General Manager

Take a minute to breathe before you write your response. You’re probably going to be angry about what the reviewer wrote, and it’s important to write a well thought out response.
When you write your response to a negative review, it’s important to be honest, humble, and share your solution.

Be humble and clearly care about fixing the problem instead of being defensive or even aggressive.

If there was confusion or a misunderstanding with the customer, clear up the confusion and offer information to make things easily understandable.

Most importantly, you can share the details about what you did to try to make the customer happy.

If the customer won’t talk to you, mentioning the fact that you tried to contact them, but that they refused to talk to you, goes a long way. If they’re uncooperative, it’s also helpful to mention in the response that you offered to make the situation right, but they refused your offer.

The important thing is to be honest about what happened, to be clear-headed in your response, and to include details about what you did to make the situation right BEFORE you wrote your response.

That will show potential customers that you care about every customer experience. If the review was left by someone who’s just a Grumplestiltskin, an honest, humble response will make it obvious that the review isn’t a valid recap of your business.

So now you know why review responses are important and how to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Make sure you check back next week, I’m going to talk about how to respond to “fake” reviews from people who you know weren’t customers.

That’s all the time we’ve got for today, so you know what that means:
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays