How to Respond to Positive and Negative Reviews

Product reviews online, whether you love them or hate them, are the future ‘word of mouth’ marketing.

75% of Organisations Surveyed Increased Customer Experience Technology Investments in 2018.

Gartner, Newsroom

We’ve all turned to our trusty friends and family for recommendations on restaurants, hotels, services and products. It’s only natural!

It’s no lie, word of mouth is beyond important for growing AND established businesses with perhaps the highest return on investment of any traditional marketing effort.

Example: See how TripAdvisor uses word of mouth.

Nowadays online reviews are the most effective way to instil trust in your brand or product.

And it’s far more convenient for consumers to turn to the likes of Facebook reviews, forums, on-site, or Google reviews than it is to hunt down a friend or colleague that has bought from a specific brand.

Despite this, we’re still gobsmacked by how many businesses are either not using online reviews at all OR are spending no time turning a negative review into a positive story.

We live in a world where your online reputation can be your strongest asset or your biggest liability.

Forbes, Online Reputation Statistics that Every Business Should Know

Basically…there’s no greater way to promote your brand then having everyday people SHOUTING YOUR PRAISES online.

But don’t forget, responding to said reviews is a critical piece in your marketing and CX strategy. Here’s how to do it right!

Oh and did I mention, one of our clients using these templates has seen an increase from 2.1 to 4.2 in product review in just 5 months!

Responding to Positive Reviews

Happy customers will form your army of brand advocates!
  1. Have a list of fun greetings you cycle through

Hi | Hello | Good Morning | Happy Friday + their NAME

      2. Express Gratitude  

Thank you for your review | WOW…you’ve made our day | We can’t thank you enough | Thanks, every review is important to us | We are smiling from ear to ear with your review |  

     3. Mirror the customer’s review by practising your active listening.

We are thrilled you loved *product name* | It is great that your father loved the teddy | Customer experience is important to us at *Business name* so we are so glad you had a great online experience 

*You can also incorporate keywords for SEO purposes!

     4. Give value or insight 

We’ve got a new selection of training packages coming soon so watch this space | We have some events coming up that you would really enjoy| We are about to expand this range | Psst…there may or may not be a sale coming up next week!

   5. Finish with a thoughtful sign-off

Thank you for supporting us, we hope your son enjoys his birthday present | You’re the best! Thanks again and see in-store soon. | The customer service team has a bounce in their step after I shared your review

Once you’ve got these templates rolling, your team will get the hang of them and it will start to take shape.

And that’s that! But of course, responding to your positive reviews is the easy part. Knowing how to respond to a negative review is your ultimate challenge.

How to Respond to a Negative Review

And how you respond to negative reviews is especially important. Below is our 5-step method defuse even the angriest keyboard warrior, and open the feedback loop to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Why should you respond to negative reviews? Here’s why!
  1. Sympathise and apologise (when necessary)

Acknowledge the customer’s concerns, and sympathise with them. If you’ve done something wrong, say lost a package in transit, apologise!

If the criticism is unfounded don’t jump straight into defence mode. Offer your sympathy for the way the customer is feeling, and do your best to offer a solution.

“We are sorry to hear about your bad experience.”  

“We apologise for your negative experience” 

2. Reinforce your commitment to customer experience and great service

“We’re normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark.”  

“Customer Service is very important to us, and we try to help our customers wherever we can.” 

“Getting our products delivered to you on time is very important, we try our very hardest during peak periods.” 

3. Acknowledge the concern publicly and then move the conversation offline

It’s important that you don’t give especially fiery customers the opportunity to drag your name through the dirt. Where possible, acknowledge the concern and then ask to move the conversation into private channels.

“We have a customer service team on standby. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact them on [phone number/email].”

“We’d be happy to discuss further with you, please call our customer service team on [phone number] so can help” 

“In order to find and track your delivery, please call our helpful customer service team on [phone number]”

4. Keep it short and sweet

Don’t go into too much detail or ask too many questions. Three sentences for your whole reply is a good rule of thumb.

**Do not include the business name or relevant search keywords. This means it won’t impact your online rakings

So, there you have it, my surefire ways to engage with your customers online. Although it may sometimes feel like fruitless work, we would recommend doing your absolute best to get back to as many people as possible!

Click here to learn more about our digital marketing CX program

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