When you text or chat with someone, do you also watch those three dots to make sure they are typing?
I'm sure you feel the same way...
Nobody likes to be left on read!
The same goes for your online reviews.
Your customers expect a review response from you.
Because if you don't, your customers that leave positive reviews will feel undervalued. And the ones who left negative reviews will feel ignored.
And get this...
It can also have a profound impact on your online reputation and your customer's perception.
As it turns out, 89% of consumers are likely to support businesses that respond to reviews.
And you already know how vital customer experience is as a business owner! Customer satisfaction comes first.
Read on as you will discover:
- The types of online reviews you will encounter
- Why you should respond to different types of online reviews
- How you should write your review responses
- Responding to negative reviews examples, and more!
What Are The Types of Customer Reviews?
An online review is a comment from users who purchased a product or service from your business.
You can find them on review sites such as Google Reviews, Yelp reviews, or your own eCommerce site. With social media platforms, customers can also share positive reviews, or vent about their negative experience.
And your customer feedback can differ from one another. You might receive...
- Positive reviews
- Negative reviews
- Neutral reviews
- Fake reviews
Here's the deal. Managing your reviews means you have to have to tailor your review response accordingly.
Before we start, you're probably wondering...
Why Respond To A Positive Review?
What do you say when someone compliments you?
You say thank you, of course!
Besides it being the polite thing to do, here are reasons you need to consider:
- Potential customers are also looking at other customer experience. Seeing your review response on customer experience can be the push they need to buy from your business.
- Positive review responses can encourage other customers to leave positive feedback. This is a good thing because it creates more buzz for your brand.
- A positive review response will influence your SEO. It allows you to use keywords that can affect your search ranking.
- Responding increases your star rating. Interacting with customers can show future customers that your customer concerns are well-attended to.
I'll bet you can guess what's next...
Tips For Responding To Positive Reviews
💡Tip #1: Use Your Customer's Name
Your opening line matters!
And using your customer's name is the best opener you can use.
This is possible on a review site like Google reviews. It shows the customer's name. Other platforms like Facebook reviews and Yelp reviews also display this information.
On your initial response, it's also nice to...
💡Tip #2: Be Specific When You Thank Them
On a positive review response, you should always show your appreciation.
They took the time to tell you about the great experience with your business. So it's only natural to say thank you.
When thanking them, be specific by naming specific details. It can be about the product or service your customer purchased. Or it can be about the customer service team member that helped them.
"Thank you for your patronage, James! Make sure to come back when you finish your bottle of perfume for a refill."
The next one is a kicker for a local business...
💡Tip #3: Include Your Business Name And Keywords
As you know, ranking high in local search results is a big part of being discovered by potential customers. Using relevant keywords can help your business appear first when a customer search for that word.
So responding to reviews gives you a chance to associate your business with relevant keywords.
Your response should include your business name, location (if you have a physical store), and products and services.
Make sure to use this strategy, especially for positive Google reviews. It ensures that Google knows what your brand is all about.
But avoid stuffing too many keywords! It might look like spam for Google reviews to read.
As a part of your review response template, it's best to...
💡Tip #4: Market Your Product
Remember: Your responses are public.
So you might as well consider marketing your products or services. You can suggest other products that go well with what they already purchased.
Or you can even mention a promotion they can avail on your store. You could add something like,
"Did you know we are going to have a sitewide sale on the first week of May? You can avail 30% off on our best-selling product!"
One of the best review response techniques I can tell you is to...
💡Tip #5: Add A Call-To-Action
At the end of your response, you can encourage your customer to take action.
As happy customers, they are more likely to be receptive to your recommendation.
For example, you can direct them back to your eCommerce site to try another product or service. Repeat business can make a brand loyalist out of your customers.
Above all else, remember that:
💡💡Bonus Tip: Be Conversational!
When future customers read your words, it should be obvious it's written by real people and not a bot.
So make sure to avoid being repetitive in your response. Personalize your replies. Using a friendly sign-off can help, too.
That's how you keep it tasteful!
Let's face it... As much as we like how customers trust online reviews, negative reviews can be such a frustrating experience.
So listen up, as we dive in as to...
Why Respond To Negative Reviews?
As much as you like for bad reviews to go away, ignoring them won't do the trick.
Responding to negative reviews can be a hard task, but here's what you need to know...
- A negative review is a chance for you to make things right. You can also apply the negative feedback as a learning curve to not make the same error in the future.
- When you respond to negative reviews, prospective customers are reading it as well. You can make a good impression on how well you handle negative feedback.
- It can solidify your reputation management. Replying shows that you care about customer experience, even from an unhappy customer.
So don't neglect your unhappy customers! In fact, if you do it right, you can turn them into brand advocates.
Keep reading to learn more negative review response examples.
Tips For Responding To Negative Reviews
To begin with...
💡Tip #6: Personally Address Your Customer
When you are upset as a customer, the last thing you want to hear is... "Dear customer," or something to that effect.
So use your customer's name in your reply.
It shows that you are attentive to their specific concern and not just you working off of a template.
Responding to a negative review also entails you to...
💡Tip #7: Always Apologize And Not Argue
It is natural to feel indignant when you think you have not done anything wrong.
But one thing to keep in mind... Do not argue!
Second-guessing your customer's experience won't do both of you any good. In some cases, it can even hinder getting more information.
Plus, it will only alienate dissatisfied customers.
So, focus on apologizing for the upset your customers feel. Sympathizing can help build trust between you.
Just like your response, your apology should also be short and simple.
You can start with,
"We are sorry our product did not meet your expectations."
"We set high standards for our business; we are sorry to hear about your experience."
Once you receive a negative review, make sure that you...
💡Tip #8: Do Not Guess
An angry customer may not specify what makes them upset in a negative review.
When you are unsure about the cause of negative reviews, do not speculate!
It can lead to them being even more upset about your response.
Be straightforward in your acknowledgment, instead. Address their feelings and get into more detail about their interaction with you.
If you need to gain more information, ask them questions but only if needed.
When it comes to negative reviews, you need to...
💡Tip #9: Respond Quickly
Do not let their anger fester!
When you don't respond in a timely manner, it gives off the impression that you do not care. Or maybe you're too busy to answer.
These impressions can make your future customers move on to other local businesses.
Another thing to keep in mind about negative online reviews is you can...
💡Tip #10: Take It Offline
Responding to negative reviews can be made public. But when appropriate, you can take the conversation offline.
Responding to negative reviews through a direct message can help you avoid interference. It can save both you and your customer the embarrassment if it gets further.
Because of this, you could give them your contact information to answer more of their concerns.
A good negative review response example is...
"We would like the chance to learn more about your feedback to give you a better experience next time. You can reach us anytime at (phone number) or (email address). Thank you for letting us know!"
Negative reviews also give you the chance to be more personal. So you can...
💡Tip #11: Sign-off With Your Name
Do you know what happens when you sign off your name on negative feedback?
Your customer will know that they are talking to a real person.
They can be more patient and nicer when they realize this. It also shows your investment about every negative review you might receive.
Speaking of each negative review, you have to...
💡Tip #12: Request For An Update
A negative online review does not need to stay negative feedback forever. You can always change your customer's mind to a positive outcome.
After your first reply, you can talk more with your customer. It can pinpoint what their problem is and how you can solve it.
Once you satisfy their concern, ask them if they are willing to update their original review.
Doing so can help you answer any other negative review similar to the one you provided a solution for.
These are some negative review response examples you can use for your business.
One thing to take note of when you are dealing with negative feedback is...
💡💡Bonus Tip: Don't Use Your Business Name Or Keywords
After all, you don't want bad reviews to show up on search engine results pages! Negative Google reviews are bad news for your SEO.
The next type of review we are going to focus on for your reputation management is an interesting one...
Why Respond To Neutral Reviews?
Positive and negative feedback can be black and white. But reviews on the gray area need another set of strategies.
Neutral reviews don't have any particular complaints for you to address. These are your 3-star ratings.
So, your response should show your exceptional customer service instead. You need to show that you are open to any kind of feedback.
A couple more reasons to reply are:
- A neutral review creates an opportunity for you to advertise your product or service.
- Being open and friendly can turn your neutral reviews into positive ones.
So don't take neutral feedback as a bad review.
Tips For Responding To Neutral Reviews
To handle this type of customer feedback, you have to...
Tip #13: Repeat The Positive Parts Of The Feedback
Focus on the good thing your customer say about your business. Highlight what they liked about their experience.
Even if they started with a critical phrase, start with reinforcing the good part.
Of course, you would still need to acknowledge the negative part with an apology afterward.
Lastly, you can...
Tip #14: End With An Invitation
Inviting them back shows you have confidence in your business.
It also shows you have friendly customer service.
You can simply close your reply with, "We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again, [customer name]!"
Even if the review seems random, replying can show your professionalism to people who find your reviews.
Isn't that an upside?
One last thing to think about customer feedback is...
Bonus Tip #15: Should You Respond To Every Review?
Before you respond to all of your reviews, think about...
- The relevancy of the review sites. Look into which sites have the most impact on your niche. Focus on the one that matters most for your chosen industry.
- Do not respond merely out of a sense of obligation. Writing a generic copy-paste review won't make the best impression.
- Your review volume. If you have less than 10 reviews, respond to all of them. But you don't have to aim for a perfect response rate if you have a constant pour of reviews.
- To combat fake reviews, learn how to flag or report them. Don't attack them.
With these awesome tips, you can now...
Click Reply, Type, And Send!
By responding to online reviews, you can show how strong your brand identity is.
But collecting and maintaining your reviews can take a lot of your time and effort.
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