A recent study revealed 78 percent of consumers appreciate management responding to their reviews. Simply replying to reviews, both positive and negative, can increase both your customer conversion rate and revisits. 9 out of 10 customers now see online reviews. Cone Research found that 4 out of 5 customers reverse their decision after reading a negative review. By addressing your reviews, you ensure to minimize the damage of your negative reviews and maximize the benefit of your positive reviews. In this article, we will go through the importance of responding to reviews and a few best-in-class response strategies.
While initially it might seem responding to positive reviews wouldn’t help, there are several key advantages of doing so. In fact, unlike negative reviews, responding to positive reviews is fairly risk-free and only has significant upside.
Why you should respond to positive reviews:
1. Responding increases the chances of a revisit. By responding to the review, you show that you appreciate your customers and builds a lasting impression on their minds. Suggesting other options to your customers could also earn you another visit from them.
2. Improves search rankings. By replying to your positive reviews, you are improving their SEO.
3. Opportunity for subtle marketing. Responding to your reviews is also a chance to speak with your potential customers.
4. Its the nice thing to do. Appreciating an online review is the digital equivalent of thanking people who give us a compliment in real life.
5. Focus on the positive. You want your customers to read your positive reviews rather than negative ones, right? Well, responding exclusively to negative reviews will simply bring more attention to those reviews. By responding to your positive reviews as well, you ensure people read what customers love about you as well, not only what they dislike about you.
3 step response to positive reviews:
1. Thank the customer.
Ex. Thanks for the awesome review – Will pass on your message to the staff. It will make their day.
2. Reinforce the positive comments about the specific reason mentioned by the customer.
Ex. I’m glad you liked our customer service – we do our best!
3. Add in subtle marketing by asking the customer a question.
Ex. Have you tried our enhanced product search? I think you will love that too!
Responding to every negative review is not necessary and doesn’t always help. It might be better to not respond to angry customers as that would only make things worse. However, you should respond to reasonable customers who have genuinely made a mistake, or haven’t provided enough information in the review to warrant the poor rating.
Why you should respond to negative reviews:
1. Show you care. Remember that 9 out of 10 customers now see your online reviews. By addressing your negative reviews, you show your customers you care about what they have to say.
2. Rectify incorrect information. Occasionally, customers have genuinely made a mistake. In a best case scenario, explaining their mistake could also encourage them to change their review. Regardless, it would be good to ensure your potential customers aren’t misled by bad information.
3. Better understand their issues. If the reviewer hasn’t provided enough details and just left a line or two, asking for more details would help you understand the issues the customer faced in more depth and also show that you care about your customer experience. This information would also help you fix their issues in order to prevent similar negative reviews from reoccurring.
3 step response to negative reviews:
Ex. We apologize for your bad experience. This is definitely not what we are about.
2. Add in some marketing.
Ex. We believe quality service and products are the 2 pillars of a great customer experience but it looks like we have not succeeded in this particular instance.
3. Let them know you will take certain actions to resolve the issues raised.
Ex. Will meet up with my staff to further look into this.
Until recently, businesses had to either spend too much time responding to reviews personally or spend too much money hiring marketing firms to respond to them. Another drawback with hiring a marketing firm is the responses they post would be generic as they wouldn’t have first-hand knowledge of the specific issues faced in the day-to-day activities of running your restaurant.
Considering the fact that 92% of consumers read online reviews today, reputation management is no longer an option for businesses, it is now a necessity. With fierce competition, a solid reputation can be the factor that differentiates the winners from the losers.
It is no surprise that an eMarketer report found 68 percent of businesses already actively manage their reviews. Considering the significant gains that can be made through responding to reviews without having to spend too much money or time, wouldn’t you agree that it makes sense to do so?