Responding to online reviews is a must for any business. That’s not just our opinion. According to marketing experts surveyed by Business News Daily, fast review response is key to increasing customer satisfaction.
But that's easier said than done. Answering every review is only possible if you don’t get enough business to generate a lot of reviews, right?
Actually, with the right strategies, you can easily find time to respond to every review. We’ll take a look at those strategies in this post, along with some templates so you can see them in action.
Why Is Responding to Reviews So Important?
It’s a matter of reputation. It's one of the most important things influencing the success of your business online. The way you present yourself to potential customers isn't just important for creating a good impression — it's essential if you want to be seen online.
That’s because reputation management is a key ingredient in search engine optimization. Positive reviews make your website and business pages shine, pushing them up higher and higher in the results pages.
Customers will always take the time to search the web for reviews, especially your Google Business Profile. Paying attention to customer feedback should be your priority, even more so than your marketing efforts.
Why? Because they expect your marketing to say pleasant things about you, so they look for online reviews to tell them the "real story.” In your future customer’s mind, reviews matter because they come from people just like themselves. Business owners can control their marketing, but they can’t control who leaves a bad review.
How to Create a Strategy to Reply to Reviews
No one likes to see negative reviews, but they happen, and that means you need to prepare for them. Some companies invest a lot of time and attention in “scrubbing” their negative online reviews from the internet, but that isn’t our approach here at Scorpion.
Our approach is to set a higher standard.
Meaning what? It means we bury that negative feedback underneath a mountain of positive reviews. We help clients refine the customer experience to such a degree that positive reviews just start flowing in on their own.
Fake reviews are a real thing in this world. If you have a thousand perfect 10/10 reviews, your customers will think something is up. Perfection is neither realistic nor necessary. More than anything, your customers want authenticity, and authenticity always comes with at least a few mistakes.
Start Getting More Reviews
Sourcing a ton of good reviews to balance out the few negative reviews is a great review response strategy. It starts by actively following up with a customer to see how they felt about you and your team’s service.
“We appreciate you working with us. Check us out on…” which may result in a positive review.
So, whenever anyone makes a purchase, follow up right away. Customers appreciate knowing you still care about their feedback even after they’ve already done business with you.
Personalize Your Review Response
Whenever you respond to a customer review, whether positive or negative, be personal. Make sure the customer feels this review response isn’t some mindless trick of automation but that someone actually sat down, considered their experience, and took the time to respond.
You’ll probably use a template like we do here at Scorpion, but that’s no excuse for your answers to sound robotic. One key to avoiding a canned review response is detail. For instance:
- Mention specifics about the service appointment that distinguish it from other appointments.
- Always use the customer’s name when responding to their feedback.
- Sign off with your own name.
Write your review responses with the customer’s point of view in mind. A good customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help achieve this when you have a lot of business.
Use CRM for Responding to Reviews at Scale
Lack of time is the only halfway reasonable excuse for not responding to every review. So we’re going to bring in CRM to take that excuse away.
A good CRM tool, such as HubSpot or Salesforce, practically automates the review response process for you. It collects valuable customer information down to the finest detail — easily scannable and easily analyzed.
You can search for a particular customer, find relevant details, and fire off a brilliant response right away.
Think of this for motivation: Every single review response you write is public. Your past, present, and future customers will see them. Competing businesses will see them. Random digital passersby will see them, too.
What happens when the whole internet knows how committed you are?
When Should You Respond to Customer Reviews?
Faster is better. A slow response is almost as bad as no response at all. Negative reviews can hurt your online reputation in an hour if you let them.
Monitor your business pages across all major review sites. Google, Facebook, and Yelp are all hot spots for customer feedback. It might help to set up a Google Alert so that you’re notified each time someone mentions your company online.
Bad reviews are your highest priority but try not to take longer than 24 hours to respond to all reviews. Once you receive notice of a new review, look the customer up in your CRM and write a customized template response. The sooner your response goes live, the more you'll impress them.
How to Respond
Hold your emotions close when answering customer reviews. Never make it personal — arguing in public with an unhappy customer helps no one. You should respond to every review you receive in order to:
- Thank the customer for scheduling your services
- Look for meaningful feedback you can try out on future service calls
- Make amends for anything that went wrong during a service call
- Gain important insight into how your customers think, which can help guide your future marketing strategies
If that sounds like a lot of work, don't worry. We’ve prepared a few templates to get you started. Take a look at each one, but don’t just copy them. Be sure to tweak the templates for each situation to best speak to your customers' concerns.
Template #1: Positive Review Response Example
Use this template whenever a satisfied customer leaves a positive review. It shows your appreciation and increases customer loyalty at the same time.
Thank you for your feedback, [Customer Name]! We were thrilled to help you with [Describe what you did]. Leaving our customers satisfied has always been our goal, and we’re glad to have succeeded.
Please let us know if you ever need further assistance. We’re always at your service.
Keep your response short, friendly, and to the point. Just think of what you’d say to that customer in person, and trust your gut.
Template #2: Negative Review Response Example
The idea with this one is to make the customer feel heard. You do not want to dismiss their concerns. Whatever went wrong might not have been your fault, but an unhappy customer may not see it that way. When other potential customers witness the level of customer care you provide, they’ll know you’re a business that values their needs.
Hi [Customer Name],
We’re sorry to hear you had a negative experience with us. It's our goal always to provide the best service possible.
We'd love to hear more about your experience so we can address your concerns. Please call our customer service line at [Phone number] as soon as you can.
We appreciate your patience and honest feedback. Please give us the chance to make things right!
Remember, you can’t please everyone, but sometimes all it takes to fix a situation — and impress future customers — is showing that you care.
Template #3: Neutral Review Response Example
Not every review is hot or cold. Some are just lukewarm, but that shouldn't have an effect on your review response strategy. Respond to all of them, no matter what.
Hi [Customer Name],
Thank you so much for scheduling a service appointment with us! We were thrilled to serve you, but we'd love to know how we could've made your experience a bit better. What could we have done differently to earn that extra star from you?
You’re welcome to call our customer support team any time at [Phone Number]. We’d love to hear from you, and we look forward to serving you again next time.
Always ask for feedback about what you could do better. A brief message like this is all it takes to show future customers their satisfaction matters.
Don't Let Review Management Slip Through the Cracks
Online reviews are a fact of life in today’s business world. Though nobody enjoys getting a bad review, how you handle it makes all the difference. Responding to reviews in a heartfelt way tells new customers you’re a serious business that truly cares about the customer experience from start to finish.
It may seem like a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it yourself. Professional companies like Scorpion exist to help you manage review responses, improve customer feedback, and enhance the customer experience. We can take much of the review response load off your shoulders while you devote your attention elsewhere — such as earning more positive reviews.
We’re here for you when you need us. Simply schedule a consultation with one of our reps to find out more.