The Rules of Responding to Online Reviews

A company’s online reputation can easily do downhill after receiving a negative customer review. And rebuilding a damaged image can take significant time and effort. Apart from monetary loss, the public’s perception and confidence is also hard to re-establish. That’s why, a critical aspect of digital marketing involves managing online reviews and feedback. Implementing a streamlined strategy with the help of a review response service is often the go-to solution of businesses today. Indeed, replying to online reviews is not only a means of customer engagement, but also encourages customers to comment and share their experience. 

A review response service implements a professional way of responding to online feedback

Marketers always emphasize that replying to feedback is essential. But is there a right and wrong way of doing it? Do you respond to all comments, including positive ones? How will you maximize this activity and turn it into a marketing opportunity for your business? 

You’re in luck because this article will provide a detailed explanation of how to manage reviews. You’ll learn more about how and when to reply to a negative customer review, and what’s the appropriate way to leverage positive feedback. 

Of course, knowledge and implementation are two different things. If your company is inexperienced with digital marketing, it’s best to hire a review response service to handle as they have the expertise and know how to get the job done right. 

Responding to a negative review

Ignoring a bad review will not erase or negate its damage. Replying to the comment will not only address the issue for the person who left it, but will also educate and help others who are reading the comment. Leaving a response is the best way to set the record straight, or to make amends if your business is to blame. Although a response may seem a bit impersonal, it’s one of the best ways to let your customers know that you care. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to manage your responses. 

  1. The first step is to acknowledge the customer’s grievance and express your sincerest apology. Even if you feel that the bad review is unfounded, showing empathy will lessen the blow. 
  2. The next step is to express how you would normally provide the service and use it as an opportunity to market your business as a reputable one. 
  3. This step is most vital, because you’re trying to move the discussion away from online channels. So, leave your company’s phone number. Also, make the interaction more personal by introducing yourself and identifying your position in the company. 
  4. Lastly, make the response short and simple. Don’t go too much into detail about the issue and encourage the customer to contact you outside the review thread by using the contact information you’ve provided. 

Most importantly, your response shouldn’t include any relevant keywords that you use for SEO. The last thing you want is for the review to appear in Google search results. 

Reading negative reviews about your business can easily impact your emotions. A professional review response service always recommends to stay calm and objective about the matter. If you look at the silver lining, your reply to the review is an opportunity to build your brand image and in the process, allow you to inject some marketing. 

Should you reply to a positive review?

Getting a positive review is good news for any business. But you can still take it a step further by leaving a response. Engaging with a happy customer builds a good relationship with the consumer and encourages brand loyalty. Since reviews are public, your effort to interact with the consumer will leave a lasting positive effect to your business. What other reasons are there to leave responses to positive reviews?

  • Responding to a happy customer is polite and shows professionalism. A response review service knows and understands the importance of customer engagement, hence positive reviews shouldn’t be ignored. 
  • Everyone today reads reviews before buying from a local small business. If you want local presence, you need to invest in customer engagement. There’s no better way to do it than replying to comments, whether positive or negative. 
  • Active customer engagement will encourage other people to participate. When there’s a conversation between you and customers, it makes your business more visible to potential consumers. 
  • Comments and responses have a direct impact to SEO. In your replies to positive reviews, you can insert SEO elements that will ensure that positive comments appear in search results. 

Now that you know why responding to a positive feedback is equally important, how do you do it right? Similar to addressing negative reviews, there are four simple steps to follow. 

  1. Begin your response by thanking the customer for leaving a positive feedback. Be specific with your appreciation and point out exactly what you’re thanking them for. 
  2. Insert SEO keywords in the response such as your business name. This is an excellent marketing technique that will help with page rankings. 
  3. Since the review is public, you can maximize the marketing opportunity by mentioning new products or services that are relevant to the customer’s needs and past purchase activity. 
  4. Add a call to action at the end of the response. Encourage the customer to browse other services or products, or simply invite the customer to make another purchase. 

Another best practice that professionals recommend is to cultivate more positive responses. So, if you do get a negative review, the greater number of positive feedback will cancel out the effect of the negative one. What is the best way to get more positive feedback?

The most straightforward way is to ask your customers to leave a comment. Of course, you may want to consider proper timing, and take a chance when you’re confident that the customer is satisfied. According to expert review response service providers, you can ask online through after-sales support emails and text messages. If you prefer to ask in person, you can add a reminder in receipts, at checkout, as well as delivery invoices. Some businesses even leave a thank you card in packages that invite customers to leave feedback and follow the business in their official social media channels. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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