Responding To Reviews

Your business is starting to get some reviews and you’re all set on your way to fame and fortune, right? Wrong! YES – you should be proud of your good reviews, BUT in order to unlock their true potential to really help your business, you need to respond to them! Yes each and every one. The good, the bad and especially the ugly.

To unlock their true potential and help your business, you need to be responding to reviews!

Why Responding To Reviews Matters

Every review is an opportunity for you to add amazing, searchable content to your Google My Business page, or other social media channels. This piece of real estate is some of the most valuable space available to help with SEO, yet the vast majority of businesses completely miss out on taking advantage of this golden opportunity.


Why Responses Matter

Imagine you’re a candidate for a great job and you ask a friend to write you a referral letter. They spend the time to deliver a thoughtful note about your qualifications, your expertise, your professionalism, etc. Let’s pretend you get the job, in large part because of that referral. Now, naturally you’d want to take the time to at least give them a call, or send them a nice ‘thank you’ card for their efforts, right?

But now imagine you did nothing.  Completely ignored their referral, and never mentioned it again.  How do you think that friend would feel?  Well, I imagine that they would not be in a hurry to write a thoughtful referral if and when you asked for it again.

Your customers are writing you referrals…they are taking time to share their experiences to help your business succeed.  The very least you can do is say “Thank you!”  But you can use this opportunity to thank them, AND add some amazing and relevant content to help others learn more about your business.  Are you appreciative for your loyal customers?  Do you care about customer service?  Here’s a common scenario for a restaurant…Customer Review from Lisa:  Loved the pizza from John’s!  Crust was crisp, sauce was flavorful, and the cheese was superb.  Service was excellent also.  Highly recommend!


Business Response Options

1. Do nothing
2. (Low effort)
Thanks for the review!
3. (Preferred)
Hi Lisa!  Thanks so much for your great review of the pizza at John’s in Big City, NY!  We only use the freshest ingredients and our dough is made in-house daily.  Make sure to try our mouth-watering Stromboli the next time you’re in town.  It’s a house specialty!  And don’t forget that Friday is always Pasta night with new specials weekly.  We’ll be sure to let the service staff know that they did a great job also!

As you can see, by spending just a few seconds to write a thoughtful review, you’ve now added searchable organic content for the next time someone is looking for Pizza, Pasta, or Stromboli in Big City, NY.  And you can bet a popular search term will be Big City, NY Pizza Reviews!

You’ve also automatically alerted Lisa that you’ve appreciated and responded to her review, further deepening that connection and making her a valuable promoter.  You’ve also added relevancy to the review, which is a popular way to filter reviews online.  Responding to reviews has a long list of benefits and in many cases, the response from the business is more valuable than the review itself.


Responding to Reviews That Are Negative

As you would imagine, no matter how well you run your business, you’ll have a few visits from Mr. Negative.  Yes, the online troll who will take any opportunity to complain that he didn’t like the smell of the air freshener in the rest room, or that he got a parking ticket while inside your business.  Or perhaps he will say that the ice cubes were too cold in his drink.  Whatever the negative comment is, you need to respond.

Not responding says that you don’t care.  It’s a bad look for the business.  Smart businesses use all reviews as marketing opportunities…yes, even bad ones.  Smart businesses know that these are moments where you can really shine and set yourself apart to everyone reading these reviews.

Here’s a good way to respond to a Mr. Negative  customer review.

“I don’t understand why this place is so busy…The food was fine but they had way too much ice in my drink, and the music playing was awful.”

Naturally, it would be easy to get combative with this type of review, but that just shows hostility and might put people off.  It’s always best to address the concern, reply with a solution, and ask for a second chance.  It’s also good to offer another channel for resolution.

The best response would be to acknowledge the, ahem, “interesting” comments and reply with something like: “Hi Mr. Negative-  Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review for John’s of Big City, NY.  While most of our customers like a nice cold beverage, we can certainly bring ice on the side next time.  And while we get a lot of compliments on our music selections, we do have take-out and delivery available!  We hope you’ll give us another chance to give you a 5-star experience and if we can be of further help, please reach out for any special requests!”


Time Is Of The Essence

When a review comes in, try and reply promptly as it reflects well on your business.  Responding months after a review comes across as a bit unappreciative.  If you can reply to all reviews within 48 hours, it goes a long way to establishing a lot of credibility with future customers..


Have A Process

Make responding to reviews an important task for management.  It should be a part of a daily communications checklist.  With Reviews Up’s simple dashboard and notifications, you’ll always know when you receive feedback, on any channel.  You’ll also have the ability to respond immediately without logging in to a bunch of different sites.

In summary, make sure you’re using reviews as the golden opportunity they are for showing the public just how much you appreciate the feedback.   It’s also the perfect time to reply with special content that helps with SEO.  Getting reviews for your business is great, but responding to them will supercharge their effectiveness as a powerful marketing tool for your business!

So Get Responding To Reviews Today!

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