Online reviews are essential to the success of a local business. By leaving reviews, your customers are giving you another way to see your business. Whether your customers are satisfied or not, responding to these reviews gives you the opportunity to improve as a manager. It is therefore important to make sure to do it regularly, if only to thank those who underline your strengths and to avoid that less glowing reviews scare your customers away.

In order to properly respond to online reviews, a few general rules should be followed:

  1. Stay polite and calm;
  2. Respond as quickly as possible;
  3. Stay proactive to prove to your customers that their opinions are important to you;
  4. Choose the ideal person to do it or train one of your employees for this purpose. An empathetic communicator, skilled in English, who could even use the response models that we offer in this text.

Honor positive reviews

Since positive reviews don’t seem to threaten a company’s reputation, it would be tempting to not respond to them. In fact, these reviews give you the opportunity to take care of your image by establishing a business-customer relationship based on trust and loyalty. It is also a chance to thank your client while supporting your marketing efforts. Answering them also sets you apart from entrepreneurs who neglect this aspect. If the client highlights a point in your product / service in particular, do not hesitate to pass the good news on to your team, who will be stimulated to continue their good work. Finally, by responding to reviews that highlight your business, you are encouraging other positive reviews.

Here are some templates:

Example 1 (review without comment)

Thank you for your excellent review Mr. Smith, it’s appreciated!!
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Example 2 (review without comment)

Thanks Mr. Smith for taking the time to publish this review!
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Example 3 (review with comment, the customer compliments his experience with Guillaume)

Hi Mr. Smith. Thank you very much for your positive review and for taking the time to publish this notice. I'm glad to hear that you had a great customer experience with Guillaume. Thank you again for your comment!
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Example 4 (review with comment, the customer compliments your service and the speed of installation)

Thank you Ms. Smith for your good comment, we are working very hard to improve our service and our installation times. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!!
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Example 5 (review with comment, the customer compliments the team that did the landscaping)

Hi Ms. Smith, thank you very much for your positive comment and for taking the time to publish this review. It is our customers who allow us to constantly improve. We are very proud of our landscaping teams. Thank you again for your comment!
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Negative reviews and professionalism

Whether they are well-founded or not, negative reviews are worth dwelling on because they encourage you to improve your approach. On this subject, according to data obtained by the ReviewTrackers site, 53% of customers expect companies to respond to negative opinions within a week, and 45% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a company that responds to negative reviews.

To get it right, here are some must-do:

  1. Never leave a negative review pending. If it affects you emotionally, let the dust settle, then come back to respond with politeness and professionalism.
  2. Apologizing is important, but the rest of the conversation is just as important to demonstrating your intention to correct the situation. In an ideal world, after your brief response of sympathy and your thanks for the advice mentioned, the exchange will continue by phone, to avoid any misunderstanding.
  3. Send the contact details to reach you and try to turn this negative into a positive, emphasizing your commitment to personalized service.
  4. Suggest that the customer update their negative opinion. If you’ve resolved the issue and the customer’s experience is now positive, please ask them to update their review. Customers who shop online love to see negative reviews changed to positive reviews.

During this process, keep in mind that customers monitor how a business reacts and responds to negative reviews. By doing so, you gradually establish a climate of trust.

Here are some templates:

Example 1 (review without comment)

Hi Mr. Smith. I’m sorry to hear that your experience with us did not meet your expectations. I would like to correct the situation, this is why I will communicate with you at the beginning of the week to make sure of your satisfaction.
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Example 2 (review without comment)

Hello Mr. Johnson. I am sorry to hear that you have had such a frustrating experience. Your satisfaction is important to us. I would like to discuss this with you in order to find a solution. You can contact me at (438) 824-0409 extension 131 or [email protected]
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

Example 3 (review with comment, the customer expresses his dissatisfaction with your after-sales service)

Hi Ms. Smith. I am sorry to hear that you have had such a frustrating experience with our after-sales service. I would like to discuss this with you in order to find a solution. You can contact me at (438) 824-0409 extension 131 or [email protected]
Matthew Williams, Customer satisfaction manager

See beyond the review

In summary, no company can afford to forget the online reviews that its customers have taken the time to write. Why? Because these responses are public and other customers, regular or potential, read all of the comments from these conversations. It must therefore be answered as soon as possible, with courtesy and in an appropriate manner.

Remember that a favorable review generates a positive response and that this approach stimulates the growth of a business. In the case of a negative review, ignoring it or answering it incorrectly can easily convince your customers to look elsewhere, especially if you are in an area where they have many options.

For the longevity and success of your business, everything must happen and end on a positive note and it is up to you to do everything possible to get there.

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