Why should businesses be responding to reviews? Responding to reviews is a great way to learn from and build goodwill with one of your most vocal customers. Be it any social media, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs or any other social media, reviews are one of the best mediums to convert your searchers into customers.

First the Positive Reviews: A satisfied review online surely calls for a pat on your back  but also take a moment to thank the reviewer. Thank them for taking time out to share their experience, for giving you the opportunity to do business with them and also to invite them back as customers.

The benefits you would draw from answering positive reviews has a lot of merit for the businesses:

  You would want to reciprocate to the customer and let him know that you care, you appreciate the time he took out to do that – thereby increasing your bond with the customer turning them into a life long customer. They will surely refer their friends too.

  2   Seeing this, other customers are also more likely to give positive reviews, because they see that they will not go unnoticed.

  3   People searching for your business will also see that you are responsive. They will feel more confident with your business because they see whether it is bad or good, you are ready to respond to them and that you care.

What you should not do: No gift certificates. No mailing lists. No event invites. No reactions to the minor complaint in their review. No requests for them to tell more friends about your business.

Now, for the Negative Reviews: First things first, be sure that you

1   Don’t worry, and

2   Don’t take it personally

There are hundreds and thousands of businesses who have excellent customer care and it can happen to anyone – the good news is that these customers also understand this.

Here’s what you do – and do your homework well:

1   Check who it is: is this a real customer?, Is he out to make trouble? An influencer /competitor, who?

2   What: if something went wrong, is there a solution, something that you need to do or can do?

3   Respond with how you can resolve the issue, help him and let him know you care. If you do not find anything wrong, then correct the facts, but do it professionally and never come across as accusatory, offensive or call them liars.

4   Bury the review – take positive reviews and pile them on top of the bad one, take it off the top.

Contacting reviewers should be approached with care; internet messaging is a blunt tool and sometimes good intentions come across badly.

Keep these three things in mind as you’re crafting a message to your customer:

1   Your reviewers are your paying customers

2   Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities

3   Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise they would not be writing reviews!)

Let me know your thoughts in comments below or tweet to me @ajaxjoshi


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