When it comes to marketing, social media has made it much easier for small businesses to compete with the seemingly limitless marketing budgets of large firms. Instead of spending your limited funds on television advertisements, direct mail pieces, and other expensive promotional methods, you can promote your business by engaging with current and potential customers on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.
One way to engage is to respond to online reviews that have been posted about your business. Although responding to reviews is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to customer service, there are some potential pitfalls to avoid. Keep reading to learn more about using review responses to promote your business.
Want to make responding to your online reviews easy? Sign up for CraftJack Reputation Manager to access and respond to reviews in one place. Start your free trial today.
When To Respond To Reviews
For best results, you should respond to every online review you receive. Your customers deserve to have their feedback acknowledged, and responding to reviews also has the following benefits:
- A professional response to a negative review shows potential customers they can trust you to react appropriately.
- Responding to online reviews shows potential customers you’re committed to customer satisfaction.
- In some cases, adding a response to an online review can have positive SEO benefits for your business.
- If you use Google to promote your business, learning how to respond to Google reviews increases your visibility.
How To Respond To Positive Reviews
A negative reputation can hurt your business, so it’s important to respond to every review in a calm, professional manner, whether the review is a positive or negative one. When responding to positive reviews, adjust your approach based on the reviewer’s comments and star rating. A customer who leaves a five-star rating and gushes about the quality of your work should get a slightly different response than a customer who leaves a four-star rating and a short comment, for example.
A customer who sings your praises on multiple review sites should be acknowledged as one of your most loyal clients. Thank the reviewer for their continued support, let them know you enjoyed working with them, and invite them to contact you to schedule their next project or service.
If a customer mixes in a negative comment or two in a review that’s mostly positive, thank them for sharing their experience, apologize for not meeting their expectations in some areas, and thank them for their positive comments. If applicable, let the customer know you used their feedback to change your work processes or policies. This shows other users you’re open to criticism and willing to change the way you do things to ensure your customers are happy.
Responding To Negative Online Reviews
How you respond to negative reviews says a lot about how you run your business. Potential customers want to see that you can keep a cool head when things get tense. They also want to know that you’re committed to treating your customers fairly even when they’re unhappy with your work.
When responding to negative reviews, the first thing you should do is address the reviewer by name. If the reviewer used an anonymous screen name, use this name instead. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to provide feedback, apologize that you didn’t meet their expectations, and show the reviewer you care about their feelings.
Once you thank the reviewer and apologize for their negative experience, ask the reviewer to contact you via telephone or email to discuss a remedy to their problem. You might offer to issue a partial refund or have someone re-do the previous work to ensure the customer is satisfied. When you respond in a professional manner, you have the opportunity to turn dissatisfied customers into happy customers who will tell people you worked hard to address their concerns.
Review Response Examples
Use these templates to compose professional responses to customers who leave positive reviews, mixed reviews, and negative reviews.
Positive Review (Loyal Fan)
Dear [Customer Name]:
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of our work on your new patio. My team always enjoys working with you, and this project was no exception. We look forward to working with you again soon. Please contact us at (555) 555-5555 to schedule your next estimate.
Mixed Review (Positive and Negative)
Dear [Customer Name]:
Thank you for your recent review. Although I’m happy to hear that our technicians were friendly, I apologize that we did not meet your expectations regarding the amount of time it would take to finish the project. Your business is important to us, so I’d like to offer you a discount of 10% on your next service. Please contact me directly to set up this discount.
Dear [Customer Name]:
Thank you so much for letting us know how you feel about the recent work on your back deck. We’re committed to delivering a great experience to every customer, so I’m sorry to hear we didn’t meet your expectations regarding the quality of the materials used on your project.
If you’ll contact me directly at (555) 555-5555, I’d be happy to arrange for one of our team members to replace the damaged materials at no cost to you. Alternatively, I can offer a 15% refund to cover the cost of repairs performed by another contractor. Please let me know which one you prefer.
Again, I apologize that you were let down by ABC Contracting, and I’ll do whatever is necessary to correct the problem.