Consumers expect you to respond to online reviews. Here is how to do it.

A recent Customer Review Report,” from Uberall indicates that up to 65% of consumers expect business to respond to online reviews. Of these 80% believe that the response that you give to your customer queries needs to be personal.  This is important data if you are hoping to fully utilize the power of online reviews to grow your business. This article shows you how to respond to online reviews;

How to respond to online reviews

The truth of the matter is that not many of the companies that are out there ever bother to respond to the feedback that they get from their customers. Indeed, a large chunk of them are not even aware of the fact that they should be actively pursuing reviews as a way of achieving growth.  If your business falls into this bracket, it’s safe to say that you have been missing out on a lot of potential. Just consider the following facts and you will understand what we are talking about;

  • 90% of consumers admit to being influenced by online reviews in their purchasing decisions.
  • 84% trust the feedback that is left online by complete strangers as much as they do the recommendations that come from their friends and family.
  • Businesses that showcase star rating extensions on their Google PLAs and in Google Shopping can expect a CTR boost of up 17%.

You should respond to online reviews

Online reviews are not just there for show. They are something around which you should be actively involved. Indeed, depending on the nature and size of your business, you may actually need to hire people whose task is to manage your online reputation.

People use your Response to Evaluate your Customer Services

What you may not be aware of is that people actually use the responses that you make to online reviews to evaluate the nature of your customer service. In this regard, showing that you care is also an important component when it comes to responding to the feedback that you get from your customers.

Responding boosts customer loyalty

Another reason why it’s so important for your business to respond to customer reviews is the fact that this helps build customer loyalty. Building rapport with customers is definitely something that you should be on the lookout for. The data from Uberall indicates that 86 percent of those polled would actually consider going back to do business with a company that has bothered to respond to their online reviews.

Negative online reviews are inevitable

One of the things that you will discover is that negative online reviews are an almost inevitable part of life. Whatever your business, chances are high that at some point, you are going to come across a customer who is not satisfied with the service that they receive from you.

How to respond to reviews

Consumers, as we have already mentioned, expect businesses to respond to online reviews, but how do you go about doing so. Let’s assume that you are a restaurateur as an example. How are you going to respond to the reviews that you get from your customers, both negative and positive? Here are a few tips;

Strive to respond to all reviews

This is a point that we have already noted. Every customer that leaves feedback on Yelp, Google, Shopper Approved or on any other platform expects a response from you. In fact, many will take it negatively should you fail to respond to them.

This applies specifically if they are raising queries about your product and services. It’s imperative that you react to this type of review in order to get the issues that are raised by your customers addressed in full.

Be Quick in your Response

We have already mentioned that you should actually consider hiring people full-time to take care of the business of managing your online reputation. Whether you do it or not, it’s important for you to make sure that the queries that are raised by your customers are dealt with as quickly as is possible.

This often has a bearing on whether or not you are going to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive. If, as an example, you get a review on Yelp saying you failed to fully service a customer’s sink, what would be the best response?

What you should do is take the initiative, before the situation becomes damaging, to reach out to the affected customer and if possible, offer to redo the job free of charge. Should you do this, you will discover that you have turned a potentially explosive situation into a positive for your business.

How to respond to negative reviews

Responding to negative reviews is something that we have already been alluding to in the foregoing. Now the thing to remember is that negative reviews are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, people, to some degree, actually expect your profile to have a few negative reviews.

If they go to Yelp, as an example, and see only five-star reviews, they are bound to become suspicious. Even if your business is good, it cannot be that good, right!

In any case, the best way to respond to negative reviews is by reaching out to the concerned customer. Once you have done this, try to have their query resolved. After you have done so to their satisfaction, you can then go back and ask them to change their negative review into something else.

Be patient

The thing about dealing with people in general is that you actually need to have a high degree of patience. You will discover that some people are difficult just for the sake of it. You will also discover that some people are not easily satisfied. There are going to be a wide range of possible responses to these scenarios. Nevertheless, in almost all instances, patience is going to be your biggest virtue when it comes to responding to customer feedback. Just go online and you will discover countless instances of business owners who have been lured into slugging matches with their customers. In almost all instances, the result has been negative publicity. This is definitely something that you need to avoid for your business.

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