Oscar Wilde once famously said “There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is Not being talked about” And in a roundabout way, he was right. As a business, we Do want to be talked about, unfortunately along with the positive, there will always be a negative, but it is how you respond that matters.
“All the worlds a stage” said Shakespeare The most prolific writer of all time, and wasn’t he right!
Back in the Bard’s day of the 16th century, Online Reputation management, better know as, ’Ye Olde Town Crier’ would shout out the days news, and all the gossip of the town, good and bad, with little or no chance of a response. Move forward to the 21st century, and with a few clicks, we can thank a customer for their great 5 star review or turn a negative review into an opportunity to make things right and all from the swish from the ink of our quills! well…our keyboards anyway.
Online reviews are critical to the success of a business, and responding is also a critical piece in not only building a positive online reputation, but also in encouraging other consumers to leave their feedback and engage with your business. And as Shakespeare would say
“More Fool You” if you do not respond!
Responding To A Positive Review
- It’s the polite thing to do. If a customer gave you a compliment in real life, you would say thank you. And with an online review, the compliment is public. So be extra nice!
- Everyone is looking. 92% of consumers now read online reviews. The public, including potential future customers of the business, may read this review. Replying to the review is a chance to speak to these people too, and do some subtle marketing.
- Actively creating, and engaging with, positive online conversations about your brand and the local community can encourage others to participate in that conversation, and generate more buzz and visibility for your business.
- It affects search rankings. By replying properly, you can improve the SEO ranking of the review, and help the review show up in search results for a business.
- Respond quickly to a positive review. Very often reviews are left immediately following a purchase or a visit to your business. If a positive review is left without a response for months, then it will look bad on you.
The customers who leave positive reviews about your business are your cheerleaders, your Brand Ambassadors, your ‘Town Criers’.
These are the people that rave about your company and want to tell their friends… Here’s how to Respond to your Positive reviews;
✅ Thank them for their positive review and respond to a detail. If a particular person or service has been mentioned, make sure you address it. “Thank you Victoria for your 5 star review. We are so happy you loved your hair treatment, and we will pass on your comments to Sarah”.
✅ Make sure to use your business name and keywords in your response. By using the business name and keywords such as the location, and the type of business, the positive reviews will show up in search results. “ All the team here at [ business name] love to hear good feedback and we’re proud to be the most friendliest [type] in [ city name] “
✅ Use your marketing skills. Remember, your reply is public and your future customers could be reading. Mention a service that she may enjoy which will be coming up as a future promotion. “ Remember next month we are having our Holiday special on Hand and feet treatments”
✅ Invitation for a return. Always end with an invite to return, as you are hoping to see them again and maybe try a new service. “Next time, you should try the [ service] we think you will love it! Looking forward to seeing you soon”
Why Respond To A Negative Review
Negative reviews can be the death toll of a business, and even worse, is the negative review that is ignored. A bad review cannot be ignored, it won’t just go away, ignoring it could make things worse. It doesn’t have to be hard dealing with a negative review, in fact it can be turned into a great marketing and branding opportunity.
- Replying online is just as important as the customer coming in to complain face to face. You need to implement enough damage control to turn the situation around.
- By responding, you show the readers that you are genuinely concerned over the negative review, that it will be addressed and it wont happen again.
- In your response you are not only replying to the reviewer, but to potential future customers.
It may feel like the darkest hour when you receive a bad review, but to act quickly and diplomatically is the best way to handle it. Here’s how your business should respond to negative reviews, and make the most out of an unpleasant situation.
✅ Apologize and sympathize. By apologizing you are acknowledging that the customer had a bad experience, even if it is unfounded, the customer still feels this regardless. “ We are so sorry that you had a bad experience”
✅ Slip in some marketing. Mention how this is not the normal experience at your business. “We are normally known for our friendliness, and we regret that we missed the mark on your visit today”
✅ Move the conversation offline. The contact info of someone at the business should be given and the invite to chat person to person “ My name is [name ] and I am the owner/manager of the business. Please call me on [ telephone number] if you want to take this further”
✅ Short and sweet. Don’t go into a long response as you could end up upsetting the customer to write a reply. Keeping it short and to the point normally settles any dispute.
Responding to reviews will always be good for business, and by doing this small service you can reap big rewards. Remember, the world is a stage, and in this century, its all online.