Responding to reviews is key to building a loyal customer base. 53% of existing customers expect their online review to be responded to within 7 days and 95% said that if their issue is resolved, they would continue to use that business.
For new customers, review responses offer a further trust signal, revealing how previous customers have been treated by the customer care team - or even serving just to highlight its existence. It's why 30% name review responses as key when judging a business.
So responding to reviews is key for both new and existing customers in making your brand seem personable and professional.
That being said, it's essential to know the pinch point. Businesses that reply to reviews excessively (over 40%) can actually see a decline in their revenue.
Why? Too many review responses can risk the business looking spammy. As with most marketing: keep quiet unless you have anything valuable to say.
Don't be fooled: it's not just the negative reviews you should reply to.
If one of your customers has taken the time out to leave you a really special review, they'd no doubt love it to be acknowledged.
We'd avoid responding to all positive reviews (especially those without any text).
Here's how to show your customers some appreciation with a perfectly crafted positive review reply.
1. Say thanks
There are two things to thank your positive reviewer here for.
The first being for choosing to shop with you in the first place, and the second, taking the time to review you. Only 15% of customers leave reviews, so they're in the minority - make sure you show your appreciation!
You could say:
"Thanks so much for choosing to shop with us. This review made our day! ""What a lovely review. We're so pleased you chose to shop with us.""Reviews don't get better than this - thanks for sharing your experience with us."
2. Pick up something personal
We've already mentioned you should place a priority on replying to highly detailed positive reviews.
The best positive reviews often include personal details, which are easy to piggyback on to craft the perfect positive review response.
Picking up on these personal details will show the customer you've thoroughly read and enjoyed their review, whilst also allowing you to show some personality too.
If they've mentioned a specific product, service or even team member, reflect these details back in your response. If you can give a little backstory or a personal anecdote, so much the better.
The online marketplace is becoming increasingly crowded, and customers love to see personable brands. Charismatic review responses are just one way of doing that.
3. Invite them back (maybe with an offer!)
Did they love your service? Encourage your customers to come back for more of the same in your review response.
Whilst this can be done with a simple "we hope to see you again soon," some of our biggest clients choose to incentivise their reviews with a small reward.
A voucher or discount code not only leads to a higher review collection rate but also encourages customers to come back and spend again soon.
4. 'Name' drop
There shouldn't be an emphasis on sales talk in your review response, but there's no harm in 'name' dropping a little when you have your customer's best interests at heart.
If they've heralded a product in their review, you could inform them of other products in the range. Or if they've enjoyed a particular event or service with you, telling them about similar coming events will often be welcomed.
This is a soft, personable way of informing customers of your offerings, taking into account their current interests and purchase behaviour, which will give you extra points for attentiveness.
1. Respond publicly
Make sure you reap the benefits of all the time you're putting into your review replies by allowing them to be seen by one and all.
Whilst private replies can be useful in certain situations, positive reviews are not one of them!
Your attention to detail, personable manner and acknowledgement of your customers will do wonders in showcasing your customer service skills.
Remember, 30% of customers find review responses important, so make sure to make yours visible.
2. Share the review
Whilst customers may stumble across your positive reviews and responses, there's only one real way to ensure as many people see it as possible: using review widgets on your site.
Reviews.io has a wide range of review widgets than enable you to publish product, company and even photo reviews along with any responses you leave.
Placing these widgets at customer touchpoints will enable you to get your shining reviews and responses in front of as many people as possible, to reduce friction and boost conversion rates.
Time to see the advice in action. Here are some perfected and professional positive review response examples, as curated by our clients.
1. Yappy's super personalised offering
Yappy is the leader of personalisation. Selling a range of personalised products to dog owners, they take great care to ensure their fun and lighthearted branding is reflected across all their marketing and communications, including their review replies.
In their review reply, Yappy has expressed gratitude, included personal details and invited the customer back to shop again soon, all whilst using a creative play on words to bring their response to life. It's a corker.
2. Papier's short & sweet review response
Papier prove that you don't have to spend ages to make a lasting impression. Their polite and friendly review reply shows the feedback has been read in full and is really appreciated (albeit with a few too many exclamation marks!)
3. Lucy Bee use review responses to highlight their ethics
Lucy Bee's products are all about the ethics behind the brand itself. In many of their responses to positive reviews, along with thanking the customer, they use the opportunity to reinforce their commitment to natural products and the environment.
This is exactly the kind of soft sales messaging we were talking about earlier.
Hopefully, you're now beginning to get a better idea of how to respond to all your positive reviews.
But if you're still feeling stuck, feel free to use this all-purpose template to get started.
Dear [CUSTOMER'S NAME],Thank you so much for your lovely review. It's so great to hear you enjoyed your experience with us and we'll be sure to pass your kind words onto the team. We hope to welcome you back again soon.Many thanks[BUSINESS NAME] team.
If you're considering replying to the positive reviews, then you should definitely be learning how to respond to negative reviews.
Imagine if you had a rubbish meal in a restaurant and complained. But the waiter just stood there and ignored you. You'd be pretty annoyed, right?
But if that same waiter apologised profusely, replaced your meals and took them off the bill for you, well, things would be different. You might even want to give the restaurant another chance.
The same principle works with negative review responses - get them right and do them promptly, and you may just win your customer back around.
1. Address the reviewer
Addressing the review by name is essential if you want to get started on the right foot.
It may seem like a small detail, but 70% of customers want a more personalised shopping experience. Acknowledging them by name shows you are treating them as an individual and taking their negative review seriously.
It also makes the interaction much more personal, especially if you include your own name in the response. By forming this human connection, you're much more likely to be able to build a rapport, and ultimately, liaise with the negative reviewer to solve their problem.
2. Thank them
Many of our clients say that the negative reviews they receive are much more useful than the positive ones.
Well, they often identify pain points that the business would otherwise have missed.
For example, issues highlighted with sizing, stitching or delivery help businesses to continue to adapt and evolve to meet their customer's needs, leading to more happy customers - and positive reviews - in the long term.
So, it's important to say thanks, even for the negative. Thank them for taking the time to highlight a problem that could save your business in the long term.
3. Apologise profusely & take ownership
Your customers sometimes complain unfairly. We get it.
But half of learning how to respond to a negative review is biting your tongue.
It's an old age saying, but 'the customer is always right' is something we'd recommend taking into account here.
Whatever their complaint, however small, ludicrous or untrue, apologise sincerely to your customer and - here's the hard part - take full responsibility.
It will immediately help the customer see you are on their side and that you place great importance on customer satisfaction.
4. Turn it around
Now it's time to show you mean it.
Remember: 95% of customers say if their issue is resolved, they'll continue to use a business.
Winning your customers back around, is, therefore, easy. All you need to do is solve their problem.
88% of consumers say the best way to respond to a negative review is to fix the problem and then tell them what was done.
So with this in mind, we'd advise doing your research before you start typing. Look back at their order history, speaking to your delivery providers or quality control, and try and find out what went wrong before you go back to the customer.
Most importantly, consider how you're going to solve the problem. A replacement item? A discount? A free return?
Prioritise your customer's happiness and you shouldn't go too far wrong.
5. Remind them of your standards and ask for another chance
Everyone makes mistakes - yep, even you - and your customers are more forgiving than you think.
It's important to clarify that the issue is indeed a mistake, and a one-off mistake at that.
Along with including an apology and taking responsibility in your negative review reply, you should also remind them of the standards you try to - and usually do - uphold. And finally, invite the disappointed customer to 'give you another chance' to win them over.
You could even throw in a little incentive, such as a discount or voucher.
You could say:
Here at [COMPANY NAME], we strive ourselves on offering the best customer service possible. It's why our helpline is open 24/7 to help you. We hope you'll be willing to give us another chance to show we care. I've sent you an email with a voucher code to use during your next visit.
We place a real emphasis on quality here at [COMPANY NAME], carrying out rigorous quality checks and are so sorry this slipped through. We really hope you'll give us another chance to wow you with our luxury bed linen. You'll find a £10-off voucher in your private messages to use should you choose to shop with us again.
As a brand, you want customers to know you take negative feedback seriously. Once you've learnt how to respond to negative reviews effectively, you'll want to share these skills with the world.
Publishing the reviews and accompanying responses will show a commitment to solving customers problems, as well as being completely transparent with your customers.
Although we'd always recommend publishing review replies, in some cases, it may be worth momentarily taking things out of the public eye. This is the case where lengthy discussions are required, or when personal information needs to be disclosed.
This is fine, just be sure to summarise the conversation/solution in a public review response once you've done.
Prezzybox keep it short & sweet
Prezzybox are known for their low-priced products that pack a punch. In this negative review response, they've kept the tone light, whilst ticking off loads of items on our checklist.
They've succeeded in thanking the customer, apologising, solving the problem, and reiterating their high standards. Overall, a really successful review response that should go down well with both the customer in question and potential customers too.
Groomer's thorough and patient review response
We've got to hand it to Groomer's, this is an awfully attentive and patient review reply. To explain the customer's issue, they've gone into real detail, walking them through the order process so nothing is amiss.
Whilst they've taken responsibility for the bad experience, offering replacement products and a partial refund, they've also made it very clear that, in fact, they weren't really at fault.
Rise Art's regretful & respectful response
Rise Art's review response is perhaps our favourite of the lot. They've kept it simple, making no excuses for the customer's disappointment, but instead explaining the situation and stating it will, quite literally, never happen again.
Has someone left you a negative review online? Feel free to use the template below in order to craft the perfect reply.
Dear [CUSTOMER'S NAME]Thanks a lot for your review and bringing this issue to our attention.
We're extremely sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience with us.
We'd love to make this right for you. If you could contact me on [EMAIL] I'll do all I can to rectify our error as soon as possible.
Thanks!Team [BUSINESS NAME]
We actively encourage businesses to collect feedback across multiple review sites, including Yelp, Facebook, Google and Tripadvisor. It's why we created our Local Reviews feature, which allows you to automatically allocate a percentage of customers to direct to various review sites and leave you feedback.
This is because Over 73% of consumers trust a company with reviews on multiple sites, rather than one site alone.
It's important to respond to customer feedback across all of these platforms to maintain consistent customer care and protect your online reputation.
Here's how to do it.
When it comes to responding to Yelp reviews, you have a few options.
1. How to respond to Yelp reviews publicly
To write a comment that will be visible to all in response to a Yelp review:
2. How to respond to Yelp reviews privately
To reply to a customer privately:
3. How to 'thank' a reviewer'
If you just want to keep it short and, you can choose to 'thank' your Yelp reviewer by clicking the 'Thank' button underneath the review when logged in to your Business Owner Account. This will send them a direct 'thank you' message which will only be visible to them.
Responding to Facebook reviews is fairly self-explanatory:
Over 63% of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business, so we'd recommend keeping on top of them.
To respond to a Google review:
Businesses that respond to TripAdvisor reviews achieve 17% higher levels of engagement and are 21% more likely to receive an enquiry than those who don’t respond to reviews, so it's certainly worth doing.
Follow these steps to reply to your Tripadvisor reviews
Learning how to respond to positive and negative customer reviews across all platforms is extremely important for safeguarding your online reputation. Remember, when it comes to reply numbers, your sweet spot is less than 40%, so focus on review replies which will enable you to make the most impact.
Did you know with Reviews.io you can respond all your reviews, including those on Yelp, Facebook, Google and Tripadvisor, in one place? Jump on live chat with one of our friendly advisors, or get yourself set up with a FREE trial here to see how our Local Reviews solution could help you.