There’s no two ways about it - online reviews are good for business. They boost your reputation, improve conversion rates, and help set you apart from the competition. But just as important as what your customers have to say about you is what you have to say in return.
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Whether company or product oriented, reviews are all about trust. Shoppers want assurance that any brand they buy from will deliver on its promises and provide quality products in return for their hard earned money.

But here’s the thing. That trust doesn’t just come from the review itself, but also your reaction to it. 

Why is it Important to Respond to Reviews?

There’s two sides to this. On the one hand there’s the reviewer, who’s taken time to leave feedback and will feel a closer affinity to your brand if you acknowledge the fact. If their review is negative, it’s even more important to respond and win back the trust that’s been damaged. 

Then there’s the browsing shopper who’s trying to decide if you’re the kind of merchant they want to buy from - one that values its customers and fixes things when mistakes are made. They’ll learn a lot about this from the way you handle reviews. 

And if you’re still not convinced it’s something you need to bother with, here’s some stats that might make you think again:

  • Consumers see businesses that respond to reviews as 1.7x more trustworthy than those that don’t (Google for Small Business)
  • 89% of consumers say they would be ‘fairly’ or ‘highly’ likely to use a business that responds to all reviews, positive and negative (Brightlocal)
  • 57% of consumers say they would be ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ likely to use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all (Brightlocal)
  • 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to engage with a brand if it responds to negative reviews (reviewtrackers)

Our own research shows that 62% of businesses take the time to respond to some or all of the reviews they receive. That means that just under half are missing out on a key trust building opportunity and damaging their growth prospects in the process. 

If you’re struggling to find the time, or simply don’t know how to respond to reviews, check out the tips and templates below.

How to Automate Review Response Writing with AI

You can automate review response writing with our latest integration with ChatGPT. It offers the ability to take the pain and time out of creating review responses. Our conditional logic on writing review responses paired with ChatAPI allows a review response to be created 10X faster than your average review writing response turn-around. It even considers the tone of voice of the review left and the length of the review.

Essentially, we are providing an automated template for responding to reviews that is tailored to the specific review content that was left. You can decide whether to publish immediately, copy and take to another page to edit and then paste onto the review response platform. 

How to Write Review Responses

If you’re more of a manual operator, or simply don’t believe or have trust in AI, we’re still here to help. Here's some general tips on how to write a response to any review, positive or negative:

Thank the reviewer for their feedback - positive reviews are a great asset to have, while negative reviews help you build a better brand. Both are valuable in their own way, and every customer that responds to a review request should be thanked for their time. 

Use a friendly tone of voice that fits with your brand - your response is a public representation of who you are and should be delivered in the same style as all your brand communications. 

Personalize the response - address the reviewer by name. They should feel like you’re talking directly to them and not throwing out a generic token message. 

Respond as quickly as possible - for positive reviews, you want to capitalize on the moment to strengthen customer loyalty. And a speedy response is critical for negative reviews, with 53% of consumers expecting a reply within a week or less.

And here’s some extra advice on how to handle those tricky negative reviews:

Don’t take it personally - as much as it might feel like it, a negative review is not a personal attack, and if you treat it as such you’ll do more harm than good. Stay calm and professional. 

Apologize - ‘sorry’ should always appear in a response to a negative review. Even if you’re not at fault, this is a public conversation and you should always take responsibility.

Offer a solution - let prospective customers know that you’re proactive and work to fix mistakes. The best way to do this is by letting the reviewer know you’ll be in touch directly, which leads us to…..

Take it offline - whilst it’s advisable to respond to the initial review publicly, the rest of the story need not play out online. In fact it shouldn’t. It should become more personal and private, either on the phone or directly through the customer’s email - whichever is their preferred method of communication.

Review Response Templates

We’ve segmented our templates into content-specific responses. From positive, negative, neutral and even fake reviews offline & online. 

How to Respond to Positive Reviews Online

Dear [Customer Name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us with such positive feedback. On behalf of the entire team here at [Company Name], we are thrilled to hear that you are happy with our service. 

We are very grateful that you’ve chosen our [product/service/company]. We strive to provide the best possible experience so that you can continue to be successful! 

We’d love to hear more of your feedback, if you have any suggestions for improving our products or service offering in the future, you can share them here: [insert survey link or link to additional form]

Once again, thanks for reaching out and making our day with your wonderful review! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further enquiries as we are always more than happy to help. 

Best Wishes, 

The [Company Name] Team

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

Dear [Customer Name],

We are very sorry for your recent experience with us and any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you so much for bringing this matter to our attention, [customer name]. Customer feedback is incredibly important to us, we value your opinion and are committed to using it to improve our services. 

Excellent customer service is our number one priority at [Company Name] and we apologize that it did not meet expectations on this occasion. Please be assured that we want to resolve this matter as soon as possible, [insert relevant member name] from our support team will contact you immediately regarding this issue.

Once again, we apologize profusely for the issue experienced and thank you for the feedback. We look forward to resolving this matter for you!

Best Wishes, 

[Senior Management Position] of [Company Name]

How to Respond to Neutral Reviews Online

Dear [Customer Name],

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. We always appreciate when customers leave constructive comments, as it helps us to improve our services for the future. 

Here at [Company Name], we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service offering and are disappointed that your experience with us was only an average one. We’d like to be given the opportunity to change that for you, [Customer Name]. 

Please give us a shout with any additional feedback that we can improve on to turn neutral experiences into positive ones. If you could share your suggestions [link] we would love to help improve your experience with us once more.

Best Wishes, 

The [Company Name] Team.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews Offline

Dear [Customer Name],

Thanks for leaving such awesome feedback about us! We are glad to have you as a customer.

We are always looking for ways to improve. If you have any suggestions for things we can do to improve please let us know through our survey [here]. 

Thanks so much, 

The [Company Name] Team.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

Dear [Customer Name],

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your recent issue with us. We are very sorry to hear about your disappointing experience and I would like to personally assist you to make things right. 

If you could help us to understand the extent of the issue, I want to offer you the best possible assistance to resolve this matter completely. 

Best wishes,

[Senior Management Position] of [Company Name]

Bonus Template: How to Respond to Fake Reviews

Dear [Customer Name],

Unfortunately, we cannot find any record of [Customer Name] in our database so we have flagged your review for internal investigation. 

If it is the case that you are using another name that is not recorded in our database, please feel free to contact us so that we can assist you with this matter further. 

For any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to use our LiveChat function available [here]. 

Kind Regards, 

The [Company Name] Team.

Respond to Reviews and Actively Manage Your Reputation

Whether you want to manually write the reviews, with the help of our templates or prefer a more automated review response like our Auto-generate reply function, we’ve got you covered. Taking the time to respond to reviews really is in your favor. It shows that you’re a customer focused brand, that you really do care, and most importantly, that you really can be trusted. And because of all that, it also increases the value of every single review you collect.

Remember though, it’s not just the reviews you’ve asked for that you need to be mindful of. Customers can also leave unsolicited company reviews on sites like Facebook, Trustpilot and Google Local, so it’s wise to monitor these as well. If you’re a customer, check out how our Reputation Management feature can help with this

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