10 Tips for a Well Written Review Reply
Leading the online conversation, steering it where you want it to go, is an art and a science all rolled into one. While the best advertisement for your business is word of mouth, remember that today’s word of mouth exists almost solely online. It’s scary but it’s true: you’re relying on virtual strangers to make or break the success of your business. What they say can and will have a lasting impact on your reputation. Not just in the big picture view, but day to day, minute to minute, second to second.
Unfortunately, bad reviews are more common than you’d like to think. You’re likely to see them pop up pretty frequently. Just take a look at the stats: while happy customers might tell nine friends, unhappy ones tell 16. And for every customer who complains, there are 26 customers who don’t say a word. Worse, they get frustrated and run for the (competitor’s) hills.
However, the news isn’t all bad. Negative reviews can actually boost business as long as the reviewer uses a “marker of politeness” and the company responds in kind, says Forbes. On that note, let’s move to our first tip for a well written review reply…
Tip #1: Be Proactive and Polite
Your first thought when encountering a negative review is to fight back in kind. Take a moment to reel yourself in. By keeping a respectful and polite tone when responding to reviews, you’re engaging with customers diplomatically as you resolve critical issues. Respond publicly so you can show everyone else this polite behavior. Then, future reviewers will be more likely to be respectful when leaving feedback.
Tip #2: Don’t Live in Fear of Negative Reviews
Be open to allowing customers to leave reviews on your website and your social media platforms. Resist the urge to delete reviews because they’re negative. Instead, remember that some negative reviews can actually make your business look better in the long run — if you respond the right way.
Tip #3: Humanize Your Brand
Don’t be afraid to show that you’re a human being rather than a faceless business when responding to reviews. This starts with your overall social media presence before you even encounter a negative review. Show off pictures of the office staff or give people a behind-the-scenes look into your company. When people see that there are actual human beings behind the name, they are more likely to leave polite feedback, even when framed in a negative review.
Tip #4: Know Your Customers
Retain a basic understanding of the types of people who leave reviews and the types of comments your company gets. To achieve this, keep a detailed log of your past reviews for reference.
Tip #5: Look for Patterns
Be on the lookout for repeat reviewers and search for patterns. If you see a complaint that comes up repeatedly from different customers, give that issue your full attention. It won’t go away otherwise.
Tip #6: Categorize and Prioritize
Categorize your reviews by various factors, such as sentiment, urgency, etc. Remember that those reviews are written by purchasing customers, so take them seriously. Their issue is important to them or they wouldn’t have wasted the time to leave feedback. When you value their time, they are more likely to value yours. Prioritize, though, to avoid burning out your time and resources.
Tip #7: Put a Plan in Place
Come up with an action plan that uses those reviews – good and bad — to improve your business. If you see a positive review, who should be commended? Pass it on and recognize them. If negative, who will you need to notify? This is important, particularly if it involves sensitive information or refers to specific workers. Some reviews come from ex-employees, so plan for that contingency as well.
Tip #8: Know Your Frame of Reference
Keep a list of ongoing replies and an FAQ guide so you know who you’re dealing with whenever someone leaves a review. This will help you understand their point of view. View their social profiles. Think about whether they have purchased your product or service before, or even if you’ve talked before. This way, you can better evaluate whether you should reply in public or private.
Tip #9: Give a Personal Response
Because people crave a personal connection with a human being, you should forgo the auto-response. Craft a custom, genuine response, thanking them for writing the review and addressing their concerns.
Tip #10: Think Before You Write
Always remember the response you are about to give is not just going to be seen by the reviewer but by the entire online community. Pretty much anyone can potentially read your response. Stay cordial, even when being unfairly criticized.
Contact Boost Reviews
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