Essential Review Response Tactics for 2020 & Beyond

As of September 2020, Yelp has reported that 60% of businesses in the United States have experienced closures due to the ongoing epidemic. With the shifts in business practices to protect the safety of the community, many consumers have had a wide variety of responses to business changes. Uncertainty and transition is never comfortable for people. To encounter unexpected practice adaptations at a local diner or community shop can be a hard adjustment for anyone. 

Now more than ever, consumers have taken their feedback to platforms like Yelp or Google to express their feelings, both good and bad. The truth is having a successful online reputation is no longer just a trend anymore, but a business necessity. Reputation management is no longer optional for businesses because 97% of organizations say that their online reputation is important to their business.

The Importance of Responding Well to Feedback

Companies like Bear Grylls Adventure have recognized the value of mastering their online reputation management. Regardless of facing a challenging year for all attractions and businesses, Bear Grylls Adventure won the 2020 TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award based on their excellent reviews over the past year. Championing their customers’ experiences has led to this great success.

On the other end of the spectrum, some restaurant owners have left mocking responses to scathing online reviews that have reflected poorly on their businesses. The negative response, in addition to the negative review, resulted in bad press for that restaurant. What can be learned from these two polar opposite review management styles? That the foundation of a good online reputation is not only acquiring more reviews, but also responding to feedback well. 

How to Respond to Reviews Well

A Harvard Business Review study found that when businesses respond to customer reviews, that their ratings subsequently increase. When individuals make an effort to write a review for a business, it is because they want their feedback to be seen by management or other potential customers considering your service or product. Ultimately, consumers want to know that business owners care about and see their feedback; especially if their feedback is negative. 

Critical reviews can make anyone get defensive. A poorly worded reply will get seen by 89 percent of customers, many of whom will use that information to judge whether or not they ought to do business with you. Regardless of whether your reviews are negative or positive, it is essential to respond well to all reviews. How your business speaks, reflects what your business stands for. Give evidence of your company’s heart to your customers in what you say. 

Here are 3 tips on how to respond well to reviews: 

Acknowledge and Apologize

No business is perfect. As your customer base grows, mistakes are bound to happen at some point! It’s how you respond to these mistakes that determines how customers perceive your brand. Be transparent with your customers and apologize when you receive negative feedback. Research shows that 85% of Americans are willing to stick with a brand that has a history of being transparent. [Source] Taking responsibility for mishaps or issues builds trust and rapport with consumers.

Add a Touch of Specificity

Listening well to your consumers is a huge component of being able to respond to them in an excellent manner. Thoroughly read your customer’s feedback and make mentions of what they said in your response. Adding specificities into your review responses shows your customers that you care and are willing to take the time to acknowledge them.

Move the Situation Offline

Some issues customers present are more complex than others. When this happens, a review response may not be sufficient. Take the extra step to talk to these frustrated consumers offline. Create a space for them to vent and offer them solutions to resolve the problem. Excellent customer service goes hand in hand with online reputation management.

The Benefits of Using Review Management Tools

ReviewPush offers a wide range of tools that can expedite your review response process. The features our service offers include new review notifications, customizable review response templates, offline review requests and more.

In fact, by utilizing these review management tools, our customer Cell Phone Repair saw a 700% increase in customer reviews. They were able to automatically request customer reviews directly from customers by email after a transaction to gather feedback before they left reviews on 3rd-party review sites. Plus, they were able to respond to customer reviews and receive approval to publish the review response, all within the ReviewPush dashboard. 

Using review tools like the ones ReviewPush has available can help your team respond to feedback in a timely manner with ease. As the saying goes: work smarter not harder!

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