You’ve worked hard to get reviews – Now what?
You’ve trained your staff, put up signs, and incentivized your customers to leave reviews. The work isn’t over and now you move into the next phase of your reputation management plan – responding to reviews.
Whether positive or negative, if a customer takes the time to leave you a review it is best practice to respond to them. Even if it is as simple as thanking them for their review and saying you hope to serve them again soon, the response shows that you are a highly engaged and responsive business that is listening to its customers. Positive reviews can give you useful information on popular items or services or what a customer is hoping you might do in the future.
Just because a review isn’t negative, don’t discount the feedback you can take from it and use to improve your operations. A great review is the first step, but customers who feel listened to and heard are more likely to remain loyal to you and your business. By responding to the positive reviews, you can build up a base of repeat customers who know you will hear their comments and concerns.
And of course, with the positive inevitably comes the negative. No one enjoys negative feedback, but a poor review should be seen as a chance to address issues and improve them. It may be tempting to ignore negative reviews, but it is a stronger action to consider the feedback left and respond thoughtfully. Perhaps they caught your business on a bad day or some circumstances beyond your control impacted their experience.
By taking the time to apologize or explain, even a customer who had a bad experience may be swayed to reconsider giving you another chance. Without addressing the issues brought up in a negative review, the one customer could go on to tell others about their poor experience and turn away potential business for you. But with a thoughtful response, the customer will have a better impression and may give you another chance before discouraging others.
Further, potential customers seeing the dialogue between you and customers will see your attentiveness to addressing issues and assure them that if they should experience any problems, you will do your best to address them.
Everyone likes to be heard. By keeping up with responses to reviews – positive and negative – you will build your reputation as a business that listens to and values its customers.