How to Answer Online Reviews

September 25, 2020

If you’re not giving online reviews the attention they deserve, you’re missing a great opportunity to build consumer trust, stand out from competitors, gain valuable customer insights, and, ultimately, boost sales.

That’s because people spend up to 49% more money at businesses that reply to reviews, according to research.

Reviews may live on your own website, a third-party review platform such as YP.ca, Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, or other niche websites. But whether your reviews have a positive or negative tone, they all need to be answered. Here’s how to respond to keep your loyal customers and win over new ones:

1.    Respond quickly

Studies show that consumers who leave an online review expect a response within a few days, while some expect their review to be answered within 24 hours. Aim to respond within 1-3 days to show your customers you’re listening.

2.    Respond with care

Always thank your customer for their feedback and let them know you appreciate the insights they’ve shared. Show that you understand their comment, suggestion, or concern, and be sure to apologize if the customer had a less than ideal experience.  Ensure your response is personalized and sincere and doesn’t read like a generic template. Most consumers will give a business a second chance after a negative experience if they feel listened to and are offered an appropriate remedy.

3.    Respond with solutions

Make it clear that a negative experience isn’t the norm for your business, and ensure it won’t be repeated. Close the loop by offering clear next steps to resolve the customer’s issue. It’s usually most effective to do this in a 1-1 communication, so offer the customer a phone number, email, or DM channel to reach you. Answer positive reviews with an invitation to try another of your products or services, and a promise to share the compliment with the rest of your team.

In addition to providing great customer care, your review responses can also help your business rank higher in online search results. For best results, use your business name and keywords in all responses to positive reviews, as in the example below. It’s a simple way to help future clients discover your great products and services.

“The team here at [Business Name] is thrilled to hear such good feedback, and we’re proud to be one of the coziest [coffee shops] in [city name]."

Need help managing your business’ online reputation? NetSync can simplify online review monitoring and notification. Find out more by visiting Yellow Pages for Business, and connect with a Yellow Pages expert today by calling 1-877-553-6883.

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