Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business or go onsite to serve customers, people look at your online presence when deciding if they want to do business with you. And among the most impactful parts of that online presence are user-generated reviews and your replies to those reviews. This podcast episode highlights key review response strategies and insights from business owners and reviewers.
Many people believe that most online reviews are critical or that consumers only turn to online review sites when they want to complain. But in fact, there are more 5-star reviews on Yelp than 1-, 2- and 3-star reviews combined. So rather than avoid online review sites because of fear of the critical, get excited about the positive reviews—and have a plan for when you receive both.
Nic Faitos, the owner of Starbright Floral Design in New York City, said, “A negative review is not bad if it’s followed up online with a resolution and a show of how you resolved it.” And that display of resolution may happen on its own if a consumer chooses to update, change or remove their review, or it may be up to you or your team to respond publicly and share your side of the story in the response. But remember, particularly when you’re responding to a critical review, you’re not responding in hopes of winning the reviewer over but rather to put your customer service practices on display for all potential consumers.
“When I read reviews about a business and see a company responding, it gives me an idea about who the company is. A random 1-star [review] doesn’t mean much to me, but I can tell a lot when I see a business responding about what kind of business model they have. Are they customer-focused? Are they calm, cool, and collected in their response? There’s so much you can learn about the company you’re about to do business with,” said reviewer Jennifer W.