by Eric Lovine
When deciding which company to contact, potential customers will almost certainly check your ratings and reviews on Google. When they see that your business consistently replies to reviews, you are one step closer to that next lead. When you are attentive to reviews, both good and bad, it shows potential customers that they can trust you.
Responding to positive reviews is easy. When a satisfied customer leaves a nice message about what you did well or even just a 5-star rating, your response should have the two As: acknowledgment and appreciation. Acknowledge them by using their name and show appreciation by thanking them for their review. The simple inclusion of their name gives the response a personal touch.
“Thanks for leaving a review” vs. “Hey John, thanks for leaving a review”
When a customer takes the time to leave a longer message by detailing what service you provided, commenting on your friendliness, or noting the speed and quality of the job, your response should also have a little more. Let them know that you’re happy to hear they’re happy and that you look forward to working with them again in the future.
“Hey John, thanks for leaving a review. We’re glad to hear that you’re happy with our exterior painting services. We look forward to helping out with your future projects.”
You can also like a review by clicking the thumbs-up icon underneath. When reviews have lots of “likes”, they tend to rank higher.
While negative reviews may seem daunting, they present an opportunity to show potential clients your commitment to customer satisfaction, as well as fixing the relationship with the disgruntled reviewer. By engaging with dissatisfied customers, you have a chance to turn their negative experience into a positive one. Studies have shown that customers who have their issues resolved are more likely to continue doing business with the company.
It’s crucial to maintain a professional tone when responding to negative reviews, regardless of how unfair or exaggerated they may be. Avoid getting defensive or engaging in arguments. Instead, acknowledge the customer’s concerns and assure them that their feedback is taken seriously.
While it may not be possible to please every customer, make an effort to address their concerns and find a solution. Apologize for any inconvenience caused and offer a resolution, such as a refund, replacement, or the opportunity to discuss the matter further offline. The sooner you are able to respond to the review, the more likely you are to reach a resolution.
Once the issue has been successfully resolved, it is often appropriate to ask the customer if they might consider editing or removing their negative review.
Despite your best efforts, there may be instances where it’s impossible to satisfy certain customers. No matter what you say or do, the customer won’t be coming back. It is still important to respond professionally — negative reviews (and therefore your response) will be seen by others.
Occasionally, a customer may grossly exaggerate or fabricate information that could turn others away from your business. In these instances, you may need to clarify misunderstandings or explain your side of the story. Clearly and politely present the facts, without getting into a back-and-forth argument with the reviewer.
“John, we are sorry we could not come to an agreement regarding the incomplete painting job. Our company strives to finish projects in a timely manner, and we were unable to deliver on this occasion. However, your review is not accurate. You claim we made no effort to make amends. We made multiple attempts to contact you and even offered a discounted rate for the entire project, which you refused.”
By responding to Google reviews, you are leaving potential new customers with a positive first impression. Engaging with positive reviews increases the likelihood that a satisfied customer comes back. With negative reviews, you can learn from your mistakes and potentially salvage the relationship with an unhappy customer. And for those customers who are gone for good, you can protect your image by offering perspective on damaging and misleading reviews.
99 Calls helps businesses gain positive reviews and improve their online reputations.