How to respond to positive online reviews?
You can teach businesses how to respond to a bad review, but what about a good one? Many of the principles remain the same—be courteous, thank the reviewer and take some time to develop a thoughtful response. But, there are some key differences. Here are a few things you should make sure your business clients know about responding to positive reviews. Cars.com recently conducted a study of 10,000 randomly selected automotive dealership reviews on their site. It showed that dealers who responded to ALL reviews, not just the negative ones, received the highest ratings and were the most popular.
- Share the review. Put those babies to work. Of course I’m not advocating child labour, we’re talking about reviews, silly. These are testimonials for the digital age, and if you ask me, more compelling than an infomercial (though I have a Magic Bullet in my cupboard). It only makes sense to use good reviews for marketing. Customer experience is marketing, and with the number of consumers who search for a business before they ever even enter it still on the rise, this has never been more true.
- Determine what’s of value. Let me prove my Canadian-ness with this example. A restaurant owner—Zadie— might think that the best thing on her menu is the poutine, but what if every review talks about the beaver tails? Well, maybe she should start pushing these in her marketing a little, it’s obviously what consumers want. Or, it could be an indication that not enough people know about the poutine, and Zadie might want to offer consumers a special. Regardless of how it works, business owners are often very close to their work and can struggle to recognize what consumers really like. Reviews are the no-nonsense way to decipher the true customer experience.
- Get personal. Did the reviewer mention something specific about the business? Without letting the comment get too long, share a personal anecdote or offer a shared opinion. If the reviewer loves the decor in your office, thank them and tell them where the inspiration comes from. Acknowledging particular points from the review ensures the author that you read, understood and internalized their feedback.
- Commend staff if they are mentioned explicitly. We’re always being told how important customer service is, and our data reinforces that notion. In our database of over 1.6 million online reviews, the words service, friendly and rude appear in 40% of reviews. It’s clear that customer service is essential in setting a business apart, so reward staff who go the extra mile to make the company extra special. The ones who would walk 500 miles...then 500 more...etc. Lauding staff that exceeds expectations is good for morale and will help perpetuate the good service.
- Ask for reviews. The average number of reviews written about the typical business has increased each year. While that is good news for companies promoting themselves through reviews and review sites, the average business still doesn’t receive many reviews per year. The best way to get more? Ask! This can be done in many different ways, depending on the structure of the business—at the till on the way out, a follow up email, a sticker in the window or automated software. We’ll dig more into that next. When a company’s got a good thing going, it always pays to keep the ball rolling.
Responding to online reviews, positive and negative, are key elements of modern day customer service. Good customer service is good business. It's essential to teach businesses how to respond to positive reviews.