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Should you respond to client reviews?

Client reviews are a powerful marketing tool. A positive review provides your company with free advertising and compelling social proof. A stream of negative reviews, on the other hand, can erode a company’s brand reputation. However, if you respond to client reviews, you can control the online conversations about your business. Responding to client testimonials and reviews allows businesses to highlight positive feedback and mitigate the damage of negative comments. Learn exactly how to respond to client reviews and why you should.

Why do client reviews matter?

As consumers, almost all of us want unbiased information about the product or service we are considering before we buy. In fact, 95% of customers read reviews before they make a purchase or schedule an appointment with a company.

Reviews are straightforward accounts of what it is like to work with a company or purchase a product. To the average consumer, customer reviews provide valuable, unbiased information they feel they can trust.

At the same time, 94% of customers have been swayed by a bad review and chose to take their business elsewhere. That means, paying attention to customer feedback matters just as much as any other piece of your company’s marketing strategy. 

Why should you respond to client reviews online?

Taking the time to respond to client reviews can make a world of difference for your company’s reputation and credibility. It allows you to control the narrative about your business online and show that you care.

45% of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company that takes the time to respond to negative reviews than one that doesn’t. Responding to constructive feedback shows that you are paying attention and willing to make necessary changes to fix mistakes and right a wrong.

When you receive positive feedback, it is just as important to write a review response. Your response shows appreciation for the time your client took to share their experiences with your business. Not only that, responding to online reviews can add credibility to your business profile, improving your ranking in online search engines.

Plus, responding to positive reviews encourages more clients to share their feedback about your business. Knowing their positive reviews will be read and responded to motivates customers to want to provide feedback of their own.

7 Tips for Responding to Client Reviews

You definitely don’t want to copy and paste the same response to all of your client reviews. That makes your business seem cold and robotic. To make your review response sound genuine, follow these seven tips:

  1. Take the time to read each review thoroughly before responding.
  2. Address the reviewer by name.
  3. Avoid getting defensive or attacking customers – always remain professional and courteous no matter how negative the customer feedback may be.
  4. Thank reviewers for both positive and negative feedback – it shows that you value their opinion.
  5. Use reviews to gain insight into what can be improved in your business and where you already excel.
  6. Encourage reviewers to contact you directly if they have other questions or concerns.
  7. Respond to reviews regularly, make it a part of your weekly or monthly routine. 

How to Respond to Negative Client Reviews

Criticism can be hard to handle. No one enjoys hearing that their business failed to meet a client’s expectations. 

Although you may not enjoy negative feedback, or even agree with the reviewer’s point of view, your goal in responding to their review is not to prove who is right. Instead, assure them that their experience is not the norm and that you are willing to make changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

You want to respond quickly to negative customer comments but you don’t want to write a response while you are feeling upset or angry about the feedback. Take time to cool down first, ask someone who is more detached from the situation to write the response, or use pre-made response templates to ensure your response is courteous and professional. 

A response to a negative review should:

  • Apologize for the customer’s negative experience.
  • Assure customers that their experience is not the norm.
  • Seek to make things right.

Here is a template you could use to respond to negative reviews:

Dear {Reviewer’s Name},

We hate to hear that our service did not meet your expectations. We are truly sorry that you were {emotion they felt + a brief summary of their experience} and assure you that this is not the norm.

We appreciate your feedback and will work with our team to avoid these issues in the future. Please let us know how we can make it up to you. You can reach me directly at {direct email or phone number}.

Sincerely,
{Name + Title}

How to Respond to Positive Online Reviews

Although it may not feel as urgent to respond to positive reviews, it is just as important. An amazing review deserves to be celebrated with a great positive review response.

Positive client feedback is incredibly valuable. Not only do positive testimonials give you free advertising on review sites, like Google, Facebook, Yelp and Next Door, but (with permission) you can also use them as social proof for your website, social media posts, and other content marketing. 

When responding to a positive client review always:

  • Use the reviewer’s name.
  • Thank them for taking the time to write a review.
  • Add specific details of their review to your response.

Here are two positive review response templates you could use:

{Reviewer’s Name} thank you so very much for your kind words! Glad to hear that {Employee Name} was professional and courteous. We are grateful for your continued business and hope to see you again soon!

{Reviewer’s Name}, it is so awesome to hear that {a specific detail from the client’s review}! Thank you for letting us know. We strive to provide excellent service, and it’s great to know that our team is following through. We’re so pleased to be your go-to {the service your company provides}.

Having a strong online presence is essential for any business. Responding to both positive and negative reviews can help you maintain and even strengthen that presence.

A negative review response should always include an apology followed by an offer to rectify the situation. A positive review response should be a celebration of a happy customer and a  job well done. By regularly responding to customer feedback, your company will come across as professional and caring – two traits that customers look for in their favorite brands.

If you don’t have time to think of unique responses for all of your glowing reviews, Guide MKTG can help. We can write review response templates for both negative and positive comments so that you can spend less time online and more time providing great customer service. Schedule a free, 30-minute call with Guide MKTG today to get started.

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