How to respond to positive and negative reviews - HighLevel

How to respond to positive and negative reviews

April 25, 2018


How do you handle negative reviews for your business? Why would you reply to a positive review? This guide will show you why and how to respond to reviews online, both the good and the bad, all while earning more business in the process.

Often people wonder why they would want to respond to a positive review, it speaks for itself right? Or maybe you want to respond, but just don’t know what to say. By following our guide you’ll be able to take control of your online reviews, something that 90% of consumers use to decide what businesses they are going to go with for almost everything from their next dentist to their pest control company.

By capitalizing on good reviews you can maximize the return from these and minimize damage from bad reviews, let’s get started!

Positive Reviews

Why respond to a positive review? When a customer leaves a glowing review it feels amazing, finally someone noticed how hard we’ve been trying. Can it get any better than this? Actually, it can. Here’s how to respond to the positive review to magnify it’s results.

First, it’s a nice thing to do, your customer is saying something about you, but also to you, talking back is a good thing to do. If a customer said something nice to you in person you would always say thank you.

Everyone is watching, 92% of customers are reading online reviews. The who world, including future customers for your business may come across the review. Replying to reviews is a great way to speak to these future customers and subtly market to them.

It effects rankings, when you reply the right way you can increasing the SEO ranking for the review and help your business show up in the search results for your keywords in your area.

How to respond

Step 1 — Thank the customer for the positive review and be specific.

Use your real name when replying and target something specific about their review, for example “Thank you for mentioning our new lobby coffee maker, we’re glad you enjoyed it, we’ll keep working to improve our dental practice lobby for you!”

Step 2 — Use your business name and keywords in your response.

Using your business name, business type, and/or location information in your response will help you appear higher in the search results for your business. For example if you were a pest control company in Chicago, you could say, “We’re happy to hear our Chicago branch did a great job controlling your pests, we’re happy to hear the ants are all gone, let me know if we can help with anything else, we aim to please!”.

Step 3 — Feel free to add in your latest marketing information

When thanking your customer you can always invite them back in and mention any promotions you have running, it’s a double-win, that customer learns something they didn’t know and so does everyone reading it, win-win! For example, “Did you know if you refer a friend we’re offering a free Starbucks card?”

Step 4 — Ask the customer to do something for you

You can always ask the customer to try another service or product next time they come in. For example, “I’m so glad you enjoyed the cucumber facial, next time you’re in you should try the hot stone massage, I bet you would love it! We can’t wait to see again next, and bring a friend!”

Negative Reviews

Everyone has a bad day, even when sometimes that’s just your customer, lets face it, bad reviews happen. But whatever you do, don’t ignore them bad reviews, face them head on and magic can happen!

First lets remember some ground rules:

You’re not just replying to the one bad reviewer, you’re responding to anyone and everyone who comes after them, most especially future potential customers.

Replying is an opportunity to change the outcome and turn a loss into a win. If someone had brought the concern to you personally, you would have worked hard to make it right. This is no different, online reviews are the same thing, just in a public forum. They might feel impersonal, but they really are the same thing. Get ready to turn this around!

Replying shows future customers that you care, you’re responsive, and you’re committed to making things right when something goes wrong, it takes maturity and that will show if you respond effectively.

How to respond

Step 1 — Always apologize and show empathy

Acknowledging someone else’s feelings is the first step to bringing down their wall of defense, Even if you don’t agree with them, you can agree that they entitled to their feelings. This one is easy, just say: “I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience.”

Step 2 — Talk about how it should have been

“We always try hard to do a great job, in fact we’re often known for our amazing service, I’m sorry to hear we didn’t live up to those expectations here.”

Step 3 — Try to get them to respond personally

Provide a direct contact point, preferably a persona email and/or phone number where the customer can reach out. Tell them you want to personally fix the problem asap and this keeps the conversation from going back and forth in detail on a public forum, plus it gives them what they really want, a way to have their problem fixed.

Step 4 — Keep it short and sweet

You may know this customer, you may know the situation, and you may think this is all ridiculous, regardless resist the temptation to explain or expound. This prevents a debate from breaking out that without proper context can leave you looking like the bad guy and doing massive brand damage. Never go over 3 sentences as a good rule of thumb.

Step 5 — Keep your keywords and business name out of negative reviews

Never who you are, what you do, or what kind of product/service you provide, keep it short, simple, and generic. You’re sorry they had a bad experience, you want to fix it, here’s how to contact you right now. The last thing you want is this showing up in the search results.

How to remove negative reviews

The holy grail of online review management, the removal of a bad online review, when it comes down to it, this can be something you can master if you really work at it, while no one wants to do this often, if done right negative reviews can disappear. You really have 3 options:

Step 1 — Resolve the issue with the customer

When the customer contacts you, keep the empathy and sincerity flowing, work hard to resolve the issue and turn the situation around. Remember how expensive new customers are to get and realize how much you don’t want a negative online review hanging around. If you have to issue credits or freebies, make it happen, it’s just not worth it to have this customer angry out in the world telling everyone how terrible you are. In reality most mistakes can be atoned for and most upset customers can return happy.

Step 2 — After you’ve gone all out and fixed the problem, ask your customer, “Did the problem get fixed, have we made up for how we let you down?”. First, you want to know this no matter what, if they say no, then you know their’s more to do. But if they say ‘Yes’, it’s time for you to make the ask. Simply say, “We really care a tremendous amount about our business, we work hard at it, and it’s our livelihoods, would you be willing to either remove your negative review or update the rating now that we’ve fixed or made up for the mistake?” Now this might sound odd, but this works about 90% of the time, people are understanding when they feel their feelings have been heard, card about, and someone has apologized for their mistake. Combined with the tendency most people have of not wanting to hurt others with their actions this has a good shot of being successful.

Step 3 — Pour on the positive

If you’re given it your all, but that negative online reviewer is intent on keeping that negative in place despite everything you did to fix their problem it’s time to move on and focus on generating a lot more positive reviews to push that one down the list and make it a distant memory. We recommend using a system like ProsperMD that automates this process and makes it easy to collect reviews, you’ll remove that negative review a lot faster.

How to get more positive online reviews

The pot of gold at the end of the online marketing rainbow, positive online reviews are what create the winners in any product/service in any market, period. If you’re the highest rated dentist in town, you win, the highest rated plumber, you win, highest rated massage therapist, yeah you get the idea. So how do you do get these reviews?

Step 1 — Target happy customers

The best way to get more reviews is simple, ask! Customers love to share their opinions and happy customers will be happy to show you some love.

Timing is critical. If you ask when a customer is the happiest with their experience, the reviews will have the best chance of being positive.

Ask in person. You can put a reminder on a receipt or on a service summary or delivery slip. Or you can even have reminder cards made up to hand out.

Ask online. You should be asking every customer for a review online, preferably via SMS or email.ProsperMD makes this super easy and automatic, we can help you reach all of your customers at exactly the right time.

Want to take your reviews to the next level, click here to request a demo ofProsperMD.