How to Respond to Reviews — Both Good & Bad

Google… Facebook… Twitter… Yelp… Amazon… The list goes on…

I’m talking about online reviews. You can find anything from outstanding 5-star reviews to mediocre ones to someone deciding to just shred to pieces a business owner, publicly, This is the world we live in today.

And your customers… they read these reviews to decide whether or not your worthy of them spending their hard-earned cash in your establishment… or if they’ll even return at all.

90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about any business.

And it’s not just the reviews themselves that determine your worthiness. Equally important are your responses to those reviews, both the good ones and the bad ones.

So in this article, we’ll talk about the best ways to reply to both good and bad online reviews.

Why respond to a good review?

Let’s say you get a five-star rating from your customer with an outstanding review. Do you leave it be and do nothing?

No. It’s real important to take the time to write a personalized response. After all, they took the time to compliment your business for the world to see, right?

So what do you say in response? Well, there are four steps to responding to positive reviews.

Step One:

Thank your customer. Whether it’s for taking the time to write you such an awesome review or for visiting your business, make sure you thank them!

Step Two:

Make sure you mention your business name in your response. This will amplify that review so it shows up in search engine results.

Step Three:

Add a little marketing to your message. Whether it’s highlighting a special or the fact that you pride yourself on providing outstanding service, you want to make sure you’re highlighting something for your future customers to see.

Step Four:

Invite the customer to take action. Whether it’s returning to your business or spreading the word about how awesome your business is, make sure to encourage more positive action.

Check out this positive review:

And now check out this response to the review and how the customer responded to that:

Do you see what happened here? They were given a reason (action) to return and to try something new. And the customer is going to … take action. So definitely make sure your positive reviews don’t go unanswered.

Negative Reviews. What do you do?

First and foremost, make sure you reply to the negative review. By replying, you’re showing the world that you’re not in the habit of sweeping your problems under the rug. You want to show that you take corrective steps to make sure that the mistake doesn’t repeat itself.

Related: Your Online Reputation & Why You Should Care

Remember, this isn’t about the one person who wrote the review that you’re now replying to. Anyone who comes across that review will see your response.

So what’s the best way to respond? Again, here are four steps.

Step One:

Make sure you apologize and empathize with your customer’s concerns. You want to make sure that they feel heard.

Step Two:

Throw in a little marketing here as well. Spin the review in such a way that your future customers will see that whatever negative experience happens, it is not the standard for your business.

Step Three:

Keep your message short and sweet. You want to avoid going into too much detail.

A best practice is to limit your response to three sentences. This should be enough to get your point across.

90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about any business.… Click To Tweet

Remember not to mention your business name in your response to a negative review. This way, that negative review won’t show up when someone is searching for your business online.

Step Four:

This is the most important step of all. Make sure you’re providing that customer with someone offline to handle their complaint. You never want to get into a lengthy war of words between you and your customer for all to see.

Here’s an example of how to respond to a complaint:

And then look at what happened in this case as a result:

In this example, you see that the customer actually updated their earlier negative review to a positive one.

So there you have it. That’s how you handle negative reviews.

Although you can’t make a negative review totally disappear, you can minimize its impact. And remember, there are many customers out there who had a great experience with your business. How do you get them to leave you a review? Simple. Just ask.

Hey, thanks for reading! 🙂 If you enjoyed this article, please like it. ❤ It would mean the world to me and helps other people see this story. Leave a comment below, too!

Originally published at on September 27, 2017.