How to Respond Reasonably to Reviews, Good and Bad

| January 14, 2016

How to Respond Reasonably to Reviews, Good and Bad

You won’t find a single business out there that doesn’t have a bad review. In fact, if you find a business with zero negative reviews and all five stars, you and Google would have every reason to suspect foul play. Most small business owners don’t know how to deal with reviews. You might cherish good reviews, but might not know how to respond. You might dread bad reviews, but you still need to respond. If you’re still struggling to understand just how to deal with online reviews, here are some suggestions for you.

Respond to All Reviews

As a small business owner, you might not get as many reviews as big corporations do. That means that you can actually respond to the reviews without wasting too much time and it’s important that you go. You can keep track of the reviews by setting up a Google alert on your company’s name. This would alert you every time your company’s name is mentioned online. You can then read the reviews and think of the best ways to respond.

You can start by thanking all reviewers, regardless of whether they’ve offered a good review or a bad one. This would show your customers that you care about their opinion and are a customer-centric company.

Honesty Really Works

Don’t make promises you can’t keep and you’ll see a reduction in bad reviews. That’s one of the most common mistakes small business owners make. Saying that you’ll deliver a product within a day is quite different than trying to achieve it. You shouldn’t make that promise unless you’re certain that 90 times out of a 100, your product will be delivered within a day.

In fact, you can also admit that as a small business, you might not be able to keep up with the bigwigs. For example, if you’re a small pizzeria, don’t try to live up to the Dominos 20 minute guarantee. You might not succeed. What you can do is give the most comfortable timeline. If your delivery reaches early, great! If not, you customers were forewarned.

Respond to Bad Reviews As Quickly as You Can

We mentioned above that you need to respond to all reviews, both good and bad. But most business owners avoid responding to bad reviews as much as possible. But you actually only have a very small window of opportunity to respond before your company’s customer service is dismissed as negligent. Most people actually expect a response from a company within a day or perhaps two. Don’t reply after ten days because your customer would only become irritated by the late response.

The best way to handle this is to offer a small public apology before contacting the customer through a private message. At this stage, you need to determine whether your company can actually solve the problem. If they can, address it quickly. Once the problem is resolved, contact them again in a few days with a follow-up. Following these steps would show your customers that you care and are willing to provide them with the best customer service possible.