Online reviews are critical to the success of a local business, with 93% of consumers saying online reviews impact their purchasing decisions and that the minimum rating they’ll engage with is 3.3 stars.

Responding to online reviews is another critical piece in building a positive online presence and encouraging other consumers to leave their feedback and engage with your business.

How should you respond to online reviews? Do positive online reviews need to be responded to at all? How do you respond to a negative review? All these questions and more are covered here so you can leverage your online reputation to grow your business.

Having a solid reputation is a cornerstone of any business’s digital presence. Helping companies to navigate the complex waters of reputation and online reviews is an excellent value-add to other marketing services. We’ll cover this in more detail below.

How to respond to negative reviews


Apologize and Sympathize

The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience goes a long way.


So, the famous crab cakes weren’t up to par the day this customer visited. If they’re what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our crab cakes are usually a hit; we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!”

Move the Conversation Offline

Don’t open a can of worms. Keep the lid on tight by offering the reviewer the chance to reach out via phone, email, or both.

Keep it Simple

Avoid specifics and do not ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public.

By following these guidelines, you will too be able to take charge of those first six reviews that a whopping 73% of consumers form their opinion on and earn more business in the process. Regardless of where the review is—be it Google, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, Foursquare, Amazon, or a top directory—you can capitalize on a complimentary review and minimize the damage of a negative review.

Responding to positive reviews is just as important as responding to negative reviews. However, many businesses wonder why.


Why Respond to a Good Review?

If a good customer leaves a glowing five-star review, it can’t get any better than that. Actually, it can. Responding to a positive review is an easy way to engage with happy customers that benefits your brand identity and your one-to-one relationship with that customer. Remember, online reviews and review sites are public, so positive conversations about your brand here can do wonders for your business!


How to Respond to Positive Reviews


It’s simple. Thank the customer, name drop, promote, and tell the customer what to do!

Say Thank You and Be Specific

No one would let a compliment pass them by in real life. Apply that same principle to a review response! And make sure to reiterate your customer’s compliment to let them know that a real person took time out of their day to acknowledge them, which feels good.

Use Your Business Name and Keywords

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive your business up in search results—positive reviews work wonders in search. Referring to your business name, location, and category (restaurant, coffee shop, hotel, etc.) helps index reviews online.

Market, Market, Market

Is your business famous for a specific secret sauce? Are you having a promotion next month? A review response is a great place to get the good word out.

Give Your Customer a Task

Not as scary as it sounds. Invite them to try something different the next time they visit or bring a friend to your business!


How to Get More Positive Reviews


The best way to get more reviews is to ask! People love sharing their opinions, and happy customers will take the time.

The key is timing. If you ask for a review when your customer is most pleased with the product or services, the reviews will have the best chance of being incredibly positive.

Ask in Person: You can place a review reminder on the receipt, checkout, or delivery slip. You can give a reminder card to the best customers. You can even hand out cards at the till that encourage customers to leave a review of their experience.

Ask Online: You can encourage customers to leave feedback online through email, text, and more. Reputation Management tools offered by Cight Solutions can give your business the power to gather authentic customer experiences and generate more online engagement about your brand.

A great way to build trust and visibility with your business online is to cultivate a strong, positive online presence through positive reviews!

The more positive reviews you have, in many cases, your brand is only as good as your reputation, the less detrimental negative feedback will be on your brand when you do receive it. (We all know you can’t please everyone!) We’re the team that’s in your corner, with tools and tips to help you achieve greatness online with our reputation management services.

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