Why Personalizing Your Review Responses is the Way to Go
It’s easy to respond to reviews. For negative comments online, a cool head is your most important ingredient. For positive ones, you must make sure that you thank your customer profusely. Neutral ones deserve a response too so be sure to formulate a message that mentions the positive things said in the review and to address the negatives.
If you’re tongue-tied and don’t know what to say to your customers even if a good review is staring right back at you, there are review response templates that you can get inspiration from.
With so many templates online, it is tempting to just copy paste your responses. Doing this does save you a lot of time, we can’t argue with that but bear in mind that customers want to be acknowledged and you should acknowledge them with a thoughtful and personalized reply. A reply is a good thing but one that is made for them makes them feel special. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business so it is not really a bad idea to let them know that they are valued.
Below are some of the things businesses should try to avoid when responding to reviews.
Posting the same response for say, ten reviews, won’t look good. To potential customers who happen to love reading reviews and responses, it would seem like you never gave your responses a thought.
The Robotic Response
Some responses sound like they were written by a computer or a typing robot. Such responses can be seen as unfriendly and unfeeling that’s why it is better to avoid them. All you need is to be more genuine when responding to reviews no matter how time consuming it is.
The Inconsiderate Reply
Let’s be honest. We can’t all be Miss or Mister Congeniality. However, when it comes to your business, being nice goes a long way. We have seen so many inconsiderate replies from businesses online and some are just plain rude that it turns off anyone who wants to visit their establishment. This is something that any business owner should avoid because losing one customer can cost you thousands of dollars in potential revenue. While you would come across trolls at one point, it is still better to be polite. This will show prospective customers that you and your employees approach every situation or review with empathy.
Addressing every issue without sounding arrogant is key. Try to understand the customer and where he or she is coming from. It is also advisable for you to apologize if the customer had a bad experience with your brand.
No shouting, please! Although people can’t hear you when they are reading your response, some would think you are shouting if you keep using exclamation points. This is especially true if you bundle it with an inconsiderate reply. If you love typing in all caps, it’s time to stop doing that. Most business owners know that there is such a thing as online etiquette but for those who are still getting used to social media, it is important to keep this in mind. No one wants to be shouted at even if the reviewer is already “shouting” at you.
Name-calling is never a healthy response to anything and it is definitely not warranted even if the reviewer is calling you names. Be polite and try not to get angry. Remember, you can be firm without being rude.
A study done by TripAdvisor, one of the world’s leading travel companies, found that around 64% of users are less likely to book a hotel if that hotel’s management is aggressive or defensive. This is likely true for other businesses too.
How to Personalize Your Review Responses
- Address them by their name or you can be more formal and address them as Ms./Mr. [Insert Surname Here].
- Be friendly. Imagine that you are welcoming an old friend to your home.
- Sound like a human being. Write something that you would say to the reviewer if you were talking face-to-face.
- Don’t be afraid to be creative especially when responding to positive reviews.
- Use a similar tone. Mirroring the person you are conversing with is a good thing and it also makes communication easier and less awkward. If the tone of the review is formal, be formal as well.
- If a certain interaction with an employee is mentioned in the review, ask your employees about it so that you can write a better response.
- Don’t forget to restate praise written on reviews.
- Make sure that you acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns. Restate them as needed and tell the reviewer how you will fix the problem.
- When you need to apologize, write an apology that comes from the heart. To do this, you can put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself how you would like a business owner to treat you after airing your concerns online.