Responding to reviews is one of the most powerful tools on Yelp. In a measurable sense, we know that businesses that respond to their reviews earn 5% more review content than businesses that don’t. However, the power of review response goes beyond the measurable. It speaks a lot about the business itself. How does the business treat their most loyal advocates? How do they handle customer feedback?
Stephanie Shearer, the owner of multiple boutiques in Denver, Colorado, shares her tips on responding to reviews:
5 tenets of responding to reviews
Communication: Engage! Respond to every review—especially the bad ones.
If you don’t respond to reviews, the impression is that you don’t care about your customers. Grab on to the opportunity to try to turn the experience – and maybe even the review- around. Consider how you would have handled this complaint face to face and don’t forget about how many potential customers might be reading this review — and your response.
Compassion: Breath, reflect, write and review. Repeat as necessary (and before posting).
Try writing only while living in the offensive instead of the defensive. You may have lost the reviewer, but you might be able to save or even gain new customers with a sincere, compassionate response.
Truthfulness: Start with a positive, take accountability, end with a positive.
Repeat the good things about your business mentioned in the review. If the standard of service wasn’t up to par- own it. And make sure to find something to thank them for – even if it’s just simply taking the time to leave the review.
Simplicity: Be short and sincere.
Rambling responses, especially to a bad review, start to sound defensive and can reflect poorly on your business. Short, almost bullet point, sentences have the largest impact on readers.
What’s the most important thing to remember when responding to your reviews?
Karma: Then toss that hot potato right back into their court and as a call to action.
Ask the reviewer to kindly call or email you so that you may discuss the situation further, to give you the opportunity to resolve the concern or so that you can make sure that their experience is not repeated to the next visitor. Customer experience is everything in small business —make sure everyone who reads the review knows how much you value every experience.
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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.