Unless you’re Joan Jett, a bad reputation is something your clients should care about. A good or bad reputation could mean the difference between a business thriving and expanding, and closing their doors for good. In the digital age, a business’s reputation is controlled by consumers using online review platforms like Yelp, Google and Facebook to announce the quality of their business publicly. The good news is that this lets businesses easily monitor and manage their online reputation, a power they can put to good use by responding in a timely manner to the reviews they receive. We’ve already covered responding to negative reviews, but this guide will teach anyone how to respond to positive reviews so they can start mastering their online reputation.
Why Respond to Positive Reviews?
Knowing how you can respond to positive reviews is one thing, but do you know the why? With 88% of consumers trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations, online reviews are not something to ignore (Search Engine Land). A scathing review of your client’s business is more than just a digital comment card; it’s like a sign taped in their store window telling customers “beware of bad business.”
Clearly, you need to know how to handle these reviews. However, online reputation management is about more than just managing the bad, as responding to both the negative and the positive reviews will help cultivate a good online reputation. Bad reviews may be higher on your list of priorities, but addressing positive reviews lets your client’s customers know that they care about more than just putting out reputation fires, but also that they genuinely appreciate their business and experience.
Over half of consumers will select a local business after reading positive reviews, which means that positive reviewers deserve your client’s time, attention and appreciation. A positive review is also a good marketing opportunity and one that shouldn’t be passed up. A review response is the perfect time to highlight the good qualities of the business, and to spread the good word. The following tips will take you through how to respond to positive reviews as a local business.
Related Reading: How to Build Trust and Turn Customer Experiences into Stars
How to Respond to Positive Reviews in 5 Easy Steps
1. Give thanks
The number one thing any business should do when they respond to positive reviews is thank the customer. With only 1% of users actively creating content, it’s a pretty big deal when a user creates positive content about your business (Yelp). This customer enjoyed their experience with the business so much that they actually took a chunk of their personal time to tell you, and subsequently the online world, all about it! So whether you thank them for visiting the business, or for writing the review, it’s important to show your appreciation. While only 1% write the reviews, 92% of consumers read them, which means a good word written on a public review platform is a big drop in your business’ reputation bucket.
Thanks for the great review, Tonia! A lot of love and hard work goes into our scones, so we’re glad you and your taste buds enjoyed the experience.
2. Mention business name and keywords
You want positive reviews to be seen by consumers searching your business. By repeating the business name in your response, the review is more likely to appear in search results. Similarly, relevant keywords in the review will also improve the search ranking, and get the positive word seen by other potential customers.
Thanks, Marcy! Here at [Business Name], we care about making a match that lasts, and strive to be the best [pet store] in [city name].
3. Sprinkle in some marketing
Opportunities like this don’t come around every day, so make the most of a positive review by throwing in a dash of marketing. A lot of eyes will be on this response, and now’s your chance to get the reviewer to come back for more, and coax other readers into wanting a taste of your business as well. You can mention a new feature, promotion or even just some of the work that went into their great experience.
Thanks for stopping by, Chris! The fettuccine alfredo is one of our most well-loved dishes, so we’re glad to hear that you loved it too. If you’re a big pasta fan, why not come try out our new spaghetti carbonara?
4. Invite the customer to take action
End your response by inviting your customer to take action with their review. Suggesting a return visit for more great experiences, or asking them to share the review shows that you’re engaged in their satisfaction and care about their business. Spreading the word yourself is great, but it means more when it comes straight from the satisfied customer, so ask them to share! Or encourage a different action and invite them back for another great experience. This will encourage not only the reviewer, but also anyone who reads the review to visit your business.
Next time, try pairing the coffee with one of our blueberry muffins for a truly delicious start to your morning!
5. Share the review
The last step in your response process is spreading the positive word. A positive review is free marketing material, so make the most of it by responding publicly and sharing it on other social media platforms. With 68% of consumers saying that positive reviews make them trust a business more, it’s important to make sure the positive reviews are seen. If possible, tag the reviewer to further show your appreciation!
Don’t hit that publish button yet! There are a couple extra points to keep in mind with your response. While these aren’t specific steps you take in the response process, they are important for making your response count.
Adding a human touch to your response transforms you from an anonymous business name to the real person sitting behind the screen. Thanking the customer by name, and acknowledging the specifics of their review proves that the response isn’t an auto-generated message, and builds a connection between you and the consumer. Don’t fall into the habit of copy-and-pasting a rigid response, but rather take the time to personalize each one, as other readers will see the sincerity in your message.
In the example above, the business manager not only addressed the reviewer’s issues directly but also got personal by thanking them in their native language! Bien fait, Ralph!
Be polite and professional
While having a personal touch in your positive review response will make the reply feel more genuine, it’s still important to remain polite and professional. Reacting emotionally will only backfire on you, and reflect poorly on your business and employees. Using slang and internet acronyms in your review response may make you seem too casual, and by extension, uncaring to anyone who reads the response.
Respond in a timely manner
Responding to a review months after it was posted is almost as bad as not responding to it at all. A late reply means the reviewer likely does not care about their experience at your business anymore, and the slow response time makes it look like you didn’t care about it either. Responding in a timely manner shows attentiveness and a level of caring that your customers will appreciate.
Commend specific staff
Did the reviewer thank one of your servers for their exceptional service? You should thank them too in your response. An employer that cares about their employees will seem more genuine, and consumers will appreciate your level of humanity and gratitude. This will also improve staff morale, which in turn will make your business better overall.
Agreeing with the reviewer and praising a specific staff member will make other readers want to see Anna’s skill for themselves!
Encourage more reviews
Want more free marketing opportunities? Get into the habit of asking customers to leave reviews online. This can be done through an email, a button on your site or even just a sticker in your store window. The more reviews your client gets, the more they can cultivate their online review garden and the more you can help improve their business’s reputation. Need help getting them more reviews? We can help with Review Generation.
Go Forth and respond!
You’re now equipped with all the knowledge you need to help your clients start responding effectively and properly to positive reviews. If you need a little extra bit of confidence, use our review response templates as a guideline to get started. Remember, you’re not responding to just one customer, but to an entire online audience. Make sure you behave and don’t end up on our list of biggest online reputation management fails!
Encountering negative reviews you don’t know how to handle, or want to know more about managing your client’s online reputation? Learn more than just the how of responding to positive reviews, and dive deep into the world of online reviews with our Ultimate Guide.