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Responding to Reviews – Best Practices

How important are reviews? Well, a one-star improvement to Yelp reviews can translate to anywhere from a 5-9% increase in revenue, so from a dollars-and-cents perspective, they’re hugely important, but just as important as the reviews themselves are the manner in which you respond to them.Responding to Reviews – Best Practices

The first thing to note here is that when a customer cares enough, or is upset enough to leave a review, you should respond. Yes, you read that correctly. You should be responding to each and every review left for you.

The positive ones are, of course, fun to respond to. After all, you’ve got a customer who’s singing your praises, and what’s not to like about that. It’s not enough though, to post a generic “thank you” and move on. A positive review represents a golden opportunity to genuinely connect with one of your customers, and doing so will almost always ensure repeat business. That’s good, because ideally, you don’t want to “just” sell to someone once. If you’re serious about growing your business, then what you really want is to sell to your customers forever. Repeat business is where the big money is.

Every bit as important as that, however, is the idea that when you start having genuine conversations with your customers, they’ll likely share those reviews and comments with their friends. What that does for you is it puts your customers to work for you in a manner of speaking. You can, at that point, begin to leverage the power of their social networks, and that draws more business to your door. That’s win-win for both of you. You win because you get exposure to people you could not have otherwise easily reached, and they win because they feel as though they’ve gotten stellar, personal service from you, which only enhances the value of what they purchased from you in their eyes.

As much fun as responding to the good reviews is, don’t hesitate to wade right in and respond to the negative ones too though. Of course, being that it is a negative review, your approach will have to be a bit different. Below, you’ll find a surefire way to enhance your customer service reputation when responding to negative reviews.

Step 1:
Acknowledge the problem and empathize with your dissatisfied customer. You’re not perfect. Sometimes, something gets missed. Be the kind of person who can admit to that. You’d be surprised how far that can get you.

Step 2:
Once you’ve done that, take the conversation offline. There’s little point in a lengthy back-and-forth in full public view and little to be gained by that for either of you.

Step 3:
This is probably the most important thing you can do, you MUST fix whatever problem they were having! Acknowledgement is a solid first step, but until and unless you resolve the problem, your customer is still going to be unhappy. You may be able to save the customer by addressing their core concerns. Even if not, you win points for excellence in customer service, and you can use the negative review to figure out how and where to shore up the processes in your business so that you don’t have more negative reviews for the same reason.

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