Reviews: Respond and Resolve

by Nicole Partise

When your clients write reviews, they are commending you, they are concerned about something, or they want some sort of change. A review can come in any form, whether it's a write-up on Yelp, a tweet, a message on your website, a Facebook post - you get the point. Some reviews can be wonderful and positive, while others may be frustrated, confused, or outright angry.

Positive reviews instantly improve experiences, grow relationships, and increase sales. And what we consider negative reviews, in reality, are also positive. Negative reviews usually contain specific information that gives you the chance to strengthen a relationship, enhance your image, and improve your business.

No matter how you look at it, 82% of reviews are positive according to the experts at Bazaar Voice, and the average rating for a review is 4.5 out of 5 stars. So it's ok to trust that people are helping you, not hurting you.

It's in your business' best interest to reply to all reviews that come your way. In fact, Bazaar Voice analyzed over 100,000 reviews and surveyed more than 1,500 adults, and they found that helpful responses on a review can directly improve:

  • Purchasing intent among your clients
  • Sentiment about your business
  • Sales

This is because people believe that responding is caring, which modifies their perception of your business and helps them connect to you.

To put this into better perspective, let's talk more statistics.

Bazaar Voice found that when a business responds to a review, and they explain how to take proper action, the client's intent to purchase increases by 186%! And when other clients see that reviews have received instruction and resolution, their sentiment toward a business or product can grow 157% higher than the average rate of sentiment.

In one scenario, shoppers who saw a business offer to refund, upgrade, or exchange a product were 92% more likely to purchase than shoppers who saw no response. And when it comes to the health and beauty industry specifically, reviews with responses are 15x more likely to be voted helpful by other readers than reviews without resolution.

So how should you generally handle a review? Use this checklist to make sure you're covering the essentials:

  • Respond within 24 hours whenever possible
  • Sound like a HUMAN - use personable, authentic, and conversational (yet professional) language.
  • Embrace negative feedback and view it as opportunity, not opposition - be helpful, hopeful, and friendly, showing people you hear them and you care
  • Mirror your client's comments - if someone has written a short message, keep it short in return
  • Provide a unique reply to every review, even if you're addressing a repeat issue
  • Pay close attention to four-star reviews - they often explain how you could achieve five stars
  • Strive to resolve issues in the first conversation so you may help your client as quickly as possible
  • Positive reviews deserve attention too, so thank those happy clients for the love they're giving your business

Once your business has a few positive reviews to its name, you can share them on your company's social media pages and website. And don't forget about promotions - it's acceptable to offer your clients an incentive for reviewing your business.

Overall, responding to clients and resolving their issues with a thoughtful approach helps them develop a trusting relationship with you and your business. Be optimistic with all reviews - no matter what they entail - and you can turn upset clients into lifelong clients!

Reference:

http://media2.bazaarvoice.com/documents/Bazaarvoice_Conversation_Index_Volume6.pdf

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Reviews: Respond and Resolve