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Responding to Online Reviews in 3 Easy Steps

At times, you might find yourself staring at a new online review, wondering how to respond to your customer. Sometimes, the response will come easily, like when a customer leaves glowing feedback about your product or service. Other times, you might find yourself responding to online reviews that are more negative — and trying to oh-so-delicately approach the topic and smooth things over so you don’t further aggravate your customer.

In any case, responding to online reviews is a crucial element of your online marketing efforts. Not only does it improve your search rankings, but it also shows your customers you’re a business owner who cares about your customers’ needs.

Sometimes, it helps to bring a little humor into the task, and there’s nobody more up for the job than our own lovable canine friend, Roscoe. In this episode of Social Spots, Roscoe gives us some tips on responding to online reviews — and kicks it back to his glory days in the ’90s. Give it a watch to start responding to online reviews like the pro that you are, and see the summary of Roscoe’s tips below anytime you need a refresher.

#1: Never Ignore a Positive Interaction

If you were talking to someone in real life and they gave you a compliment, would you thank them and show your appreciation for their kind words? Hopefully, your answer is yes, and you should apply the same philosophy to responding to online reviews.

Let’s say a customer posts an online review stating that you have friendly customer service, you always have a large selection of products, and they go out of their way to shop with you just because they love your store so much. As a busy business owner, you might either miss this online review because you’re not paying attention to the review platforms, or you might think it’s not necessary to respond to your customer because the feedback is positive.

Let us be the first to tell you that in both cases, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Even if you’re not paying attention to your online reviews, they’re still happening. It’s common for customers to take to online platforms to give feedback about a business. 

Also, in the same way you wouldn’t ignore a compliment in real life, you shouldn’t ignore a positive engagement with a customer, either. A simple “Thank you for the nice review” is better than nothing, but if you really want to step things up, try something a little more personal, such as: “Thank you for taking the time to leave such a great review. We love seeing you in our store so frequently, especially when you bring your sweet daughter along for the trip! We can’t wait to see you again soon!”

Related: Don’t Feed the Internet Trolls: 3 Ways to Handle Negative Online Engagements 

#2: Admit Your Mistakes

If someone had a real issue with your products or services or their in-store shopping experience, it’s imperative that you address the problem and try to make it right. Rather than react with anger or frustration, keep a cool head and respond with professionalism.

No response at all is also not a good strategy for responding to online reviews. A negative online review needs your attention just as much as a positive online review. Even if you disagree with the customer, you need to show the world you’re willing to listen and remedy the situation.

The best-case scenario is if you can take the conversation offline rather than hash things out publicly. Let your customer know how to direct-message, email or call you or someone on your team, and tell them you’re happy to discuss the matter in further detail. 

Also, feel free to correct any misinformation the customer may have posted (again, with professionalism). For example, if they said your store doesn’t carry a certain product and you know for certain that you do, you can say something like: 

“We actually have a large inventory of XYZ product, and we’d love for you to come by and take a second look! Would you like me to set one aside for you? As a thank-you for your troubles, please mention this message for 10% off your entire order.” (Oh, and make sure your entire team is in on the discount offer so they can apply it at checkout and not cause another negative experience!)

Related: John Bronze in Code Revv

#3 Stay Cool

This tip comes directly from Roscoe himself. There’s nothing worse than coming across as rude, impatient, unfriendly or short-tempered with a customer — even if that’s the way they interacted with you. Considering that online reviews can live in perpetuity long after you’ve posted a response, you need to make sure you keep a cool head.

If you’re ever unsure whether you’re responding to online reviews effectively, ask yourself, “What would Roscoe do?” And of course, we’re always happy to help here at Rallio. Our Rallio Local team can handle all of your online reviews if you’d like, and our Revv reputation accelerator platform helps you get more positive online reviews while discouraging negative online reviews.

Want to learn more about how our technology can help when responding to online reviews? Head over to our rallio.com to request a demo, or book a call here.

Related: Now Introducing: Rallio Local a la Carte Social Media Services

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