If you’re a business owner, there’s a good chance people are talking about your business online. For both the good and the bad, we’ve talked about committing to reputation management and monitoring, and how being aware of how your brand is perceived by consumers is extremely important.
There’s still another piece to it. You want to be aware of what’s being said online, but you also need to respond. It may seem easier than you think – but responding to reviews can be very tricky.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of our Top 3 Tips when trying to craft a response online.
1. Make it Personal – Many people choose a small business over larger brands because of the personal touch a local company offers. Keep that consistent when addressing complaints. Send a note introducing yourself as the owner, such as “Hi Customer, this is Joe, owner and head plumber. I’d like to talk to you about your experience…” You are the business owner, and your name is tied into this business. Offer to reach out via phone or email to have a one-on-one conversation with the upset customer.
2. Take it Offline – Even though a post is on social media or a review site, that doesn’t mean the best place to respond is online. It's important to show the online community that you’ve addressed the complaint, but further discussion should be taken off of the public forum. A response like “Dear Mr. Customer, I’m very sorry to hear about your poor experience and would like to discuss further. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can connect and discuss over the phone” is the perfect way to publicly show you care, but to handle it personally (see Tip #1!).
3. Don’t Keep it Negative – Respond to the positive reviews too! You don’t need to offer these clients anything extra, just a simple “Thank you!” Remember, this person took the time to write you a rave review, and you should take the time to acknowledge that. A “Thank you for your comment, we look forward to seeing you again next time!” is all that’s needed to continue to provide this person with a continued great experience, and show others that you appreciate your customers.
The next time you get a review online – either positive or negative – the first thing you should do is take a minute to think. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and then start crafting a response. With these tips, you should be one step closer to improving and maintaining your brand in the digital sphere!