If you've learned about review best practices, you know you should follow up on every single review, good or bad. Doing so can get you more reviews, and can also make you look more active, responsive, and caring as a company.
A lot of ink has been spilled over how to respond to a bad review, mostly because bad reviews are the thing that threatens business. Which is probably why the vast majority of the responses to positive reviews look something like this:
"Thanks for the great review, Jane!"
And look, there's nothing wrong with that, it's something. It's definitely the go-to if you're responding to a review while you're in a hurry.
But it also gets formulaic and repetitive. Formulaic and repetitive can backfire. It starts to make you look like you don't really care, you're just trying to check off a box.
This is an example of what to avoid. These review responses look robotic.
So here are fifteen ways to make these responses just a little more impactful.
1. Talk about the specific person who helped the customer out
If you know the name of the person who helped the customer you can say something like, "Joe was so happy to help you the other day!"
Sometimes the customer will mention that person in the review. You can also say something like, "We'll be sure to pass on your great feedback to Susan!"
2. Expand on the customer's story
Sometimes the customer will mention things other companies have done. You might know their story is the tip of the iceberg. You can always tell a lively story of your own while thanking them for the review.
This also becomes an opportunity to educate future customers.
3. Mention the reason why they were there, or used your services
Did they come to your hotel or restaurant for their anniversary? Were they in your store buying a graduation gift? Mention it! Wish them 20 more happy years together, or, if you remember chatting with that customer and learning about the graduate, say,
"I really hope John liked the gift."
4. Make a seasonal wish
Did the reviewer leave a review in December?
A Happy Holidays wish can help personalize the seasonal review a little more. But don't be afraid to use other holidays. "Happy St. Patrick's Day" can be fun too, when it's appropriate.
5. Sign it!
When you don't sign the review you leave customers wondering who they're hearing from.
Is it the manager? The owner? Tina at the front desk?
While this means you'll have to make sure the appropriate person is responding (the random dude in cubicle 3 might not be your best choice), it does offer some context.
6. Address any "cons"
Sometimes even a 5-star review mentions the things the reviewer feels the company could do better. People know this makes the review more useful and genuine. Some people also just have opinions and lots of them.
And while it's not a negative review, "thanks" is definitely not enough here.
If you get something like, "Loved the food, but service was a little slow," you can say something like, "We're so glad you loved the food! We're actually hiring 5 more waiters now to address the service issue. If you know anyone who'd be interested, send them our way, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!"
That way both the reviewer and the readers know you're actively addressing the situation, and are paying attention to the reviews themselves, not just the stars.
7. Give them a positive review right back!
I know, this sounds weird, but there are customers and clients who make your life easier.
For example, if you're a lawyer it probably makes things run a lot smoother when clients show up with all the documentation they should have at the very first visit. You can say something about that.
If they just happened to show up and greet you with a smile, or were very polite, you can talk about that as well.
"Hey Leslie, you were such an easy client to work with!
It was evident you'd done your homework from the moment you walked through your door, and your own organization contributed to the results we were able to achieve for you. You were always so patient and kind, too, even when we had to tell you the courts were dragging their feet on this matter.
Feel free to call us again any time!"
8. This is what we live for!
If you've tackled a tough job and have really helped the customer out, it's okay to express this is why you're in the business you're in.
You can talk a little bit about what inspired you to start the business. Don't go overboard with it or turn it into a sales piece, but if you're passionate about what you do and why you do it, let it shine through!
9. Commiserate a little
Some people are in the kind of business nobody calls unless they're already having a bad day. For example, nobody calls the fire and water damage people unless something's gone horribly wrong.
You can absolutely say something like,
"Thanks for the kind words, Cheryl!
Man, we know nothing is more stressful than sloshing through a foot of water, wondering if your home will ever be the same again. Glad we could put your mind at ease and give you back your house!"
10. Recommend something else the customer might like
If the customer recommends a dish they like or a service they loved, why not point them in the direction of a different one?
Something like: "So glad you loved the Tuscan chicken! If you loved that you might also love the creamy garlic chicken pasta. Give it a try the next time we see you!"
11. Mention an upcoming event
If you're the type of business that runs events you can also tell your reviewer about it.
"Thanks so much for the kind review, Ben!
Hey, if you're into it don't forget to mark your calendar for March 14th. We'll have some great local bands out and the drinks will be ½ off."
12. Mention an appropriate promotion
If the customer mentions a specific product or service you were going to promote anyway, there's nothing wrong with saying something like,
"Thanks for the great review, Greg! We're actually running a 15% off special on pressure washing services until the end of June, if you find you need them again, or know someone who does."
13. Make a promise
When you get a negative review you often make promises to rectify the situation. When you get a positive review you can offer a different kind of promise: to keep doing what you're doing.
"Thanks for the great review, Todd!
When you come back and see us, you can rest assured we'll deliver the same quality service you got this time around."
14. Mention the photos
Sometimes customers go the extra mile and post some photos of the experience. That's great stuff. It's content that readers will care about, that boosts your local listing, and that helps sell your services. So, say something like,
"And thanks for taking the extra time to share those awesome photos!"
15. Share the staff's response
If your customer said something particularly nice about a particular staff member, or even the staff as a whole, you can do more than promise to pass the info along.
You can also share how the staff felt about getting these kind words! Everyone loves to be appreciated, and if you do share the feedback it might help motivate your people, too.
What's your super secret and effective positive review response technique?
Using techniques like these can help you make your customers feel special.
Customers who feel special are customers who tend to step beyond reviews. They tend to start passing the word-of-mouth love along personally whenever they get the opportunity. And that's the kind of behavior you want to foster.
Do you do something interesting when you post your responses to positive reviews?
Did I miss it? If so, share it with us in the comments below!