11 Review Response Templates For Great Reviews

These 11 review response templates can come in handy when a happy customer decides to leave you an amazing review. Happy customers deserve your appreciation!
Reading Time: 3 minutes

This post was updated: 12/9/2019

A good review deserves a worthy response.

If a happy customer decides to leave you an amazing review due to a successful email review request, you're going to need to respond in some way.

If you respond well, these reviews can easily become evergreen tools that spur more and more customers to respond in kind. The first step in being able to celebrate your happy customers is knowing that the positive review was published by monitoring reviews.

What's an appropriate way to respond to great reviews?

We're going to look at that now, taking a closer look at the responses that make a praiseworthy review even better.

Let's dive in.

Get Notifications of New Reviews

Monitor your reviews and easily respond with the best review management platform.

First, you need to know your review elements

Understanding the components of a positive review is essential to crafting a response that builds on your existing success.

A positive review has (at least) four essential components:

1. Experience. The overall experience customers have with an individual business. This can be positive, neutral or negative. A customer's experience is largely guided by unseen factors (e.g. psychological health, mental schemas, past experiences and met/unmet expectations).

2. Response. A business' positive, neutral or negative response to a customer's experience. This is essentially boiled down to a simple idea: "When X happened, [company] responded by doing Y."

3. Helpfulness. This measures the helpfulness of a particular review. Does the reviewer offer clear and concise details outlining their experience or events? Is it easy for readers to reconstruct a customer's experience in their own mind?

4. Advice. What sort of advice does the reviewer offer? Is it offered to the business, management, specific employees or to readers reading their review?

These aren't requirements (obviously). But, they're details you should keep in mind when responding to a particular customer's positive review.

Another thing to keep in mind?

Every business is different. Every business has its own approach, culture, tone and voice.

This means that you’re going to need to take the time to customize these responses for your business. The idea here is to treat these templates as a framework or general guide for your team and less like a script that absolutely must be followed.

With that in mind, let's take a look at our first response.

Response template #1: The happy/unhappy customer

The happy/unhappy customer is mostly happy. They've left a positive (four or five star) review. But there are still a few sticking points these altruistic customers feel compelled to share.

Here's an example:

example of a business owner responding to a happy/unhappy customer on Yelp

A glowing review isn't always full of flattery and praise.

Sometimes, it's the opposite.

Sometimes an amazing review has elements that are disappointing or discouraging to the business owner. Businesses often make the mistake of ignoring these minor details in their response, choosing to focus exclusively on the positives.

This is a mistake.

Here's a template you can use to respond to your happy/unhappy customers.

[date]

Dear [Reviewer Name],

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. We want you to feel comfortable sharing good or bad news with us. I'm so sorry that your [visit/experience] with us fell short of expectations. I also want to thank you for giving us a chance to make things right.

We're using your feedback to make some important changes:

[Specific yet concise list of changes]

I'm pleased we were able to make things better and I hope we see you again soon.

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

This template uses a few specific ingredients to boost reader trust, credibility and admiration even further. Let's look at how you did it:

1. You thanked them for sharing. This isn't easy to do, it can be stressful and difficult for customers to be open and honest.

2. Acknowledgment and empathy. Your response didn't invalidate, omit or ignore your customers problem. Your response faces it head on, acknowledging mistakes were made. Think maximum empathy and zero excuse making.

3. Action steps and specificity. You're showing reviewers and potential customers that (a.) You're trustworthy and interested in their business and (b.) You're eager and willing to do what it takes to take care of them.

See what I did there?

Response template #2: Happy but difficult to please

Some customers are difficult to please.

This customer gave the hotel a four-star rating. It's still a great review but a large portion of it is centered around details the hotel had no idea about and weren't given the opportunity to fix.

happy customer Yelp review, but had some issues and explained them in the text.

You've most likely experienced this.

You do everything right for your customer. Everything is done by the book. Your customer seemingly has a positive experience but still refuses to give you the full five stars.

It happens.

Here's a template you can use to respond to these "happy and satisfied" customers.

[date]

Dear [Reviewer Name],

It was a pleasure serving you [and your family]. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback and being so open with us.

I'm glad you felt [reiterate positives they mentioned].

We hope you'll come and see us again soon!

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

This is the time to ignore the details you can't (or shouldn't) try to control. If you're dealing with a positive yet slightly unreasonable customer, this will be evident in their review. There's no need for you to point in out. There's no need to argue or become defensive with your reviewer.

Choose gratitude instead.

Make a note about this particular customer in your CRM system. Tag them, then be sure to go above and beyond the next time you see them.

Response template #3: The customer evangelist

Your customer evangelists are true believers. You have an extended relationship with these customers. They love, admire and engage with your business on a regular basis.

Like this:

5 star Yelp review with a great example of an owner's response.

Give them what they need.

Their need is implicit, you hold a special place in their hearts so it's important that you show them they hold a special place in yours.

Here's a template you can use to do just that:

[date]

[Reviewer Name], it's always a pleasure seeing you. Thanks so much for your [positive feedback] and good vibes. You've always taken the time to [memory of something good they've done].

We're happy that you're happy, and we're looking forward to your next visit.

Hurry back!

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

This reviewer shows their customer relationship with you isn't like all the others. They know, like and trust you. They're a fan of your business and they depend on you. There's a real relationship here. Ignoring their review is a serious missed opportunity.

It's far more likely to produce hurt.

Take the time to acknowledge your customer evangelists whenever and wherever you can. Make continual deposits in your relationship bank and relationships with these evangelists will continue to blossom.

Response template #4: The professional reviewer

This reviewer isn't like your average reviewer. These reviewers are diverse - entrepreneurs, bloggers, or a customer with a considerable amount of clout. It could be an influencer or power broker.

Example of an expert critic review

These reviewers have one of three things (1.) reach or access to a considerable amount of people in your target audience (2.) an active and engaged audience of their own or (3.) the ability to connect with millions of other people on a powerful, established or well known platform.

This requires a nuanced, multi-faceted approach.

Here's a template you can use with these professionals:

[date]

Dear [Reviewer Name],

Thanks very much for your balanced and fair review of [business name]. I'm glad you felt [positive detail from their review] was well done. It's something we've worked hard on and we're pleased our efforts resonated with you.

I also want to thank you for your feedback and criticisms. We've taken your thoughts to heart and we're planning on making some internal changes based on your recommendations.

I appreciate your kind words and professional demeanor and look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

Best,

[Manager name | contact number]

If you're dealing with a professional there's a good chance they're using social media to promote their work. You can share your direct messages, status updates or tweets with them directly. Be sure to add a link to your full response (see above), like this:

.@[twitter handle] thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and feedback with us. We're grateful for your honest feedback and we're glad you feel we're on the right track! [li.nk/t0yo45c0n7ent]

Why it works:

The reality here is it's all about gratitude. Even if you paid for positive exposure gratitude is still the appropriate response. These professionals didn't have to write a positive review. They didn't have to share their honest feedback with you.

But they did.

They took the time out of their busy schedule to build your organization up. To spread the word about the great things you're doing for those you serve.

Respond with gratitude.

Meet these professionals where they are whether they're on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Post your long form response to their reviews on your website as a blog post or a comment to their review. Accept their gift, then give some more.

Find a tangible way to say thank you.

It could be a card, a nice bottle of wine or an inexpensive gift delivered to them after the fact.

Response template #5: Fear, Felt, Found

These customers arrive with baggage. Their baggage comes from one of three sources.

1. Past experiences. This could be their experience or someone else's. Maybe they were burned by a similar business in the past. Or they were forced to deal with an empty promise.

2. Perceptions is another name for bias. When it comes to buying and selling, we all have biases (e.g., used car salespeople are crooks). They're simply a reflection of the thoughts, beliefs and expectations that are buried in our subconscious. These perceptions shape behavior. Sometimes they create fear.

3. Inexperience (or a need to know). When you're buying something new for the first time there's a fear of the unknown. What if this goes wrong? What if things don't turn out the way I expect? Inexperienced customers arrive with questions and concerns. When sellers run from these questions and concerns, customer fears grow.

Here's an example of fear, felt, found.

Positive Yelp review
[date]

Dear [Reviewer Name],

Experiences like yours are far too common. I'm so glad we were able to help you feel comfortable. I'm also happy that we were able to help you resolve your problem.

I'll be sure to relay your message to [employee].

Thanks for placing your trust in us and your willingness to share.

Best,

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

You've acknowledged their fear, feelings and previous experience. That's huge because it's something many customers are willing to do. Thanking them discreetly boosts psychological it also increases openness and honesty.

Response template #6: The conscientious objector

This is similar to the "happy but difficult to please" and "happy/unhappy customer." What sets this reviewer apart is the fact that they're focused on one of these six common objections.

5 Star Yelp review for a Colorado restaurant

1. Price: Too expensive, I can get it cheaper, etc.

2. Complacent: We don't need to purchase this yet, we can put this off a bit longer

3. Distrust: Have you done this before? What happens if you…?

4. Politics: Your customer has another company in mind, but they're using you to gain leverage.

5. Timing: Can you come in again in X months? (Then they string you along indefinitely)

6. Disinterest: Send me some information and I'll look it over.

Here's a template you can use to respond to these customers:

[date]

Dear [Reviewer Name],

We're happy you had a fantastic time with us!

Thanks for your trust, we're thankful for amazing customers like you.

We hope to see you again soon!

[Manager name | contact number]

This template is very subtle.

Why it works:

These reviews are gold mines. They sell customers on your business in a way that no salesman can. These customers acknowledge their objections, defuse these objections and advocate for your business.

This response template is subtle.

You're thanking them for their visit, for the opportunity to serve them, for their trust and for being an amazing customer. You're also inviting them back for another visit in the future — your reinforcing the fact that you're trustworthy and the fact that your customers are well behaved.

It's a subtle way to create the kind of experience you're looking for.

Response template #7: The comparison shopper

Comparison shoppers aren't focused on your business.

They're focused on your product, service, pricing or offers. They want to make sure they're getting the highest quality product and the best deal.

Image

These customers may have given you a positive review but they aren't as loyal and it shows in the review. Here's a review template you can use to respond to these customers.

[date]

[Reviewer Name], I'm happy you're pleased with the results and that we were able to help. If there's anything else we can do to help, please let us know

Best,

[Manager name | contact number]

This review response is short, sweet and to the point.

Why it works:

This response template focuses on the details that matter most to you. It doesn't bring up the comparison-shopping because it's not a great way to attract ideal customers. That's important if you're looking to minimize comparison-shopping.

If you're not in the business of attracting bargain hunters, minimize bargain-hunting discussion on your end.

Response template #8: The altruistic reviewer

These customers are simply about reporting the facts as they see them. Their focus is on helping others - prospective buyers who are interested in an unbiased account of their experience with you.

Altruistic 3 star Yelp review

See what I mean?

It's not about you so much as it is about your customers. Here's a template you can use to respond to these reviews:

[date]

[Reviewer Name], thanks so much for your thoughtful and detailed review. This is incredibly helpful. I wanted to let you know we've taken the good and the bad elements you've mentioned in your review to heart.

Here are some changes we'll be making based (in part) on your feedback:

[concise list of changes]

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with us. We're grateful for customers like you.

Best,

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

You've expressed gratitude, but you've also shared some facts of your own. This shows your reviewer and your customers that you take their account seriously and you're willing to act on it.

It's an easy way to attract more customers and reviewers.

Response template #9: Storytellers

Storytellers leave amazing, story-driven reviews that draw customers in. Here's a review of the product Poo Pourri:

Poopurri product review on amazon

See what I mean?

This story, for a hygiene product, has a beginning, middle and end. It has problems, and it has compassion. It's a fantastic way to attract, hold and convert customer attention.

Here's a response template you can use:

[date] [Reviewer Name], your story is incredible; thank you for sharing that with us! It's wonderful that [product] has made such a difference for you.

One part that really stood out to me was [quote from their story].

Would it be alright if we shared your story with our team here?

Thanks for your trust.

Best,

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

This response acknowledges the key parts of your customer's story. It reinforces the captivating portions of their story, increasing goodwill with your reviewer, future customers and your business.

Response template #10: Comedians

These customers are true comedians. They craft reviews that attract a significant amount of attention and goodwill.

Funny 5 star yelp review for a barber shop

See what I mean?

This customer's story is hilarious, but it's even better when you're able to match your customer's tone and voice. Here's an example to show you what I mean:

[date]

What fart? 😉 [Play on the joke]

[Reviewer Name] is one of our best (and freshest) customers. It's easy to be a professional when you have clients like [Reviewer Name].

Stop by any time [Reviewer Name].

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

Your customer's funny review needs to be the star. An effective response should amplify your customer's review, making them look even better. You'll also want to make sure that your review doesn't insult, humiliate, challenge, scold or bully your customer.

It requires a significant amount of care.

Response template #11: Hyperbolic reviewer

These customers are passionate about your product or service. They're prone to hyperbole and exaggeration when they describe your product or service.

tripadvisor 5 star hotel review

These customers aren't lying when they use descriptors like greatest, best ever, cleanest, nicest, etc. They're telling the truth. The only problem with their review is the fact that it's completely subjective.

Why is that a bad thing?

Remember what it was like when someone raved about a product, service or experience? They built the experience in your mind up so high that reality failed to deliver.

The disappointment was inevitable.

You're in a similar situation. Here's a template you can use to respond to these reviews:

[date]

Wow [Reviewer Name]! It sounds like you had a [good] time with us.

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us. It means so much when our best customers share their experiences.

I'm glad we were able to meet your expectations!

Best,

[Manager name | contact number]

Why it works:

This response template conveys gratitude, but it downplays the hyperbolic statements made by your customer. This is important because it minimizes buyer's remorse. It's also a subtle way to decrease refunds and control customer expectations coming in.

What if these don’t work?

What if these responses don’t strike quite the right tone or voice with reviewers? Is there anything you can do to craft an appropriate, relationship building response?

Absolutely.

Focus on a formula.

Response = Gratitude x (Mirroring + Feedback + Specificity)

Let’s break this down.

Your response is made up of four distinct components.

  • Gratitude: This creates psychological safety, improves your customer’s schema, gives them peace of mind and improves their willingness to share more in the future. Everything in your response should be dipped or slathered in gratitude. It’s a must.
  • Mirroring: This conveys empathy. It tells your customers you hear, understand and accept them. That they will be heard in the future. This provides them with a deep sense of satisfaction, that all’s right with the world (at least temporarily).
  • Feedback: This calibrates your customer’s expectations. If your customers have fuzzy, implicit or unrealistic expectations, your feedback calibrates and tames these unruly expectations. Your feedback should be factual and free from negative, condemning or accusatory statements. Your feedback is designed to create alignment between you, reviewers and future incoming customers.
  • Specificity: Weasel words, vague statements and glittering generalities amplify distrust. Specificity is the antidote to these trust killers. With specificity, you’re able to draw a clear line in the sand, outlining the specific who, what, when, where, why and how of your circumstances with your customers. Specificity builds trust.

Use this formula to craft the perfect response.

These components give you the tools you need to give your responses structure and impact without coming off as pretentious, disinterested or ungrateful. It gives you the foundation you need to improve your relationship with your reviewers and new customers visiting your business for the first time.

Which is precisely the kind of response your business needs, especially when you're generating great reviews.

A good review deserves a worthy response

It's a high status way to acknowledge your customer's contribution. A positive and appropriate response to a thoughtful review is necessary. It becomes an evergreen tool that automatically attracts more of these high-value customers to you.

Your goal is simple.

Make your customers praiseworthy review even better than it already is. Find a way to express genuine gratitude, to empathize with your customers feelings, struggles and concerns.

Show them you're listening. It's good review management.

With the right review elements you'll have what you need to create a compelling and noteworthy response.

About the Author

Andrew McDermott

Andrew McDermott is the co-founder of HooktoWin and the co-author of Hook: Why Websites Fail to Make Money. He shows entrepreneurs how to attract and win new customers.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Great stuff man.

  2. Some reviews require extra attention from your customer support team. Create templates that let customers know how they can get in contact with that team. 

  3. Awesome post! Keep up the great work!

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