Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The right way to respond to positive and negative reviews

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about online reputation management (http://tinyurl.com/czot8m9) and provide a few ideas on how to develop a monitoring strategy.  I hope that you found the resources valuable and have checked to learn what others may be saying online about your business. 

Don’t forget that there are a number of different websites, including a business’s actual website, where consumers post reviews – good and bad.  An example of where you may find reviews, based on research conducted by Penn State, is below.  


To learn more about where consumers post and read reviews, you can view a series of podcasts on the following YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PSUFoodandFarmBiz?feature=watch

What reviews should you respond to?  

You may have only considered responding to unfavorable reviews, but responding to favorable reviews demonstrates to your fans that you care about what they have to say.  Having any positive conversation with your customers (online, on the telephone, or in your store) is such a great opportunity to learn why they purchase from you and what else you could do to serve their needs.  


Example of a business acknowledging a positive Twitter posting 

As far as replying to negative reviews, there is a good chance that if you reply and correct the situation your customer may delete the initial negative review or post a new positive one indicating that they are satisfied with how they have been appeased (http://tinyurl.com/83zowgl).   

Responding to negative reviews

What are some steps you need to consider when responding to negative review?

      Post a reply to the negative comment as soon as you read the post or receive an alert that something has been posted about your business
      Post a reply and acknowledge that there was a problem and it will be corrected
      Provide an explanation for the problem
      Apologize for the problem
      Thank the customer for informing you about the issue

What about responding to negative reviews on Twitter when you only have 140 characters to do so?

      Respond quickly in one to two tweets
      Continue the conversation offline
      If the situation becomes worse, you are harassed, or feel the tweet was purposely published to interrupt your business contact Twitter for assistance

Final words

Responding to reviews is not only a factor of what you say in your reply but also how you handle the situation.  Remember to respond in a positive manner no matter how hurtful the comments may be.  Negative reviews can actually help identify issues that you may not have been aware were occurring.   Take the opportunity to respond and correct the situation.  It is your chance to turn disgruntled customers back into fans and make the shopping experience that much greater for all your customers.   

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