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Responding To Social Reviews: The Good, The Bad and The Weird

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Responding to social reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. is key to attracting and maintain customers.  Let's talk about why you should ALWAYS respond, and how to respond to the positive, the negative and the just plain weird.  Shoppers Confidential can help your business reap the benefits of having a Social Feedback Management Program.  We have included a free eBook at the end of this post that can show you how easy it can be!

Why is Responding To Social Reviews important?

There is an increasing expectation from customers that the brand they review will interact with them about the review.  SpotOn identified 5 key points that support this fact:

  • 7 out of every 10 customers expect to get a reply from brands they review.
  • 52% of them expect this reply to their review within 7 days after posting a positive review.
  • 72% of them expect this reply after posting a negative review.
  • 63% of reviewers have never heard back from a business after writing a review
  • 80% of customers feel that a brand cares about them when they respond to their reviews

Not to mention that the majority of shoppers check out reviews before they visit or purchase which starts the customer journey with your brand.

Responding To Positive Social Reviews

Responding to 'Good Reviews' is the easiest thing to do, but not everyone is doing it and that can harm their business and brand reputation.  A simple 'thanks for your feedback',  'we are glad you enjoyed yourself' or 'thanks for the 5 stars!' doesn't take much time or effort, but creates a large impact on the way your brand is perceived by customers.

Responding to Negative Social Reviews

Thankfully, the number of negative reviews is dwindling, but the impact the few negative reviews can have is astounding!  HostingTribunal has a great list of 67+ statistics about online reviews but most notably are the impact of negative reviews on brand reputation.

  • More than 4 negative reviews about a product or company can decrease sales by up to 70%
  • 95% of unsatisfied customers will return to a business if they feel their complaint was resolved or addressed quickly and efficiently
  • 89% of users read the businesses replies to reviews, over 30% of which value the responses highly

How you respond to negative reviews can be situational compared to a good review response. 

  • Acknowledging the review in a public place, specifically with the comment or review is the first step. 
  • Using the customers name or social handle is great to keep it personal and feel less 'canned'. 
  • Identifying what they noted was their issue and apologizing for the issue

Does your company or brand have a 'ticket' process or other process where you refer the customer for resolution?  A good idea would be to have your company reach out directly to the customer through the internal system rather than giving the customer 'a job' to follow up with a specific department. 

For example, the response 'Please email our complaints department and someone will address your concerns' is not likely to gain the customers trust or respect. Plus, they will likely not follow through on the 'job' you gave them to fix the problem.  A more reasonable and personal choice is 'Hi Joe, thanks for sharing that your food was cold at lunch today.  We hate that that was your experience.  Karen from our customer support team will be reaching out to you today to see how we can make this up to you.'

Responding To The Weird Social Reviews

The thing about reviews is that they can't be edited or deleted by the company.  This is a good and a bad thing.  The good thing about this feature is that it lends credibility to the reviews.  They are what they are, directly from customers that have visited or interacted with the business.  The bad thing is that you may get some off-the-wall reviews that really do not apply to your business, or were completed in error.  These reviews and feedback can be damaging to the brand, or may be so out there that the reviewer looses credibility. 

You can take the approach that businesses like Wendy's or PopTarts does on Twitter and have snappy comebacks.  This approach is only effective if it is already the voice of your brand.  If you want to have a more standard approach, it can be tricky.  You may need to contact the reviewer and ask them to remove or modify their review.  Or, you can at times reach out to the platform and ask them to remove it with supporting information.  That too, can be a long, detailed process.


How Can Shoppers Confidential Help With Social Feedback Management?

Shoppers Confidential works with several great tools to help you review, reply, track and manage your social media reviews.  We can set your business up with an a-la-carte program, or as part of a holistic customer experience program.  If you would like more information on our Social Feedback Monitoring Program, download our eBook.