A positive online review is a validation of all the hard work that you’ve put into your independent business. It shows you that all those late nights and weekends were worth it. While it’s one thing to be delighted, as a small business owner, you should also know how to respond to positive reviews.
Reviews are a great way to grow your business. Through reviews on Google, Facebook and other platforms, your existing and prospective customers will know the quality of your products or services. But it’s through your responses that they’ll know more about you.
Should you always respond to positive reviews?
Absolutely. It shows the reviewer that you value their feedback. It also tells others that your business engages with its customers. Responding to a review shows that there is a human behind the business.
Importantly, it creates a virtuous cycle of positive word of mouth for your independent business. Prospective customers will know about the features of your product or service without you having to advertise them.
Positive reviews are brilliant, but it’s also important to respond to bad reviews. They too tell your online audience that you listen to your customers and are ready to address their concerns.
So, here are five best practices for all independent business managers wondering how to respond to positive reviews.
You’re not mailing a vendor or distributor. This is a customer who has appreciated what you do. This means that you need to make them feel special. The key to that is by personalising your response.
Don’t use a generic statement or address them as “sir” or “madam.” Address them by their first name and sign off with your name. It should always be about them and not about you.
Remember, they were under no obligation to review you. Someone has gone out of their way to show their appreciation.
This means that it should sound authentic when you thank them. Remember to convey it on behalf of your team members too.
The key to responding to either a negative comment or a favourable review is to read it thoroughly. If they liked something, repeat it in your response.
It’ll help if you can smartly add it as a keyword. So, be specific. For example, if you’re a tattoo parlour and they liked your designs, your response should be something like this:
“We’re delighted that you liked our anime tattoo designs. They’ve been becoming popular in (mention your location) and we’ll be soon introducing more intricate anime elements. Do check them out.”
Be quick to respond. Someone who’s left a positive review has liked your business. They’ll be more delighted when they see that you’ve quickly responded to their message. That’ll encourage them to further patronise your small business and give you the chance to build a longer relationship with them.
Small and independent businesses are often the hardest to be hit in times of uncertainty. Challenging times call for honest reactions. When a customer leaves a positive review, be frank about the current situation.
Considering all the above points, if you’re a restaurant that has just received a favourable review, you could respond like this:
“Hi (first name), thank you so much for those lovely words. We deeply appreciate that you liked our (mention the dish). Considering the year we’ve had, I, along with the entire team at (mention your restaurant and its location), am grateful that you trust us. Means a lot to us.”
Knowing how to respond to positive reviews should be part of a broader reputation management strategy for your independent business. By thanking customers, mentioning the specific features they liked and customising those responses, small businesses will attract more customers. That unpaid, organic growth is something all businesses need.
Why reviews are important and how independent businesses can request, manage and use them to grow their business