‘Who does not hear will feel’ this phrase is one we have all probably heard once or twice as a warning or advice. This old adage to warn wayward children (and sometimes wayward adults) to the consequences of their actions. Is still relevant today. In this case, brands or businesses who choose to selectively approach the topic of responding to comments or reviews. Or “Businesses or brands who do not respond will feel”.
Have you ever had a question or comment for a business and turned to social media for answers? If you’re like many customers, your messages probably went unanswered. This pattern of behavior from business or brands online can leave a sour taste in the mouths of consumers. Patrons or potential patrons are turning to you for help or to reach out, and are being ignored.
Being a responsive business takes commitment and time. It can also do wonders for following happiness, page engagement, and customer retention. In one of our last posts we spoke about the importance of Social Listening. As a business owner, part of using social listening is to manage things that damage your online reputation.
Responding to reviews, both good and bad, shows customers that you read your page comments and care about their feedback. This is crucial in social media management if you hope to retain or increase follower count, engagement, boost SEO and customer interaction.
Responding to reviews will help keep your reputation where you want it. If you receive a bad review, politely and sincerely offer your apologies. Offering to discuss the experience further can create a line of communication with the unhappy customer and will allow you to better understand why the negative review was given. It also shows that you genuinely care about your customers and that you hope to use their experience to improve.
Responding to reviews that are positive will encourage other positive customer interactions on your pages. This shows that you appreciate their patronage and they will show you that they appreciate the service you provide.
Remember that any person who leaves a positive review makes your life easier. A positive post from a customer can help negate the negative reviews you received earlier. Consumers trust one another’s opinions more than they trust company claims, so it is super helpful to have patrons support your business online. If you start to thank customers and react to their positive reviews, more people may be encouraged to do so as well because they know that anything they write will be viewed and reflected on by the brand.
Much like reviews, it is very important to be aware of what customers say in the comments section. Most comments will be related to the post they are written under, but sometimes they will reflect the business as a whole - positively or negatively.
Reply to EVERY COMMENT. Again, this will encourage customer interactions on future posts and improves your online reputation. It depends on the situation, but for the most part, you can treat comments like reviews, especially negative ones. So really, once you know how to manage reviews, you can also manage comments.
Overall you can achieve response success by the following steps:
- Respond within a day rather than several days.
- Address the customer by their name.
- Thank the customer for voicing their concerns.
- Apologize for not meeting the customer’s standards.
- Directly name the concern.
- If a valid explanation exists for why the customer experienced subpar service, provide it. However, don’t make up excuses if they don’t exist. Instead, show how you’ll address the issue with future products or services.
- Give the customer a refund, credit, discount or another perk unavailable to other customers.
- Get offline so the customer can contact you outside the review to discuss the situation further.
- End your response here to keep things appropriately brief.
With all the research that proves the importance of responding to reviews quickly, no business owner should hesitate to prioritize responding to their online reviews. Responding to online reviews not only improves local SEO and Google rankings but also increases brand loyalty, establishes your brand as trustworthy and dedicated to serving customers with honesty.
Will you be adopting some of these tools when responding to reviews or comments? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to share this post if you think it can help someone else.