How to Respond to Reviews: The Complete Business Guide

how to respond to reviews business guide yelp review google ratings

When it comes to growing your business and establishing it as the top in its industry, reviews are an important part of the process. In fact, businesses that respond to reviews regularly tend to have a higher overall rating

That's because reviews show your customers that your care about their experiences and are engaged in the community.

Wondering how to respond to reviews? Here are six tips and tricks for making those company review and rating replies count.


1. Stay Positive and Professional

Reviews can dramatically affect the reputation of your business, which is why it's important to get Yelp reviews and respond to them correctly. One key part of this is the tone of your response.

Remember that your response represents the business. No matter the content of the review — whether it's all praise or very negative — remain professional and polite at all times. You can keep it conversational, but don't be dismissive or overly familiar. 

Always thank a person for taking the time to leave a review and tell them you appreciate their business. Don't forget to sign off and say you hope you see them again soon. 


2. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Responding to reviews can be a tedious and time-consuming process. But it's important not to skip it or rush through it. Take the time to personalize each response. Instead of using "Dear Customer," try to find and use the customer's name.

You should also incorporate specific details from the review in their response. If they enjoying the atmosphere, tell them that you're glad they loved your decor. This makes it clear you read and engaged with the review, and didn't just use a form reply.

You can also use details from the review to encourage customers to try new things the next time they come back. If they like a drink that's regularly on the menu, remind them to come try a special addition you know they'll love.

And if a customer has a question, you can also take the time to encourage them to reach out to you by including a phone number or an email address. It can definitely be a good idea to take your response offline if the issue is complicated.

Talking on the phone can make it easy to clarify your position and come up with a solution that satisfies the customer.


3. Check All Sites

If you're wondering how to respond to reviews, making sure to check all sites is an important part of it. Yelp, Google, and Facebook are the three main places that customers leave reviews. TripAdvisor and Angie's List are other popular options.

It's crucial to respond to every review, so make sure to regularly monitor these sites.

It's also helpful to be familiar with content guidelines for each site. That way, if you receive a negative review that violates those guidelines, you can be prepared to get it taken down. 


4. How to Respond to Reviews? As Soon as Possible

When you get a review, your initial instinct might be to take some time and think it over before crafting a response. But it's actually very important to respond in a timely manner.

Most customers will expect to hear from you within seven days, so make time in your schedule to respond to reviews each week. Responding promptly shows customers that you care about their opinion and are dedicated to fixing any issues. 


5. Take Responsibility for Negative Reviews

It's never fun to get bad reviews, but it's essential to respond to them. Even if you don't agree, a crucial part of how to respond to bad reviews is staying open-minded. You don't want to get defensive and risk alienating the customer.

Instead, thank them for coming to your place of business and apologize for their negative experience. Then, find a way to fix the issue.

Sometimes it's as simple as clarifying information — maybe the customer misunderstood hours of operations or saw an outdated menu or list of services.

Because bad reviews happen — no matter how hard you work to avoid them — it can be a good idea to research and create a negative review response template. This can help keep responses consistent no matter which employee is responding. 

You'll still want to personalize the review, but using a template as a starting point can also ensure you hit all the points you should when responding to a negative review.

More than half of customers say they won't do business with a company again after a bad experience, so review responses can be your last chance to correct the error. A strong response that addresses the issue can change the customer's impression.

Bad reviews can also alert you to changes you might need to change in the long run. If multiple people complain about the decor, for example, then their opinions are something to closely consider.

And if they alert you to an easy-to-fix problem, then correct it ASAP. For instance, if the hours of operation or your telephone number are listed incorrectly on your Facebook page or website, ensure they get updated.


6. Incorporate Keywords Naturally

If you get a glowing review, it can help encourage new customers if it shows up in search results. One way to help that happen is by using keywords in your response. Try including the name of your restaurant or business, for starters. 

It can also be a good practice to repeat what's being complimented, so people who search for that item near you might find the review.

When you're regularly responding to reviews, it's already improving your SEO and potentially helping you rank higher on Google. By using keywords, you can do even more for your business. 


Create a Review Response Strategy Today

When you learn how to respond to reviews of your company, it can help improve your business's reputation and improve a customer's impression of it. From responding quickly to staying positive, there are plenty of things you can do to make your responses better.

For more helpful business advice, be sure to look around the rest of our site. Visit the ORM online reputation management tab to learn more about how to respond to reviews of your business correctly.

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