How NOT to Respond to Online Customer Reviews

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Online review are increasingly important as more consumers are resorting to reviews before making purchases.

An effective and sincere response not only allows you to potentially recover the service but is also a great marketing opportunity to show other customers that you care.

In this article, we are going to look at 4 ways on how NOT to respond to customer reviews and what to do instead.

1. Taking the review personally.

Negative reviews can be harsh, but they are usually about the business. Therefore, avoid personal attacks to the reviewer or angry responses.

Instead, thank the reviewer for their feedback and try responding to the customer to find out what caused the dissatisfaction. After that, invite them back and try to match their preference.

A negative review is an opportunity to make amends and to show other customers that you take their feedback seriously.

2. Assume the review is fake

While rare, fake reviews may happen, but never openly accuse a review is fake. If the review is clearly irrational or a troll, report it to the review site instead.

A response to show that the incident described in the review did not happen can also be made to lessen the impact of the review.

3. Responding to only good or bad reviews

Every review is an opportunity to establish a relationship with your customer and to show other potential guest that someone behind the business cares.

Responding to only good reviews shows that the business only pay attention to positive feedbacks and ignore bad ones. On the other hand, only respond to bad reviews shows a lack of appreciation to customers that took the time to tell you they had a great time.

Depending on the volume of reviews, try to respond to every review. Otherwise, prioritise reviews and respond to a mix of both positive and negative feedbacks.

4. Using the same response over and over again

Avoid using a template to respond to every review as this appears repetitive and shows a lack of human interaction behind the responses.

Instead, personalise every response to a review, use their names and sign off with yours to show that it’s an actual person replying.

Reviews plays such a big role in businesses. However, they are also opportunities for businesses to analyse their operations to better understand the guests’ needs and increase customer satisfaction.

These tips are based on our personal experiences as practitioners in the industry as well as experiences as customers.

Jeremy Khoo

Jeremy Khoo

Co-founder, Fox Junkie
Hospitality Tutor, The University of Queensland

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