Thursday 27 February 2020

Respond to reviews - but get it right

Here is an example of a pretty standard response to a negative review:

And here are some tips to get the process spot on:

1.  This is a negative review. The customer is not happy. In which case it's probably safer to keep the salutation formal: 'Dear Mr. Mitchell,...' No-one ever complained about formality.

2.  Don't open with 'Thank you for your feedback'. So many people do, but it's a bad idea for at least two reasons: first, you didn't ask him for 'feedback', he wrote a review on his own initiative; second, using the only line visible to everyone, before the crucial 'More' button, loses an opportunity to address the issue publicly. How much better to start with 'I'm so sorry...'

3.  Realise that the most important readers of this review, and your response, will be future customers, and phrase your comment accordingly.

4.  There are other issues we would take with the full response (above): 

  • while it's perfectly alright to say 'I am unable to locate your order details...' people hate generic email addresses, they want to be dealing with a 'real person'.
  • Sign off with a full name and email address as well as the individual's position within the organisation" '', not '' (then you might even find the next unhappy customer uses that route instead of writing a one- or two-star review!).

5.  Perhaps most important of all: this is a great opportunity to communicate your business's core USPs to the wider world: include a paragraph along the lines of 'We pride ourselves on...' and then list all the wonderful things that customers should expect from your business.

And finally - and if only we had £1 for every time we see this: don't standardise responses. Spend two minutes addressing the issues in the review, positive or negative, and make sure the response rings true.