Reputational Marketing, Part 2: How to respond to reviews?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019

First of all, and this is a very important thought here: every review is important whether it is positive or negative.

Second, responding to reviews is a great way to join the conversation with your customers online and also it builds buying confidence in consumers.

To respond to the review use this motto: remain professional, calm and open-minded. Your intention is to gain a new customer or retain an old one. If you can't get an old one back you at least want to bring other people through the door to compensate for the one(s) you lost.

To respond to reviews use these 4 steps:

1. Use person's name and start by thanking the reviewer for taking time to provide feedback. Using their name would allow a more personalized experience, and thanking is just a professional way of opening the conversation.

2. If feedback is negative, highlight something positive they said in the review

Not everything about online reputation management focuses on reacting to negative commentary. Companies still have a great amount of control on how a brand is perceived online. A key aspect of managing a brand’s online reputation is to create positive content that will rank well in search engine result pages (SERP). Pushing out credible content, like customer testimonials, thought leadership, or investing in banner ads on relevant pages that link to your company website is a great way to increase awareness online and build your brand’s reputation.   

3. Address any concerns, apologize for what went wrong and explain how it won't happen again

You can support it by sharing what steps you took to solve the issue and your business philosophy.

Many review sites and service communities rank high on search engine optimization (SEO). If a company is mentioned negatively on these sites, the best plan of action is to give a short response recognizing the issue, apologizing, then taking the conversation offline.

4. Conclude by inviting them back or with a way to continue the conversation offline (like a direct message, email or phone number)

Invite the user to send a direct message or an email. If a company chooses to go back and forth with a consumer [online], each time the page re-publishes with additional content about the company, search engines will push the content. In turn, the ranking of this negative review can improve. With this being the case, a company should avoid mentioning its brand or product names in its response, because doing so can make webpages with negative comments better optimized to rank for keywords the company cares about.   




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