Responding to customer reviews

Best practices for responding to your customer reviews - negative or positive!

Colin avatar
Written by Colin
Updated over a week ago

Having a customer-based product and service means your shop’s success heavily depends on whether your customers had an enjoyable experience with their purchase. 

Word-of-mouth is still one of the leading sales generators for your local business.
However, with today’s emphasis on online business presence, it’s always wise to know where on the web your customers are reviewing your shop!

Did you know that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Plus, 73% of consumers trust a local business more if they read positive reviews about them.

Consumer response is a powerful tool.
90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion, which means your response to new reviews - both good and bad - is that much more important. 

Whether reviews are positive or negative, your interactions with shoppers show that you care about your business and value your customers. 

It’s always pretty easy to respond to positive reviews! However, responses to the negative ones can be tricky. We know that business owners are busy running their shop, and seeing a bad review can ignite hurt feelings. 

When you actually sit down to respond to the review, always go into it with a clear head. The last thing you want to do is respond with negative emotions. 

The best response is a thoughtful one. Not only does that type of response look professional, but it also gives you an opportunity to show you are a dedicated business owner. 

Two key pieces of information to keep in mind regarding online engagements:

  1. The customer is always right - even when they are wrong!

  2. Numbers matter: One experience is spread to 10 people, then those 10 people tell 10 more people! You now risk losing 100 potential customers - due to just one bad experience

So, what's the resolution? 

  1. Offer to make things right.

  2. Work with the customer to make them feel valued. 

At times, it feels like some customers can never be pleased. Some may have simply had a bad day and you are the unlucky target! In the customer service world, you always benefit from taking higher ground for the sake of your business. Make amends with that unhappy customer, despite the circumstances.  

Here are three examples of good responses to negative reviews:

  1. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. I look forward to keeping you as a valued customer and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter, by phone, at your earliest convenience. When you call, please ask for (Your Name), and say that you are calling in regards to your review on (Review Platform).  - Best Wishes, (Your Name and Business Name)

  2. We apologize for your unhappy experience and would like to take this opportunity to further discuss what we can do to keep you as a valued customer. At your convenience, please call our direct line at (your phone number with area code) and ask for (Your Name). I will be happy to set time aside and look forward to speaking with you personally. Thank you for your time. - Best Wishes, (Your Name and Business Name)

  3. Thank you for your feedback and your business. Here at (Business Name) we want to ensure that every customer is satisfied. I would like to speak with you personally about your experience and work to keep you as a valued patron of our business. When you have time, please call the shop at (your phone number with area code). Please ask for (Your Name) as I look forward to speaking with you to resolve the matter.   - Best Wishes, (Your Name and Business Name)

Ways to handle the call after your first response to the review include:

  1. Simply listen to the customer. Good listening skills will show them that you care.

  2. Apologize for any faults associated with your shop.

  3. Explain that you strive to produce a beautiful arrangement in a timely fashion for each customer.

  4. Suggest that sometimes there are factors that get in the way and you try your very best to jump those hurdles to ensure your customers are left with a smile.

  5. Ask the customer what you can do to make the situation better. (If the response is practical, comply with the request, do so with a smile, and thank them once again for their business).

As the old saying goes, you attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Don’t let one or two negative reviews get in your way: Act now and see the positive effects on your business! 

Did this answer your question?