Consistent online reviews are super important for managing your business’s reputation online and beyond. In fact, according to Podium, 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions and that the minimum rating they’ll engage with is 3.3 stars. No pressure!
But, besides collecting reviews, it’s incredibly important for you to respond to them as well—both the negative ones and the positive ones.
While you probably realize that responding to negative reviews can be an effective way to resolve issues or complaints, you also don’t want to take positive reviews for granted.
In this post, we’ll give you a run-down on why it’s so important to respond to positive reviews plus tips on how to do so in the most effective way possible.
Why you should respond to positive reviews
Responding to positive online reviews shows your business is invested in building relationships with your customers. It shows that you appreciate their loyalty—and people like to be appreciated! It may sound cheesy, but studies have found the grand majority of customers feel a business cares more about them when that business responds to their review—whether it’s positive or negative.
This sense of appreciation is critical for customer retention. And, as you may know, it is much more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than it is to attract and convert a brand new one. So you don’t want to lose out on those loyal buyers!
That said, responding to positive reviews also helps with attracting new customers. It helps demonstrate what type of business you are (i.e. a friendly, human-centric one that respects and appreciates their customers). Not only that; it’s also great for boosting your local SEO juice. Since it’s in customers’ best interest, Google loves to see businesses interacting with reviews. So, the more you do so, the more love your search engine will give your website.
How to respond to positive reviews
Express your thanks
First and foremost, thank your customers for their review and kind words. “Thank you” goes a long way in showing that you acknowledge their reviews. To make it even more effective, be specific about something in the review you’re thankful for.
For example, “Thank you so much for your kind words about our consulting services. We’re so glad you found your appointment helpful.” This demonstrates that you really paid attention to what they said and value the fact that they noted something specific about your business.
Make it personal
Instead of sending generic “thanks” or copying and pasting the same response to every review, make your responses personal whenever possible.
Use the reviewer’s name if you can (e.g. “Thank you, Rachel…). If you recall interacting with the reviewer, even better! You can make a reference to this interaction. Keep it short and simple, but feel free to get as specific as makes sense to you. If the reviewer took the time to write a detailed review, you can also call out specific things they mentioned, like a particular product or service they purchased.
For example, “Thank you, Rachel, for your kind words about our consulting services! We’re so glad you enjoyed the [product]. It was great to learn more about your goals last month and we hope to be of help again soon…”
Use your business name and keywords
In addition to making your customers feel appreciated, you can help your SEO ranking by optimising your response so they’re more likely to appear in search results. Whenever possible, use your business name, category, and location in your response. By integrating keywords, you’re building in some extra SEO love.
That said, always write for humans (i.e. you customers) first and SEO second. You don’t want your customers to be put off by a review that’s awkwardly stuffed with keywords, so only use those keywords where it sounds natural.
For example, you might write something like: “The team here at [Business Name keyword] is so happy to hear you loved our interior design intensive! It’s great to be one of the go-to design firms in [city keyword].”
Sprinkle in a little marketing
As we’ve covered, since your online reviews are public, your responses are going to be read by many people (not just the person who left the review). So, it can pay off to sprinkle in a little marketing. In addition to working in your business name and SEO keywords, you can also mention relevant promotions or products that you want to spread the word about. You could say something like, “We’re so glad you loved the [product]! We also just launched [this other product] which you would probably love next time you come by!”
This can both help the customer feel as though you’re giving them an “inside scoop” and promote your offers to anyone who reads the reviews. As always, only do this in a way that feels natural and still prioritizes communicating a sense of appreciation for the customer.
Include a call to action, if appropriate
Similar to sprinkling in promotion, your responses to reviews can also be a good opportunity to include a call to action (if it feels natural). You can encourage the customer to take an action such as: checking out your website for similar products to the one they reviewed, signing up for another appointment so you can see them again soon, or sharing their experience on social media.
Just remember to not be pushy with it—ensure the focus stays on thanking them. Position the call to action as another way you’re helping the customer, which you are. Since they’ve already had a great experience, the chances are good that they’ll buy again or return the favor by sharing your business!
Share your reviews!
Speaking of sharing, you should definitely share some of your positive reviews on your own channels. Showcase particularly good ones on social media or your website so you get more eyeballs on them to help build that credibility.
Now that you know how to respond to your reviews, do you have your marketing strategy in order?
Online reviews are an important part of the puzzle—but you need a holistic digital marketing strategy to complete the ecosystem. If you need a hand getting some of your marketing process in order, Drio can help. We offer everything from website design to full digital marketing strategy and SEO.
Get in touch to learn how we can help your business.