I wrote recently about why and how to deal with negative reviews. After writing that piece, it occurred to me that I should take the time to stress that it is good practice to reply to all reviews, whether positive or negative. The reasons and strategies will differ but you should always find the time to reply to the positive reviews as well as the negative. Here’s why:
- It Makes People Feel Good.
Yes. It’s as simple as that. When your customer receives a reply thanking them for leaving a lovely review, they will feel good. They will feel appreciated and they will feel valued and know that they have done something good. They will also feel good about your company brand or business and as we are in the business of building relationships with and attaching positive emotions to our brand, that can only be a good thing.
So go right ahead, reply to the positive reviews and make your customers feel good about themselves.
- They Get Read.
It isn’t just the reviewer who will read your reply. Dozens, hundreds or even thousands of others will read the response too. And when they do, they will create a mental picture of your brand’s personality. What brand, business or company doesn’t want to be seen as efficient, polite and appreciative.
Also bear in mind that online users are unlikely to read one review in isolation, they will read loads of them. They will also read more if the responses are interesting and personal, building a stronger connection with your business or brand.
- It Humanises You.
Every opportunity to communicate publicly is an opportunity to ‘humanise’ your business. It’s a good thing to capitalise on this by showing a little character in your response. It is also often a chance to subtly reinforce your understanding of the marketplace, subject or area you are involved in. Sometimes, the reviewer may even open the door to a deeper level of personalisation.
For example, if in a review for trail running shoes, the reviewer mentions that they bought the shoes for a specific race, as a specialist retailer of running shoes, you may choose to close your response by saying something like “Enjoy the Snowdon Race and watch out for that final descent, it’s a killer”. That maximises the connection by reinforcing your company’s knowledge of the subject and humanises you as a brand. It also leaves the thread open for others to chip in and agree or contradict by joining in the conversation. All marketing gold dust.
When you illustrate that understanding of your marketplace, you can add knowledgeable to the list of traits the customer recognises in your brand. So you go from efficient, polite and appreciative to efficient, polite, appreciative and knowledgeable.
- It Is A Chance To Prove That You Are Listening.
Just like it was for negative reviews, you have the opportunity to really prove that you are listening to your customers. By responding in the first place you show the world that you’re listening and you are not too busy or distracted to hear what’s being said.
A neat trick to make the most of the positive feedback is simply to echo it in your answer, either by emphasising how good the feedback is
e.g. “Thanks for giving us five stars John…”
or even repeating the reasons given for the praise.
e.g “Thanks for awarding us all five stars Stacey, we’re delighted to hear that your weekend in our hotel was one of the best you’ve ever had”
You can even take things a little further by how you make it happen.
e.g. “Thanks for the five-star review Bob, we’re really pleased that you and your children enjoyed their visit to our trampoline park. Our staff go out of their way to make sure every one of our visitors has the best possible experience at Jumparound and they will be delighted to know that you appreciated their effort so much.”
- It Is An Opportunity To Invite Them Back.
In signing off, there is always a chance to let your customers know they will be warmly welcomed next time they visit.
“e.g. We’re looking forward to seeing you again”.
e.g. “ Of course, when you’ve run enough miles to wear those shoes out, we’ll be ready to help you choose the perfect next pair.”
So don’t miss out on these key benefits to your business by dismissing good reviews as ‘not in need of attention’. Respond to the positive reviews as passionately as you do the negative ones and enjoy doing it. Because talking to your customers is good business and it’s actually good fun.