Responding to reviews is an important way to stay in contact with your customers. A well thought out response helps your customers feel acknowledged and can impress potential customers.
This is a brief guide on writing responses to reviews. This guide also applies to answering questions and private messages from your customers.
First, make sure your responses follow our Posting Guidelines. These guidelines apply to all site members as well as Brand Managers.
In addition to our Posting Guidelines, your responses should be:
- Calm - Try to respond with a cool head and avoid callous comments.
- Impartial - Try to understand your customer's point of view, even if you disagree with them.
- Professional - Respond according to your company's customer service policies.
- Respectful - Treat others fairly: don't personally attack or insult others.
- Relevant - Directly address your customer's concerns.
- Mindful of Privacy - Unless a reviewer has chosen to disclose their personal details, do not post information that could identify them.
- Non-commercial - Don't post promotional material. We reserve the right to remove any external links we deem inappropriate.
We understand that it is often company policy to use a template when responding to reviews. There is an obvious advantage in the ability to respond to a lot of reviewers quickly and efficiently but there are some notable disadvantages that apply more to negative reviews.
These advantages and disadvantages have been summarised below.
In more detail, consumers perceive template responses as impersonal. They have the impression that their review hasn't been read properly or acknowledged because everyone is being given the same response. This disadvantage is related to the issue of repetitiveness where consumers will read through other reviews posted and will feel frustration at seeing the same response.
A larger problem with templated responses is how prone they are to being incorrectly used. Due to how easy it is to copy and paste templates, it is also easy to miss altering important details. Consumers who see that they have not only received a response template but one that has been used incorrectly (such as one addressed to a different reviewer) feel even worse than receiving a correct response template.
- If you do choose to use response templates, do not rely on them as is.
- Use more flexible, customisable response templates - have more blanks that need to be filled in so that consumers feel acknowledged.
- Use a range of response templates so they don't look repetitive as consumers scroll through your business listing.
- Check your responses carefully before posting them.
- Make sure your responses also follow our Posting Guidelines.
Responding to positive reviews
A prompt response, in which you thank the customer for their review, is very effective in showing others that you acknowledge the reviews you receive.
Responding to negative reviews
While negative reviews are unfavourable, they give you the opportunity to show the quality of your customer service.
For reviews with minor issues, respond publicly and acknowledge the review - offer the customer assistance, if possible. This can involve asking them for their order number or further details about their experience. The reviewer may change their mind and post an updated review. While an updated review can't be guaranteed with every negative review, a prompt and carefully-written response to a negative review can make a big impression on the reviewer and potential customers.
For reviews with major issues, again respond and acknowledge the review. The more prompt this response is, the better. If need be, send the reviewer a private message to discuss the issue in a private forum. You can make use of our Private Messaging Tool for this.
It may be the case that a reviewer chooses not to respond to you. Even if this happens, other reviewers and potential customers will see that you have responded and have taken the time to address someone's concerns.
We also encourage businesses to reach out to all their customers and to ask them to leave their genuine opinion on ProductReview.com.au. This helps your listing have a better overall rating that's representative of the majority of customers.