January 1, 2024

The Ultimate Review Response Teamplate for SMEs

From showing potential customers that your brand is trustworthy to boosting your local ranking on Google, there are numerous ways that responding to reviews benefits your small to midsize business. The challenge for SMEs lies in finding scalable, cost-effective approaches to review management. Using review response templates makes the task easier, especially in combination with a review response software and service. 

That’s why we created this guide to responding to reviews for SMEs, which features: 

  • Negative and positive review response examples from real business owners
  • Customizable templates for negative and positive review responses 
  • Detailed breakdowns explaining why specific review responses are effective 
  • FAQs about writing negative and positive review responses

5 review response templates for different types of SMEs 

Looking for a negative or positive review response example your SME can use as a model? 

We’ve got you covered with these example screenshots and templates for different types of small and midsize businesses, including: 

  • Automotive businesses, like car dealerships and car washes
  • Home service businesses and contractors, like plumbers and HVAC companies 
  • Real estate businesses, like luxury apartment complexes and hotels
  • Care services, like retirement homes and senior communities 

Example #1: Negative review response

It might seem more productive to spend your time focusing on positive reviews. However, there are two good reasons why responding to negative reviews is just as important as responding to positive customer reviews: 

  1. Encouraging the reviewer to contact your team can start a conversation that ultimately enables you to retain the customer. 
  2. Your negative review response is an opportunity to show prospective customers that your support team is helpful, timely, and courteous. 

Here’s an example of how one California plumbing company replied to negative customer feedback with a professional and positive review response. 

negative review response example 1

Type of business: Home services, plumbing 

Customer rating: 2 stars 

Why this review response works: It uses the customer’s name, expresses gratitude for their feedback, and offers an apology. It also discusses how actions are being taken to improve, while calling out some positives about the brand (“expertise and value”). 

Review response template: “Hi [Reviewer Name], we appreciate your [feedback, review, comments] and [are sorry, apologize, sincerely apologize] that you were [disappointed, frustrated, let down] by your experience. We want our valued customers to feel confident in our [products, craftsmanship, commitment to quality] and regret falling short of that standard. Our team will review your comments internally to make sure that we continue providing [outstanding, exceptional, excellent] service and quality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance or have any additional feedback.” 

Example #2: Negative review response

Here's how a car dealership replied to a negative review about one customer's experience. 

negative review response exampe two

Type of business: Auto dealership 

Customer rating: 1 star 

Why this negative review response works: It emphasizes the company’s positive values — in this case, excellent customer service – while still providing a sincere apology for the customer’s negative experience and one-star review. It also encourages the customer to follow up, tells the reviewer that their feedback is valued, and assures them that the customer support team will do everything possible “to ensure that you have a positive experience.” 

Negative reviews response template: “Thank you for [reaching out to us with, letting us know about, taking the time to share] your concerns, [Reviewer Name]. Our [priority, goal, mission] is to provide the [great, top-notch, outstanding] service our amazing customers expect, and we [sincerely apologize, are deeply sorry, offer our sincerest apologies] for your disappointing experience. We value your feedback and encourage you to [contact, reach out to, get in touch with] our team directly so that we can work to resolve your concerns about [issue from the review]. We look forward to [hearing from you, speaking with you] soon!” 

Example #3: Mixed negative and positive review response

This customer left a detailed review of a California Chik-Fil-A, sharing a few kind words before providing comments about the negative aspects of the experience. 

Here's how the customer support team responded to the mix of negative and positive feedback.

Mixed negative and positive review response example three

Type of business: Restaurant, fast food franchise 

Customer rating: 3 stars 

Why this review response works: It addresses the reviewer by name and includes a personalized detail from the review (“upon your return to the States”). It also apologizes for the reviewer’s negative experience while assuring the customer that their feedback “will be addressed” by the company “to make our service even better in the future.” 

Mixed review response template: “Hi [Reviewer Name], thank you for [leaving a comment, sharing your feedback, reviewing our business]. Your feedback helps us to deliver the [positive quality] that [Business Name] is known for. We’re [happy, delighted, pleased] that [positive detail from the review]! However, we’re deeply sorry to [hear, learn, see] that [negative detail from the review]. We encourage you to contact us directly so that our team can work to get this issue resolved for you.” 

You may also wish to offer the customer a credit or discount as compensation for a poor experience. If so, you should mention the discount in your response and encourage the customer to contact you if they have any questions or need further assistance. 

Example #4: Positive review response

This happy customer shared a wonderful review about the great customer service they received. 

The reply from the company is a perfect example of how to respond to positive reviews in a way that promotes increased customer loyalty and encourages repeat business. 

Positive review response example four

Type of business: Car wash 

Customer rating: 5 stars 

Why this positive review response example works: The response is personalized in numerous ways, like using the customer’s name and referencing the staff members who were mentioned in the five-star review. The response also mentions several of the brand’s positive attributes, like the company’s “fantastic team” and mission of “ensur[ing] your car looks showroom ready.” Finally, it closes with a friendly sign-off inviting the reviewer back for their next visit. 

Positive review response example template: “Thank you so much for the great review, [Reviewer Name]! We’re [happy, glad, delighted] to have made your visit so [exceptional, wonderful, fantastic]. We have a(n) [devoted, amazing, dedicated] team at [Business Name] that always wants to ensure your [car, truck, vehicle] looks [brand new, fresh off the showroom floor, ready for the road]. We look forward to [serving, seeing, assisting] you again soon, [Reviewer Name]!"

Example #5: Positive review response

This commenter shared a positive customer review about the level of service provided by a senior community. The owner's reply to this five-star review provides a useful model for responding to positive feedback.

Positive review response example five

Type of business: Senior living community 

Customer rating: 5 stars 

Why this positive review response example works: The business owner has personalized their response by acknowledging the reviewer’s specific comment about their grandmother (“We love having Ms. D around”). It also reinforces the community’s commitment to creating an environment of “comfort and familiarity” for its residents. Finally, it closes by thanking the reviewer for their feedback. 

Positive review response example template: “Thank you so much for such a great review, [Reviewer Name]! Providing our [guests, families, residents] with [compassionate, outstanding, exceptional] care in a [warm and comfortable, home-like and welcoming, cozy and familiar] environment is a top priority for our entire team. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you ever need assistance or have any questions about [Community Name]. Thanks again for sharing feedback about your positive experience!"

How to personalize review responses with ChatGPT

Businesses can use ChatGPT and similar tools to help them respond to reviews. To use this method, simply enter a relevant prompt that describes: 

  • Whether the review you need to respond to is positive, mixed, or negative
  • What type of business your SME is  

You can also directly paste in the content of the review itself. 

Here are a few screenshots to show you examples of both approaches: 

responding to reviews with chatgpt example one

responding to reviews with chagpt example two

It’s important to remember that ChatGPT works by pulling in public data from online text, like existing responses to online reviews. As a result, the responses your customers receive aren’t actually unique. To make them unique, you’ll need to edit the responses yourself, which you can do by:  

  • Inserting the customer’s name
  • Changing some of the phrasing or sentence structure 
  • Including references to your company’s name or location 
  • Making the tone of the response less generic and more reflective of your brand’s voice 

Personalizing the response will also help it sound less robotic and repetitive, which is often a drawback of AI. (For example, in the second screenshot above, the phrase “trying to rent from (our/this) luxury apartment complex” is repeated verbatim and would benefit from editing.) 

Another issue when using AI is that prompts must be manually entered into the chat field one at a time. That means, even though AI is generating the responses, your team still gets stuck doing repetitive tasks. 

Review response templates, though time-saving, have similar limitations. While templates provide useful frameworks, your business still needs to tailor each template-based response to the individual reviewer. That can make the writing process slow and inefficient for your team.  

Finally, there’s another drawback to both of these tools: neither ChatGPT nor review response templates help your business monitor reviews – only respond to them.  

ResponseScribe offers a better, more streamlined alternative to relying on templates or ChatGPT. Not only do we monitor 50+ platforms for reviews of your business, but our team handles the entire response-writing process for you, ensuring your customers receive unique custom responses based on private data. With ResponseScribe, you’ll never need to waste time: 

  • Manually pasting prompts into an AI tool
  • Editing AI responses or pre-built response templates 
  • Hunting down your company’s newest reviews

How to create personalized review responses without manual work

how to personalize your review responses with responsescribe

Responding to all of your online reviews, including both negative and positive reviews, is essential for SMEs. The problem for small and midsize businesses is that it’s time-consuming to manage reviews manually – time that your team doesn’t have to spare. 

ResponseScribe offers a hassle-free solution by providing custom responses to your SME’s reviewers. 

We automatically monitor over 50 review platforms, including Google, Yelp, and Facebook, along with industry-specific review sites. Every negative and positive review receives a response in 24 hours or less, ensuring your customers are served efficiently. 

Our human-powered response plan offers the greatest level of customization, ensuring that each reply is written by one of our expert Scribes. Our AI-powered plan delivers unparalleled response speed with an average turnaround time of one hour, and starts at just $19 per month. And our hybrid plan empowers your SME with the best of both worlds. 

Compare the plans we offer to see which fit is right for your SME. 

Reply to customer feedback fast with ResponseScribe's review response service 

Ensure that your reviewers get the attention they deserve with fast, professional review responses that capture your brand’s personality. ReponseScribe makes it effortless by: 

  • Monitoring your reviews on 50+ platforms 
  • Replying to your customers with unique, personalized responses in 24 hours or less 
  • Flagging spam and inaccurate reviews for removal 

Provide better service, win loyal customers, and gain more control over your online reputation with AI response generator and human-powered review response solutions designed for SMEs. 

Start your free trial of ReponseScribe today and accelerate your brand’s growth.  


Frequently asked questions

How do you write a good response to a review?
What is an example of a good response to a positive review?
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How do you respond to a 3-star review?
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