Publish Date:
March 12, 2024

Why Does Responding to Reviews Individually Matter?

Why does responding to reviews matter? Find out in this guide, which shares tips for replying to customer feedback and provides response templates for businesses.

Responding to reviews is crucial for businesses — but generic, canned responses won't suffice in 2024. 

Modern consumers demand personalized content and experiences, with a whopping 86% stating that personalization influences their purchasing decisions. That means your company needs to respond to reviews individually, providing your customers with made-for-them replies on platforms like Google and Yelp.  

When you reply to reviews individually, you show customers — and potential customers — that your company listens to their feedback and values their opinions. This personal touch can help build trust and loyalty, driving more business through your doors and onto your website or app. 

In this guide, we’ll share some of the top reasons to reply to online reviews, share tips and best practices for responding, and provide your business with a few customizable response templates for good and bad reviews. 

We’ll also answer some FAQs, and highlight a few of the top platforms your business should be monitoring. 

Top 5 reasons why your local business should reply to reviews

Responding to positive reviews is an easy way to enhance the customer experience, boost customer loyalty, and show your customers how much you appreciate them.

Responding to negative reviews also has benefits. It helps shape the narrative around your business, protects your brand's great reputation, and prevents negative comments from driving away potential customers.

Let’s take a closer look at the five reasons why businesses should respond to online reviews. 

1. Boost your online reputation

Some businesses make the mistake of ignoring negative reviews and acknowledging only positive reviews, because they don't want to draw attention to poor ratings. However, responding to reviews — even when they're intensely negative — allows your business to control and improve perceptions around your brand.  

Responding to a bad review allows you to address any misconceptions or misunderstandings, ensuring that customers see accurate information about your business. 

By replying to your reviewers with courtesy and professionalism, you’ll make a positive impression on your existing and potential customers browsing your reviews. 

This encourages customer loyalty, helps you convert new customers, and enables your brand to build trust and credibility among consumers. 

2. Increase customer satisfaction 

Did you know that 46% of consumers expect businesses to respond to emails within four hours? Or that 12% expect a response within just 15 minutes? 

Consumers have similar expectations around review responses. For example, more than half of consumers — 53% — expect companies to respond to bad reviews within one week or less. Meanwhile, roughly one third of consumers want their response within 72 hours.

As this data makes clear, responding to online reviews of your business isn’t just a courtesy — it’s crucial for keeping your customers satisfied and meeting their basic expectations. And the faster you’re able to reply, the better. 

By responding promptly to both positive and negative reviews, you demonstrate that you value your customers' feedback and time, and that your business is fully committed to resolving any concerns or issues they may have.

3. Improve customer retention

Customers with a poor experience with your business are at high risk for churn. However, you can reduce this risk by providing your customers with prompt, helpful responses to negative reviews and ratings.

While replying to the customer’s review will not resolve the issue, it will open the door to an offline conversation. That gives your business another chance to satisfy—and possibly retain—the customer. 

4. Become more visible

Search engine optimization, or SEO, involves a wide range of practices that are intended to help websites rank higher in search results, thus having a chance to be exposed to new customers.

Some examples include increasing your site speed, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, and regularly publishing fresh content. 

Another way to improve your local SEO is to start responding to your reviews. Google has confirmed this, encouraging business owners to “manage and respond to reviews” as a strategy for boosting local rankings. 

how to become more visible with google

5. Enjoy free promotion

Every time you respond to an online review, it's an opportunity to promote your business and highlight your brand's positive features. For example, depending on the context and tone of the original review, you might wish to call out details like: 

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Your free mobile app
  • 24-hour access to your location or customer support team
  • A friendly atmosphere or community
  • Convenient parking
  • Brand-new amenities or recent renovations
  • Current promotions or deals  
  • New store openings or locations 
free promotion

You can also highlight your corporate values or mission statement, like calling out your company's commitment to sustainability, transparency, or inclusivity.  

highlight your corporate values

How to respond to all kinds of reviews online

Now that we've covered why responding to reviews is important, let's go over some tips on how to do it successfully.

Below, we've included examples of responses to positive reviews, mixed reviews, and negative reviews, along with some best practices for responding to customers. You'll also find modifiable response templates your business can use to start building its own custom replies. 

How to respond to negative reviews

Tips for responding to bad reviews: 

  • Address the customer by name
  • Apologize for the negative customer experience
  • Emphasize your company's commitment to providing a positive experience
  • Avoid taking a defensive tone 
  • Encourage the reviewer to contact you directly so that your team can work on resolving the issue
  • Provide a phone number and/or email address to make contacting you easier for the customer 
how to respond to negative reviews
responding to negative reviews

Negative review reply template: "Hi [ Reviewer Name ], thank you for reaching out to us with your comments. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you experienced due to [ issue from review ]. Please be assured that we take your feedback seriously, and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your concerns in detail. Please reach out to our team by contacting [ phone number and/or email address ] at your earliest convenience, and we'll make sure one of our customer representatives provides you with prompt assistance. We look forward to speaking with you soon, [ Reviewer Name ]."

How to respond to positive reviews

Tips for responding to positive reviews: 

  • Address the customer by name
  • Mention how thrilled you are to receive feedback from happy customers
  • Thank the customer for a specific compliment from their review
  • Enthusiastically invite the customer to return any time, and/or get in touch with your team if they need support 
responding to positive reviews
responding to positive reviews

 

Positive review reply template: "[ Reviewer Name ], thanks so much for sharing your kind words about [ Company Name ]! We're truly fortunate to have some of the most talented and dedicated professionals in the industry on our team. We appreciate your positive review and will pass your compliments along to [ Staff Member ]. Please don't hesitate to contact us at [ phone number and/or email address ] if there's anything else that our team can help resolve for you! On behalf of everyone here at [ Company Name ], thanks again for being a customer and sharing your feedback with us." 

How to respond to mixed or neutral reviews

Tips for responding to neutral or mixed reviews: 

  • Address the customer by name
  • Thank the customer for their rating or comments
  • Say how pleased you are to hear about the positive aspects of the customer’s experience 
  • Express that your goal is to provide a completely satisfactory customer experience 
  • Encourage the reviewer to contact you so that you can address the negative parts of their experience  
how to respond to mixed or neutral reviewws
responding to negative reviews

 

Mixed review reply template: "Hi [ Reviewer Name ], thank you for providing us with your feedback and leaving us a positive rating! We're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed [ positive detail from the review ], and we always welcome feedback on what we can do to make our service even better in the future. If there's anything you need assistance with or would like to discuss with us, we encourage you to contact us directly at [ phone number and/or email address ]. On behalf of everyone here on the [ Company Name ] team, it was our pleasure to serve you, and we hope to see you again very soon!" 

Which online review sites should you monitor?

There are two main categories of review platforms:

  1. General platforms for all types of businesses and consumers
  2. Niche platforms that cater to specific industries and market segments

Both categories are crucial to monitor, so let's quickly review each example. 

General review sites

The top three most important review sites for any business are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Consumers use and trust these platforms more than any others, with 87% checking Google reviews in 2022, 48% checking Yelp reviews, and 46% checking Facebook reviews. 

Along with Google, Yelp, and Facebook, here are some other important review sites that your local business should also be tracking: 

  • Amazon 
  • Apple Maps
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) 
  • Consumer Reports 
  • Foursquare 
  • Trustpilot 

Industry-specific review sites

  • Angi (formerly Angie’s List) — Home services
  • Apartments.com — Real estate
  • Avvo — Legal 
  • Cars.com — Automotive 
  • G2 — Tech and software
  • Glassdoor — Employment 
  • OpenTable — Restaurant 
  • Tripadvisor — Hospitality and travel 
  • Zillow — Real estate 
  • Zocdoc — Healthcare 

The best way to track and respond to reviews

Responding individually to reviews is crucial to the growth of your brand — but it isn't practical or cost-effective, especially not for businesses like hotels or fast food chains that operate dozens of locations.

AI text generators only offer a partial solution. While they can quickly create responses, they don't solve your issue of needing to publish them — potentially on dozens of platforms.

Text generators also have another shortcoming: to generate the response, you need to manually copy and paste the original review into the tool. Depending on how many reviews you receive, this can become tedious and overwhelming. 

We developed ResponseScribe to overcome these challenges, providing a truly effortless review management solution for businesses. 

ResponseScribe takes care of review monitoring on 50+ platforms, creates personalized responses to your customers, and takes care of publishing the responses — all within just minutes to hours. 

From review detection to response publication, ResponseScribe handles every stage of the process for you, enabling your team to focus on other priorities.

Our done-for-you review response service starts at just $19 per month. Explore the different plans we offer to find the best fit for your business, or learn more about how ResponseScribe works

More interested in generating or taking down reviews? Shout About Us has you covered there, too. Ask about our review generation and review removal services. 

responsescribe responding to reviews

Boost your online reputation by responding to reviews with AI

Responding to reviews doesn’t need to be stressful or time-consuming. ResponseScribe makes it fast and effortless by providing your customers with personalized review responses on 50+ platforms, including Google, Yelp, and Facebook. 

Get started using ResponseScribe today for a better, more affordable approach to review management.

FAQs

Why does responding to reviews matter?

It's important to respond to online reviews whether they're positive, negative, or mixed, because consumers are more likely to shop at businesses that reply to customer feedback. Responding to reviews also boosts customer retention, enables you to promote your business for free, and helps your business rank in local searches.  A Harvard Business review provided statistics that support these claims.

Why are customer reviews so important for local businesses?

Positive reviews can attract new customers while improving the reputation of your business. Meanwhile, mixed or negative reviews can help your business identify areas for improvement and make cost-effective changes to enhance customer satisfaction. Whether they're positive or negative, responding to online reviews boosts your local SEO, makes reviewers feel like their opinions are valued, and enhances customer loyalty.

Does responding to Google reviews help?

Yes, there are multiple ways that responding to Google reviews can help your small business. Not only does responding to reviews help SEO strategies succeed, it also shows potential customers that they can trust your business. That means they’re more likely to visit and explore your website, which also leads to more conversions and a higher click-through rate.

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