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Why Your Company Needs to Respond to Social Media Reviews, Even Negative Ones


Getting reviews on social media is important for any business. Those reviews give real information about what customers think and can tell a prospective customer a lot about your organization. Even more important is how an organization responds to their reviews. As a business owner, you have a responsibility to respond to every social media reviews, even negative ones.This shows that you care about a customer’s experience with your organization, and that you value their business. It also shows that you want to be transparent with customers, and that you have nothing to hide. If you’ve ever looked for reviews on a company, and there is nothing negative, or the reviews don’t seem real, they probably aren’t.

How You Respond to Reviews Tells A Lot About Who You Are

Discovering a negative review about your business can put even the most level-headed person on the defense. It can be disheartening to read hurtful things that someone has written about your company, even if they’re true. It’s easy to respond to positive, glowing reviews from customers–you don’t have to defend anything or defuse a situation. Responding to negative ones are much harder. So how do you do it?

Responding to reviews, even negative ones, can sometimes be enough to change the opinion of an unhappy client or customer. By addressing their concern and responding with genuine emotion, you’re not only making them feel heard, you’re showing others that you’re willing to address (and fix) any issues within your business. There is a proper way to respond to reviews. Make sure you’re following these guidelines.

The Right Way Respond to Negative Reviews

Since it’s much easier to address positive reviews, let’s start with negative ones first. If you do get a negative review, and you will, because no company is perfect, calmly evaluate the comment internally first. Make an initial assessment of the problem the person is describing. Is it merited, or just someone complaining for the sake of complaining.

Read the complaint to get a better understand of the problem, and then publicly respond to the review. Empathize with the customer and offer meaningful solutions. All hope is not lost–a full 70% of customers will give you another chance if you fix the problem. Always be sincere and avoid a canned response. Address each concern individually. When customers see you responding and addressing concerns, it will go far.

Properly Addressing Positive Reviews

This is the easy part. Start by thanking every customer for their business, and their review. Do make it a little personalized, addressing the customer by name, but take a moment to let the customer know about any relevant coupons, promotions or specials. This adds value and makes the customer feel like you’ve responded to them in a personal way.

What About Those Pesky Neutral Reviews?

These can be especially tricky, since they’re not positive or negative. Start by thanking the customer for their review. Reiterate how important their business is to you. Drive home the positive parts of the review, for example, “we’re so glad you enjoyed eating the chicken parmesan”.

After that, apologize or explain any negatives, like “we’re so sorry you had trouble finding a parking spot. We share a parking lot with the neighboring business and friday nights are especially busy for all of us. We’re so glad you managed to find a spot.”

Finally, invite them back, and open the door for further discussion. “We’d love to see you again and provide the excellent service you deserve. If there’s anything else you’d like to tell us about your visit, and how we could have made it better, please send us a message now.”

And Finally, Fake Reviews

Unfortunately, some businesses rely on paid social media as a means of buying fake reviews, which are often generic 5 star reviews that don’t say anything relevant to the service your business provides. Do not attack these reviews. In fact, do not respond to them at all. Google will get the point that they’re fake over time. You can also bury those reviews as more real ones come in.

Responding to reviews is an important part of any business’ marketing strategy. Use these tactics to best respond to the review in a meaningful way, and never take a review personally. Look at negative reviews as teaching moments and use your positive ones to strengthen your business.

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