Thursday 6 March 2014

How to engage with positive reviews

Positive testimonials from review sites are a great mechanism for small businesses to get their name out there and gain new custom. But while so many business owners make sure they respond to negative reviews, many are missing a trick when it comes to engaging with positive reviews. As an example, Ovo reviews show how energy suppliers can respond in a constructive way to feedback. It can be helpful to check out competitor reviews to see if and how they react. Is there anything in particular that stands out about the reply? Could it be improved upon? Does it make new customers want to engage with the business? 

Positive reviews are an opportunity

As a small business owner, you may feel that there is no need to respond to positive reviews because there is no issue to solve, nothing to apologise for and no damage limitation to carry out. But this can have several effects on the way new customers perceive your business. It could lead them to believe that you don’t care about reviews, which in turn could make customers question if you actually care about the level of service you provide after all. The customer leaving the review may feel disappointed and the good initial experience could be weakened. New consumers may not bother to leave testimonials if they see that reviews are not acknowledged, which is a lost opportunity for more positive feedback. Customers are also more likely to use a business again if they develop a relationship with it. For small business owners, building a relationship includes saying thank you and responding to feedback. 

Positive reviews are an opportunity for improving custom, both within the existing customer base and from new sources. They can also be opportunity for making improvements. When responding to a positive review, be sure to include a polite request for any further feedback if required. Often customers won’t say anything negative if the overall experience was positive, but this doesn’t mean that there weren’t any issues. If you show interest in their experience they may be more likely to message privately with any suggestions for improvements. 

How to respond to positive reviews

Responding to positive reviews is generally simple and straightforward. Firstly, say thank you. This is good manners and shows appreciation. You want to encourage more people to write good reviews after all. Say thank you for writing the review and you’re pleased they had a good experience.

Emphasise the positive aspects of their review. Reiterate the best part of the review, for example that they found the service to be excellent value. This is a great advertising opportunity, both from a general perspective and for any particular product or feature. 

Do acknowledge any problems – don’t gloss them over. The customer may be downplaying certain issues that arose in light of an overall positive experience, but this doesn’t mean that any problems weren’t important to them. If they return to do business with you, it’s great to be able to show you have improved. 

However, don’t go over the top. Customers write reviews because they want to show appreciation and spread the word, not because they’re expecting special gifts, to be put on to a business’s mailing list or to be asked to advertise your business further. The chances are that if they liked you enough they already will be putting your name out there and recommending the business to others offline as well as online.

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