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Joakim Ditlev

Answering Customer Reviews: The Best Way to Respond

By on Monday, March 5th, 2012 in Online reputation management

When the dialogue with your customers happens online, there could be thousands of people reading along. Potentially. Some of those people listening may be your future customers. That’s why it’s important to answer customer reviews in a proper way. Here are some things you need to consider to answer customer reviews in the best way possible.

Answering customer review onlineLet’s say this is the first time you came across Trustpilot. If I were in your shoes, I would go in, type in my domain and see what customers were saying about me. Spotted a couple of customer reviews right off the bat? That’s good – it means that your customers are vocal and expressing their thoughts about your company and level of service. Oh, but, one of your customers is upset. Now is the time to construct a concise and trustworthy answer.

Answering reviews needs to be addressed within the organisation

Before answering, you first need to figure out who’s in charge when it comes to replying to the reviews. Will the customer service department take care of it? Will it be done by marketing or perhaps even a community manager? It seems like an obvious question, but it’s an important matter to address and it’s easy to underestimate it. Once the responsibility is clear, proper training of the employees answering the reviews is needed in order to deliver quick and timely answers.

Be polite when answering customer reviews

Companies are run by people, and people sometimes make mistakes. Inevitably, some customers’ reviews may end up as complaints. When dealing with customer complaints online you want to show that you care, and in most cases you’ll need to be even more polite than you feel is necessary. Written language is often perceived as being more direct than if you were to simply say the same thing talking. So make sure to write your answers in a polite and friendly tone.

Create a concise answer that gets to the point

In some cases the customer review is the output of a long discussion going back and forth and involving multiple people. In such cases it can be difficult to find out what’s up and what’s down, but you want to keep that to yourself. The answer you give your customer should be as short and concise as possible. If an answer is too long, a potential customer could perceive this as if you were making excuses. So get to the point by giving a brief explanation and state what your next action is – like this example from Auto Europe.Customer review answer from AutoEurope

Build an authentic and personal voice

In general, customers don’t like the idea that they are talking to a company. They want to talk with real people with flesh, bones and a personal voice. It’s a good idea to add a little personality to the written answers, so your customer gets the impression that you are more than just an answering machine. Also, make sure to include your name in the footer of the answer. That’s the best and most simple way to create a personal voice.

If you really want to build dialogues with your customers, you can even consider replying back to everybody leaving a review – including the good ones. We know it takes time, but it’s a nice way to acknowledge your satisfied customers. Check out how this Danish company Sejs Dyner is doing it.

Do you have other suggestions for good answers to customer reviews? Please add a comment.

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Speak your mind!

  1. Barbeques says:

    Useful article for how to respond towards the customer

  2. Deanne says:

    Great article! It can be hard to know just how to answer customer complaints but it’s important to keep in mind that potential customers may be reading so it’s in the best interest of your buisness to be respectful, tactful and sincere.

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