How to Optimally Respond to Reviews for Your Shop

When your customers write a review for your online shop, you should recognise their effort with a reply. In this article, we'll tell you how to react to positive, negative, and neutral reviews and thus strengthen your brand.

Why respond to customer reviews at all; don't they stand for themselves? Basically, yes, especially if they are positive. Therefore, when it comes to reacting to customer reviews, you should keep the following concept in your mind:

You should react to negative reviews, you can react to positive ones.

Reply to online reviews whitepaper

With that in mind, let's have a look at some things to keep in mind for every type of review:

Tips for all kinds of review replies

Express appreciation: There are many reasons why a shop response to a customer review is a good thing. On the one hand, you make your customer service public. People get an idea of the tone in which you communicate and how things are done in your shop.

It's also nice for potential customers to see that you express appreciation for your clientele when they take the time to write a text. It shows them that your shop pays attention to what people say and think about your products and services.

Keep it personal: Always try to make the reply comment as personal as possible while simultaneously respecting data protection of course. A safe way to do this is to address customers by the name they themselves published in the course of writing the review.

Strike the right tone: The tone of voice often determines how people perceive a text more than the actual content. Therefore, be friendly, empathetic, and sympathetic. At the same time, make sure that you communicate in a way that is appropriate to the target group and as consistently as possible throughout the internet, so that your company is easily recognisable.

Offer variety: If you acknowledge the usually mostly positive reviews with a standard thank you, you should offer variety instead of standard phrases. Otherwise, it comes across as very monotonous to people who skim these reviews. It is, of course, fine to create templates for recurring cases, but vary them and use different ones.

Draw attention to offers: You can use review replies as a platform to subtly draw attention to products and services or to promote a campaign. For example: "We're very pleased that you're so satisfied with the smartphone case! Make sure to visit the shop again during our promotion week at the end of October to discover more offers."

Get to the point: Most people don't take the time to read long texts on review platforms, so you should be short and concise. However, don't answer too succinctly either. That can come across as disinterested. Ideally, 2-6 sentences, but if there is really more to say, e.g. in the case of a conflict, then go ahead.

How to react to negative reviews

Show empathy: Put yourself in your customer's shoes and try to understand what is annoying the person. Express this appropriately, e.g. "We understand that the delayed delivery has upset you."

Stay constructive: There are people who write themselves into a rage in front of their home PC and may regret some of what they've written after some time has passed. Never reply in the same tone of voice. It always reflects negatively on you because the shop should always remain professional and serious! Stay objective, no matter what tone your customers use. Also avoid irony and sarcasm, this is not how a professional company behaves.

Apologise: If the fault lies with you, you should apologise to the customer. This is disarming and authentic because nobody is perfect.

Offer solutions: A constructive reaction to negative reviews includes, above all, offering a concrete solution. If you have the customer's details, promise to get back to them. If this is not possible, publish your contact details so the reviewer can reach out to you directly.

Recommended reading:
How to Handle Negative Online Reviews

This applies to neutral reviews

Neutral reviews are often accompanied by three or four out of five stars and often include a "Everything went great, but ...". In other words, it is not an all-round critique; everything went smoothly except for one small thing. These reviews are worth their weight in gold for traders, because they often show potential for optimising the shop without you having lost a customer as a result.

The reaction to neutral reviews is obvious: thank them and deal with the critical points objectively; the same applies here as for dealing with negative reviews. Also, emphasise the positive, e.g.: "We are very pleased that you are satisfied with the new vacuum cleaner and we are continuing to work on optimising our delivery times."

How to react to positive reviews

stacked up blocks with variation of emotions displayed

Source: Shutterstock/LAONG

Say thank you: Of course, you should say thank you for a nice customer review. Try to be as unique as possible with each review and show what part of the review excited you. For example: "We are very happy that you like our bags so much and that you can use them for many occasions".

Include a call-to-action (CTA): Close your comment with a "call-to-action". This way, you increase the chance of a repeat purchase. Here are some examples: "Come and see us again soon", "Take a look at our sales offer pages!", "We look forward to seeing you again", etc.

Offer support: It always comes across as friendly if you offer support in using a product. This should also relate specifically to what is in the review and come across as unobtrusive, for example: "Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the set-up".

Answering reviews is a lot of work... Not necessarily!

It's worth taking the time to reply to customer reviews because they are often the first thing people read about your shop on the internet. These are the moments that often push a shopper into taking your shop seriously or not.

woman standing aside a checklist

Source: Shutterstock/alwie99d

Of course, the effort should be in reasonable proportion to the benefit. It is perfectly legitimate to use pre-formulated answers as long as you customise them. In addition, it is advisable to assign a person in your company to maintain the reviews, so that not everyone has to familiarise themselves with the topic from scratch. It is best to check the various reviews portals every morning, so that nothing accumulates and the effort remains manageable.

Artificial intelligence for quick answers

Artificial intelligence offers another way to comment on reviews effortlessly. With A.I., you can have an automatically generated text created for each review. With an automated, unique response, you only have to confirm the texts for publication with a single click. You can also modify the text or generate a new one if necessary.

Learn more about Trusted Shops Smart Review Assistant.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us!

23/02/23

Johannes Lemm

Johannes Lemm is a B2B Content Manager for the DACH market at Trusted Shops. He is passionate about writing engaging texts about the world of online retail.

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