The Nitty-Gritty On Responding To Customer Reviews

If you were a fly on the wall, watching your customer as they decide whether or not to choose your trade business, you would see that (most of the time) their decision is swayed by SOCIAL PROOF.

In the trade services industry social proof is one of the most important forms of marketing for your business, here’s why:

  • Customers cannot gauge the quality of a service until they have already experienced it so they turn to others experiences of the service instead.
  • Customers have little understanding of the problem and the correct solution so they feel vulnerable and want to ensure they wont get ripped off. In which case, they again turn to others experiences of a service.

In fact, according to Chris Campbell (CEO, Review Trackers) 88% customers will read reviews before deciding on a business and 74% of those people will read up to 2-10 different reviews.
Outside of giving your best service possible, you really have little control over how your business gets reviewed online. But, fortunately you have massive control over how you respond to these reviews and responding to reviews, both positive and negative, is extremely beneficial for your business.

Responding to positive reviews builds customer loyalty for the reviewer and enhances the positively of the review for people reading it.

Responding to negative reviews in the appropriate manner can lessen the ‘blow’ of the negative review and deface the business much less.

It is important to note that your response needs to be made between within 48hrs for it to be meaningful to the reviewer.

How to respond to GOOD reviews

Use their name

If they supplied their name always personalise your response.
(Example – line 1)

Say ‘thanks’

Thank the customer for taking the time to post the review and giving feedback.
(Example – line 2)

Tailor your response

It reflects poorly on your business if you respond the same to everyone (you may as well not respond at all). Instead, directly address your customers review in your response. Reference the specific tradesmen, job or anything that makes your customer know you have actually taken the time to read their review.
(Example – line 3)

Future call to action

Invite the happy customer to contact you again should they need your service in the future.
(Example – line 4)

Contact details

Include your name, position title, email and contact number. This will both personalise your response and remove any barriers to future communication.
(Example – line 5)

EXAMPLE POSITIVE REVIEW

“A big thank you to the extremely friendly Jack for his amazing service. Not only did he fix the job without any hassle but he arrived on time (called me half an hour before!) and despite making a little bit of mess along the way, he made sure he left my house just as it was before he arrived (minus the broken tap!). It’s these little things that make a huge difference! – Jill”

EXAMPLE RESPONSE

(line 1) “Hi Jill

(line 2) How awesome! Thank you for your feedback.

(line 3) We are very lucky to have Jack on our team – he is a delight and certainly goes that extra mile for customers!

(line 4) Please let us know if you have any questions about this job or booking future jobs.

(line 5) Warm regards
Joel
Customer Service
1800 000 000
joel@theplumber.com.au”

How to respond to BAD reviews

Use their name

If they supplied their name always personalise your response.
(Example – line 1)

Say “thanks”

Thank the customer for their feedback and ask if they have any suggestions to improve the issue they have risen.
(Example – line 2)

Say “sorry”

Apologise sincerely about the issue that has taken place.
(Example – line 3)

Tailor your response

Read their review thoroughly and address their complaint directly.
Try not to defend your business by saying that the customer is wrong (even if you think their complaint is unfair or invalid).

Instead, acknowledge what they said and defend yourself in a subtler manner if you think it is necessary. Note the subtlety in line 4 of the example.
(Example – line 4)

Commit to be ‘better’

Reassure the customer that you’re working on improving the issue already and tell them how.
(Example – line 5)

Compensate

If necessary, provide compensation. You may have damaged the customer’s property, such as in the example below. Perhaps this is something you should invest in fixing.
(Example – line 6)

Get them on the phone

If you feel that the issue needs further discussion, try to get the conversation off the Internet and onto the phone.

Be contactable

Include your name, position title, email and contact number. This will both personalise your response and show readers that you have nothing to hide through this transparency.
(Example – line 7)

EXAMPLE NEGATIVE REVIEW

“Not a happy customer. Although Jack fixed our tap he also left behind some very stubborn muddy footprint stains on our newly laid carpet as he walked through the house. Take more care Jack…It’s just not good enough! – Jill “

EXAMPLE RESPONSE

(line 1) “Hi Jill

(line 2) Thank you for bringing this issue to out attention.

(line 3) I am very sorry that this has happened.

(line 4) We agree that leaving behind dirty carpet is not acceptable which is why we equip our tradesmen with clean boot covers.

(line 5) I can reassure you that we will remind Jack and our other tradesmen of how important these boot covers are.

(line 6) In the mean time, we would like to arrange to have your carpet cleaned, on us!

(line 7) Send us your contact details so we can make this happen or contact us at 1800 000 000 or joel@theplumber.com.au

Look forward rectifying this for you.

Warm regards,
Joel – Customer Service”

Hopefully you see how beneficial appropriate review responses can be for a business. Responding professionally will not only enhance a positive comment but also reduce the impact of a negative one for people reading the reviews as well as the reviewer.

For MORE, on marketing your trade business check out Episode 7 of The Tradie Show: ‘6 Low-cost Marketing Ideas For Trade Based Businesses’.