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How to Respond to Customer Reviews

By December 12, 2017November 28th, 2023No Comments

Responding to Reviews is Key

Customer Reviews….you love ’em or you hate ’em, but either way every business gets Reviews. And that’s a good thing!

Customer Reviews can improve your search results by 10%!

Customer’s seem to share their opinion from every direction. Facebook. Google My Business. Indeed. Yelp. Glassdoor and dozens more.

Think of Reviews like a phone call from a customer. If a customer called with a concern, would you ignore it? Hang up? Put them on hold for more than 24 hours? Responding to customer reviews promptly is critical to capturing your 10% search result improvement.

We get asked “how to respond to Reviews” a lot, so we decided to do up a quick video. Listen below for our tips on responding to positive and negative Reviews.

How to Respond to Customer Reviews

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

  1. Say thank you.
    • Your mom was right! Be sure to say thank YOU!
  2. Be sure to mention your business name.
    • This will help increase the likelihood that the Review will appear in search results when looking for your business.
  3. Add a marketing message.
    • This is a great chance to reinforce what your business accomplishes.
  4. Invite future business.
    1. Ask the Reviewer to share their experience with family and friends, or return for a future purpose.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

  1. Apologize and empathize.
    • As soon as you can, apologize with the customer.
  2. Add a marketing message.
    • It’s ok to mention what your business does and strives to achieve.
  3. Keep it short. Be sure not to mention your business name.
    1. Keep your response short and simple.
  4. Direct the conversation to someone offline.
    • Always, always, always give the Reviewer an offline contact.

Where to Find Reviews

In Canada, there are approximately 20 Review sites. They include:

  • Avvo
  • Citysearch
  • DealerRater
  • Edmunds
  • Healthgrades
  • Houzz
  • Kudzu
  • OpenTable
  • Rate MDs
  • SureCritic
  • TripAdvisor
  • Vitals
  • Yelp
  • Zocdoc

In addition to these, many social sites and Directory sites also include the ability to leave a Review.

An Easier Way

Managing Reviews from a number of different sites can be time-consuming, frustrating and likely to cause error. It is estimated that managing your online reputation takes approximately 300 hours per year. Here are three ways you can manage your online reputation:


You can manage your online reputation on your own. Here are a few quick steps to get you started:

  • Create email alerts for your business name, your name and all of the products and services your business offers.
  • Create email alerts for your competitors and the products and services they offer that you want to monitor.
  • Review the emails daily to be sure you are responding as quickly as possible.
  • Monitor trend data for industry keywords.
  • Create Listings on all relevant sites being sure to return each time business information changes. (holiday hours, sales, etc.)
  • Add your competitors to your list of “Watch” pages in Facebook and other social channels.
  • Respond to Reviews on each Listing and Review site.

With a Little Help

Subscribe to an automated service that will scan keywords, competitors, social media and media mentions for each of the key terms you define. There are a few subscription app services available. We shopped them all, and chose ReputationManagement for its ease of use, cost effectiveness and comprehensiveness. We also chose ListingSync to keep all of our Listings in sync.

If you decide to shop the app, be sure to look for:

  • Use and popularity in Canada
  • Central repository to respond to Reviews
  • An overview of your business Listings
  • Competitive data and monitoring services
  • Analysis of sentiment
  • Includes proof of performance reporting
  • Ability to generate Reviews, and most importantly
  • Ability to pre-screen and respond to Reviews before they are publicized. 

Hire a Reputation Management Expert

Hiring someone to manage your online reputation is similar to hiring someone to build your website or create content for social media. Owning and managing a business is an already busy task. Hiring someone to actively monitor and manage your online reputation will help you focus on the job of growing your business.

Large firms and media monitoring services can be hired for 1000’s of dollars each month. Some of the firms to compare include BrandWatch or Meltwater. Above the Fold, yours truly, is a local option providing all of the service at a fraction of the price. If you’d like to learn more, please start by visiting Review Management and drop us a note to discuss further.

Managing your online reputation could be one of the best things you do for your business this year (and next!). Start today by completing a FREE online assessment. The assessment will determine if:

  1. Online information about your business is consistent.
  2. 5-Star Reviews from your customers will improve your search rank.
  3. Social Media posting is leading to conversion.
  4. Website visitors can find you and easily use your website. 

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Cascadia Dog Training

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Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.