Tune-Up Tips: Responding to Reviews Edition

November 25, 2019

(Editor’s note: This is part of a monthly series about tuning up different aspects of marketing activities.)

The review that no business wants to see: Horrible customer service. Nobody knew where anything was in the store, the lines to check out were long and the cashier was rude.

How important is it for a business to respond to a review like this? Pretty important, considering that

93% of consumers said online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.

We share 3 tips to help you tune up your responses to online customer reviews. We also provide a mini-dive exploring how prevalent reviews are, what consumers think about reviews and responses and why consumers leave reviews.

Tune-Up Tip #1: Respond to Every Review

Consumers who leave a review expect a response.

In return, companies that take the time to respond garner goodwill and customers. 86% of consumers said they are more likely to shop at a store that responds to customer reviews .

How quickly should you respond? 83% of consumers expect brands to respond to comments within a day or less.

What should you say in your response? A thank-you is generally sufficient for positive reviews. Follow these 3 steps for handling negative reviews:

  1. Acknowledge the problem
  2. Apologize for the problem
  3. Move the conversation to a private channel for resolution

ex) offer to resolve the problem via direct message, provide an email address or phone number to get in touch with the customer

Tune-Up Tip #2: Track Complaints

Responding to reviews is a great way to help maintain a positive reputation for your business online. Tracking complaints can also help you improve your business.

Track the volume and nature of complaints. No need to get super detailed, but record enough so that you will be able to identify patterns. For example, did you get multiple complaints about spoiled produce? Tracking your reviews can uncover quality control issues.

Why is it a good idea to monitor how many reviews you receive? First, reviews are a form of customer engagement. A customer had a strong enough experience to leave you feedback. It’s helpful to have a baseline idea of how many reviews your business receives in an average month. A spike in reviews (especially negative ones) indicates a major problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Tune-Up Tip #3: Re-Purpose Positive Reviews

Positive reviews are a form of testimonials. As such, you can re-purpose reviews in your promotional materials.

For example, if you send your clients a monthly newsletter, you can include a “Review of the Month” section. Be sure to quote the review verbatim and cite it. We suggest using a first name, last initial and name the platform the review came from (Google, Facebook, et.).

Adding reviews to a product’s web page tends to be quite beneficial. Companies that add at least 1 review experience a 108% average traffic lift (or increase in visits to that web page).

Mini-Dive: Consumers & Reviews Overview


How many consumers read reviews and how influential are they?

On average, consumers read 10 online reviews before they feel like they can trust a local business. More than half of online shoppers—56%— read reviews before they make a purchase. 45% of brick and mortar shoppers read reviews before they buy anything. In other words, online shoppers are 9% more likely to read reviews before making a purchase.

Consumers regard online reviews as important information sources. Online reviews are the 2nd most influential source of information when shopping (second to family member or friend recommendations). Also, 91% of 18-34 year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Consumers read more than reviews. 89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews.

Responding to Reviews

Our first tip is to respond to every review. Consumer majority opinion shows why this is important.

About 65% of consumers said stores should respond to all customer service reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Only 1 in 10 consumers said businesses should never respond to customer service reviews.

About 75% of all consumers expect businesses to respond to all comments on social media. Millennials and males tend to expect company responses to their comments more than other demographics (80% of Millennials and 82% of men vs. 72% of women).

Consumers have definite ideas about how to resolve complaints. Almost 9 in 10 (88% of consumers) said the best way for a business to respond to a negative review is to correct the problem and then inform them what was done to resolve the issue. 6 in 10 consumers said that receiving a response to their negative reviews is enough of a reward.

What happens when consumers get an inadequate response to their negative comment or review?

69% will stop shopping at that business

33% will update their reviews reflecting that they never received a response

25% will take action to get a refund

Leaving Reviews

Who is leaving reviews and where do they post them?

Younger demographics tend to leave online reviews more than older consumers. 80% of 18-34 year-olds have written online reviews compared to just 41% of consumers over 55 who have left reviews.

Where do consumers go to leave their reviews?

The top sites where consumers leave reviews are:

41% Google

41% Facebook

25% Yelp

22% Travel Sites

21% Amazon

Why They Review

What compels customers to leave reviews? Well, it depends on the customer and the experience.

54% of women and 44% of men leave reviews “to help others make better buying decisions”

44% of women and 32% of men leave reviews “to help the company improve a product/service/policy”  

16% leave reviews as an act of spite

Why people leave bad reviews

47% leave a review because of a good experience

22% leave a review because of a bad experience

18% leave a review because a business asked them to

12% leave a review because they wanted to make recommendations for improvement

Editor’s note: This is another entry in our monthly Tune-Up Tips series. Look for our next Tune-Up Tips: Quirky Holiday Marketing Edition on December 2, 2019.

Read the previous entries in our Tune-Up Series:

Tune-Up Tips: Social Media Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Email Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Digital Marketing Edition

Tune-Up Tips: App Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Websites Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Holiday Marketing Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Direct Mail Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Photography Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Data Analysis Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Digital Coupons Edition

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