There was a time when collecting and displaying reviews offered online retailers a big advantage over their competitors. Customers are engaging more and more with brands and the importance is growing every day for merchants to manage their online reputation. ResellerRatings already has the tools in place for Reputation Management and it is easy for our clients to engage with their customers by using the Public Reply feature, which is built into every Consumer Care Dashboard. Utilizing the opportunity to communicate with your current customers not only increases the likelihood that specific customers will return for another purchase, but it also allows potential customers, who are researching specific brands or products, to see that your brand is empowering customers to create User Generated Content and provide reviews online.  

 

Merchants having the ability to publicly reply to their customers who are leaving reviews of their brand is nothing new in the e-commerce space. However, the value of this feature is skyrocketing across the industry across the industry. Today’s Consumers expect to see quick value for the time they are putting in for researching a purchase. The benefits are clear across the board for both merchants as well as potential customers. Merchants can establish a voice, increase engagement, and see a ROI from not only previous customers, but also those potential customers who are looking to purchase. Shoppers are more likely to gain confidence in making a purchase from an organization that communicates with its customers.  The value is immeasurable for the use of public replies to reviews, but it comes down to who is really willing to put the work in.  

 

Responding to reviews online is a powerful tactic in differentiating your brand as your responses fully reflect the level of customer service that can be expected for all customer matters – on and offline. After all, customers are not necessarily looking for the “perfect” brand or product anyways. Instead, their searching to answer: do I trust this brand/product enough and can I purchase with confidence? With this perspective in mind, every review is an opportunity to convince customers to choose you.  

 

This guide includes best practices for responding to negative, neutral, and positive scenarios, plus tips to get the most from your review management tools. 

 

BEST PRACTICES:  

  1. Understand the viewpoint. Whether its praise or constructive criticism, we’re all human and react to feedback with emotion. Before formulating your response, its crucial to fully read and understand the respondent’s experience from their position.  

 

Research the issue. Providing accurate information in your response demonstrates credibility. If the review comments are inaccurate, carefully and sincerely respond with the businesses’ factual side of the issue.   

 

 

 

Be forward thinking. Everyone finds value in saving time, which is why your response should always provide a solution.  

 

  • Whenever possible, the solution should help the reviewer (and your team) achieve the end goal with minimal back and forth communication.   
  • Aim to respond within a 24-48 hour window to any negative or neutral review. While it’s best to reply with a resolution up front, waiting too long can backfire. At the very least, always acknowledge their comments in a timely manner and openly communicate the next step(s).  

 

Act, then Track. Replying to reviews provide instant benefits on the individual level with each review, as well as seeing patterns and trends collectively across all reviews.    

  • First, ACT. Your ResellerRatings dashboard provides access to new reviews before they go live, as well as the tools to manage content, such as posting a public reply, sending the customer a direct message, or flagging invalid content for further evaluation.  
  • Second, TRACK. At the end of the day, all reviews provide valuable insights into your customer and your operations’ health. Think of the dashboard as your data center.  Use filters, tags, and custom reports to determine trends and pinpoint patterns.   

 

Things to remember:  

Brief replies are okay, especially for sticky situations or a particularly irate customer. In these cases, it is best to publicly post your customer service phone number and encourage the reviewer to call.  You can then follow up privately with a direct message. 

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