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Running a business has always been difficult since it requires tactical planning, foresight, and an effective rapport with customers. Originally, things were easier since commerce was strictly in-person or via mail order, and mishaps were localized. The rise of modern technology has changed modern commerce forever, thanks to online markets.

Nowadays, almost every major brand has its own website on which customers can purchase their products or retain their services. Online storefronts have become the norm in modern society since most people prefer it to physical shopping in most scenarios. There are certain industries where the physical component is essential (i.e., buying a mattress or test driving a car), but most products can easily be purchased online. This has made life much simpler for the consumer and presents a double-edged sword for the provider.

Part of online commerce is enabling consumers to share their opinions and experiences with fellow customers. When a product or service does not meet their expectations, it is common practice for the upset customer to leave a review. Conversely, a customer who enjoyed an extremely pleasant or satisfying experience with a product or service might leave a positive review.

Regardless of the type, online reviews have become standard practice and can either help or hinder a company’s public standing. One of the most important things to remember is that a review, regardless of the tone, must not be ignored. Responding to an online review is essential to ensuring no additional reputational damage. The problem is finding a response that suits the situation.

Why Responding to Positive Reviews Matters

When you receive a positive review, it is common to leave it at that since you have already received the praise your company needs to draw in new customers. Unfortunately, this mistake can backfire since positive reviews only do so much. Customers want to feel heard, regardless of the tone their review takes.

A positive review might seem like something to leave alone, but responding to it shows you are listening and acknowledging what your customers have to say. Furthermore, receiving a compliment is traditionally repaid with verbal thanks to demonstrate your appreciation for their observation. While receiving a positive review for your business is not necessarily the same, it is still an important gesture.

Responding to Positive Reviews

Responding to a positive review allows you to issue the thanks your customer expects for complimenting your business and your products. That said, leaving positive reviews unanswered does not have the same impact on your reputation as ignoring a negative one. Responding to a positive review demonstrates a willingness to communicate with your customers and a genuine desire to improve their experience going forward. However, you are not ignoring vital feedback that might impact your future commerce. The biggest concern is responding to negative reviews.

Why Responding to Negative Reviews Matters

While responding to positive reviews is primarily a matter of courtesy, ignoring a negative review can drastically impact your reputation. If a customer has an unpleasant experience with your business, be it a faulty product or poor service, they are more likely to post a review. Positive reviews should be encouraged since a satisfied customer will be less inclined to devote time to writing one.

Negative reviews provide an outlet for disgruntled customers who want to ensure the company that upset them is held accountable. One or two negative reviews are unlikely to cause significant damage to your reputation, but having multiple negative reviews left unaddressed can cause new customers to turn away from your brand.

A Negative Review

In today’s society, reading reviews before purchasing a product or retaining a service is common practice. Some statistics indicate that 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing to ensure they will be satisfied. When negative reviews surface, the desire to be heard (as referenced in the previous section) is amplified because they want to know their concerns are not being ignored.

If you respond to a review and show the customer that you want to make up for the issue, it reassures customers whom the initial negativity might have put off. Unfortunately, responding to reviews might not be effective if they outnumber the positive reviews by a large margin. Nevertheless, responding to reviews of either type is always good business practice.

Positive Review Response #1

A Positive Review Response

“Hello <customer name>,

Thank you so much for your review. We’re thrilled to hear that you enjoyed our product/service, and your review has made our day. Our team works hard to ensure the best service for our customers, but we can only do it thanks to wonderful customers like you. Thank you again, and we hope to see you again soon.


The whole team at <company name>.”

Negative Review Response #1

A Negative Review Response

“Hello <customer name>,

We’re so sorry to hear that our product/service did not meet your expectations. We strive to ensure our customers are fully satisfied and take these situations very seriously. Please contact us at <domain name/e-mail address/phone number> so we can help resolve this issue.


The <company name> team.”

Positive Review Response #2

Responding to a Positive Review

“Hi <customer name>,

Thank you for the positive feedback! We’re so happy you enjoyed your <product name/service>. Please let us know if there is anything more we can do to improve your experience. Thank you again for being an amazing customer.


<Your name>, <your position> at <company name>.”

Negative Review Response #2

Responding to a Negative Review

“Hello <customer name>,

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention and informing us about the quality issues you faced. We at <company name> take these matters seriously and are working quickly to resolve the problem. We appreciate your patience as we handle this situation.


The <company name> team.”

Positive Review Response #3

A Team Member Responding to a Positive Review

“Hello <customer name>,

We’re so grateful you took the time to share your feedback with us. It brings us pleasure to serve customers like you and bring you the products/services you deserve. We hope you have a wonderful day!

The <company name> team.”

Negative Review Response #3

Team Member Responding to a Negative Review

Hello <customer name>,

We’re sorry to hear about your poor experience with our product. Please contact us at <domain name/e-mail address/phone number> with your order details so we can resolve the issue. We hope to hear from you soon and apologize again for the situation.


The <company name> team.”

Positive Review Response #4

A Good Response to a Positive Review

“Dear <customer name>,

It’s great to hear that your experience with <company name> was a positive one. Our team will be thrilled to hear that their hard work has paid off! Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to improve your experience further.


Your friends at <company name>.”

Negative Review Response #4

A Good Response to a Negative Review

“Dear <customer name>,

Thank you for your review. We appreciate honest feedback that helps us improve and serve our customers better. We apologize that your product did not function as expected and assure you we are working hard to ensure it does not happen again. In the meantime, if you would like to return the faulty product, we will happily exchange or refund it. You can also contact us at <domain name/e-mail address/phone number>.


<Your name>, <your position> at <company name>.”

Positive Review Response #5

A Positive Review Response Template

“Dear <customer name>,

We’re grateful for your positive feedback. It’s always a pleasure to provide the best possible service to our customers, and we are glad you could experience the quality of service we strive for. We look forward to the next time we’re able to serve you. Have an amazing day!


The <company name> staff”

Negative Review Response #5

A Negative Review Response Template

“Dear <customer name>,

Thank you for your honest feedback concerning our product/service. We regret that your experience did not reflect the quality we strive to provide for all our customers. We assure you; we will be feeding this review back to our quality assurance staff to ensure this does not happen again. We hope you will give us a chance to make it up to you in the near future. If you have any further concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at <domain name/e-mail address/phone number>.


<Your name>, <your position> at <company name>.”

Positive Review Response #6

(This response is exclusively for 5-star reviews.)

A Template Response for a Positive Review

“Thank you <customer name>,

It makes our day that we were able to deliver 5-star service to you. Reviews like this make our efforts worthwhile, and we’ll make sure the entire team at <company name> receives your feedback. We know they will be thrilled to hear how much you appreciate their service.


Your friends at <company name>.”

Negative Review Response #6

A Template Response for a Negative Review

“Dear <customer name>,

We’re sorry to hear that you had a negative experience with us. We take full responsibility for not meeting your standards or our own in this matter, and we will be taking immediate action to correct the issue. Please accept our deepest apologies and know we’re working to improve our services. Your feedback is important to us, and we hope you will allow us an opportunity to make things right.


The <company name> team.”

Beware Canned Responses

These templates can be an excellent starting point if you struggle with responding to your reviews. Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, it can be difficult to phrase your response properly.

However, it is important to remember that these templates are exactly that. It can be tempting to use a single template as the catch-all response to reviews of a specific nature. Unfortunately, this can be just as devastating to your reputation as ignoring the review outright. We have mentioned that one of the main reasons customers leave reviews is to feel heard and have their thoughts acknowledged.

Posting a premade response with only the most basic information updated to fit the situation will not accomplish that. If every response to a positive review is identical save for the customer’s name, the customers may assume you used an automated system to post the responses.

A Team Responding to Online Reviews

Insofar as positive reviews are concerned, the idea that an automated response was issued is annoying at best and offensive at worst. As for negative reviews, canned responses will infuriate the customer and cause them to double down on their feedback. You can still use these templates to address the appropriate review type, but you must take the time to adjust them to the specific circumstances.

For example, adjust to thank a customer further if they leave a 5-star review. Conversely, show more deference and ask follow-up questions on a review that is only 1 star. Adding extra context to show you are actively reading what the customer is writing will improve relations with them.

If you post the same response for every review, your reputation will plummet as more customers conclude that you do not care what they say about your services’ quality. That said, we realize that it can be challenging to dedicate that much time or effort to reading and replying to reviews. Fortunately, it is not something you must undertake alone if you do not have the time or resources.

Take Your Reputation Back!

Reviews are an aspect of online commerce that is never going away, especially considering how closely related commerce and social media have become. Addressing reviews, positive or negative, requires understanding how your customers think and what they want out of the review.

Most customers are satisfied with having their concerns addressed and the issue corrected. Unfortunately, responding to every review that comes across your company name can be challenging. Fortunately, resources are available to help cover the slack if you do not have the resources to address them in-house.

Business Owner Managing Their Reputation

We at Reputation know how difficult it is to maintain your public image in today’s society, especially with social media conquering most discourse. That is why we offer comprehensive reputation management services to help companies and individuals alike maintain their public image in the face of adversity. Review management and response is one of several services we provide to protect your reputation. There are no shortcuts concerning your public image, so visit our website today and take your reputation back!

As always, if you ever have any questions about anything we discussed in this article, please feel free to let us know, and we’ll gladly help you out however we can!

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    Raphael Thurber

    Raphael serves as the Content Production Director for Reputation.ca. In his role, Raphael oversees the company’s writing staff and assures that content is delivered accurately and with the highest of quality. Raphael works especially closely with the Account Management team, a relationship that is vital to the timely execution of content and to providing the highest level of client service possible. Raphael brings over ten years of writing experience to the company. A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Philosophy, he enjoys reading and playing tennis in his free time.