When you receive a review about your salon online, what do you do? Do you simply smile at any nice comments and get on with whatever you were doing previously? Do you get irritated when you see a negative review and worry about it, but fear responding would highlight what’s gone wrong, alerting potential clients to a problem?
Whether the comment you have received is good or bad, there is one thing you should always do, and this is reply. Responding to online reviews can help you to solidify your reputation online.
While receiving a negative comment can be disheartening, the way you respond to it can say a lot about your business. With that being said, continue reading to discover more about responding to online reviews and how to do so effectively.
One of the worst things you can do for your online reputation is let reviews go unmanaged. If you do not answer a review, especially a negative one, it leaves customers wondering if you took any sort of action to rectify the issue. Do you even care that one of your customers had a negative experience? What actions did you take to put it right? Did you refund them?
If you do not answer a review, not only could it cost you the customer that you have already worked hard to get but it could also end up costing you a new customer too. Growing the relationships you have already made is vital, as acquiring new customers can cost five times more than holding onto an existing customer.
In addition to this, a lot of customers today will not purchase from a brand until they have read a review. This is why it is critical to make sure you are part of the dialogue. If you respond to a review, it shows that you care what your customers think about your salon and that you are committed to ensuring they have the best possible experience. This builds trust. People are much more likely to book an appointment with a salon when they see that they care about their customers.
Not only is responding to reviews important from the perspective of reputation management but it can also help increase your local SEO efforts. Reviews help Google and other search engines see that you are a high-quality, legitimate business. Reviews are one of the main ranking factors that Google uses and they certainly believe that reviews make a big difference to those looking for services online.
According to the help page on Google My Business:
“High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
As Google plays a considerable role in the decisions customers make, it is vital to play the game right and optimize your online presence in any manner possible. Google’s mission is to ensure that users get the best possible results in relation to their queries. If Google can see your business is a verified, trusted one, it is only going to help on your quest to move up the search engine result pages.
When you are responding to negative feedback you have received online, it is vital that you calmly handle the criticism you have received and keep the interaction as simple as possible. You can defuse the situation by showing a little bit of sympathy. Apologise for the bad experience they have had. You can do this without agreeing with the negative comments they have made about your salon.
It is often a wise idea to briefly speak to the primary concern the reviewer has highlighted. For example, if they feel like your wait times were too long or that one of your staff members was rude, acknowledge this in your review. It shows that you are paying attention to their review and that you are not simply pasting a generic response that you use for everyone. You care enough about them to go to the effort of tailoring your response.
If it is possible, offer to handle the issue either in person or over the phone. This shows a real willingness to resolve the issue. You should also make sure you respond within 24 hours, and address the customer by their name, thanking the customer for voicing their concern.
Next, directly name the concern and apologise for not meeting the customer’s standards. If there is a valid reason why the customer experienced bad service, provide it. However, you should never simply make up excuses if there are not any. Instead, demonstrate how you will address the problem going forward.
Offer the customer some sort of perk that is not available to other customers, such as a discount, credit, or refund. Invite them to get in touch with you if they would like to discuss the issue further. Never simply remove the review, because this will make your business look ingenuine.
If you go to all of this effort and the customer does not respond to you, don’t worry; you have not wasted your time. This will show offer customers that you care about them and that you want them to have the best service possible. It also shows that if something were to go wrong, you would be committed to putting it right. It says a lot about the type of business you run.
So there you have it: everything you need to know about online reviews and why it makes sense to respond to them. We hope that this has given you a good understanding of how you can use online reviews to build up your presence.
Of course, you need to make sure you are polite and professional in reply. The aim here is to show your business in a positive light, and whether things go right or wrong for a customer, you are ready and willing to use feedback to improve what you have to offer.