Online Review Responses:  What Should I Say?

If you are reading this, then you most likely came here looking for help. You’ve seen the previous blogs and read other articles about the importance of responding to your online review customers.  You’ve read the stats and have been told all about how responding will help with customer retention. You’ve even been told responding to reviews helps with your online reputation.

But there’s one thing that’s often missing from this information.  “What should I say?”  There are only so many ways you can say ‘Thank You’ or ‘Sorry you feel that way’. Do I say the same thing every time?  Can I just copy/paste a message?  How long should my responses be if I do respond?

Let me begin by first off saying, ‘Don’t Overthink It!’ Reading an online review is the same as having the customer right there in front of you; just in a digital form. That customer took the time out of their busy day to say something about their visit with you, whether good or bad.  Your digital acknowledgment to that review is no different than talking to them directly.

So you reply to the customer and consider it all done, right? Well, that’s good in theory but how do you put this into practice that helps your business?  Let’s break this down into 2 categories; Positive vs. Low Score.

Responding to Positive Reviews

If a customer is standing in front of you and thanks you for what you’ve done, how would you respond to them?  Are they a new customer?  Are they a loyal and longtime customer? Take that same conversation you would have in person and type it out instead!

“It was so great meeting you and we hope to be your repair shop for life”

“It’s always our pleasure seeing a long time customer like you”

“Thank you for the great review and we can’t wait to see you again”

Responding to Low Score Reviews

We all get them and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human.  But the way in how you handle the response will make all the difference.  Remember, customers have a right to say what they want, they’re the consumer.  If the review makes you upset, don’t respond right away. Take a moment, walk away for a bit and give yourself some time to think and even calm down.  Never immediately react on a low score.  Always remember that the customer is always right, even when they’re not.

If you really want to try and diffuse the situation, try to talk to the customer directly before posting any online response.  The SureCritic ReScore feature is amazing tools for having customers leave you a follow up rating if you can personally resolve their issue.  And if you can’t resolve their issue, there’s no better way to respond than by simply being the bigger person.  Here are just a few examples of low score responses:

“I’m sorry you feel your visit was less than satisfactory. We pride ourselves on quality service, and if you’d like to discuss this with me further please reach me at (shop number).”

“I’ve been unsuccessful at reaching you personally regarding this matter. Please call or stop by at your convenience so we can discuss this further”.

“Thank you so much for speaking with me regarding this and I’m glad we’re going to work this out together.  I look forward to having your vehicle here again so we can retain you as a valued customer.”

Your review response will be seen by anyone reading it, so whether is positive or low score, always respond to a review like you would respond to them in person.  This will not only show the customer who wrote the review that you care, but it’ll also show the public reading the review that you pay attention to your customers on all levels.  Successful shops connect with customers on all levels, why not be in that group?

Always remember building your customer relationships isn’t going to happen overnight, but it can start today! Mitchell 1’s Social CRM auto repair marketing team is always here to help you and provide industry proven tips and recommendations to help your repair shop succeed!

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About the Author

Greg Betz

Greg Betz started at Mitchell 1 in 2008, working his way through inside sales, customer service, collections, and joining the SocialCRM team in 2012. He is currently a support agent for the SocialCRM shop marketing program. In his spare time, he is a die-hard NFL and fantasy football fan.