5 Different Ways You Can Respond to Good Reviews

5 Different Ways You Can Respond to Good Reviews

Most business owners nowadays realize the importance of having good reviews. You must deliver outstanding service and go above and beyond to deliver a customer experience that will warrant an amazing review from your customer. No matter what happens after you do get a review–whether it’s good or bad–it’s very important to respond to the review.

Reviews help boost your customer loyalty. If a person is taking time out of their day to write you a review, then they are either happy with the services that your business provided or they had a bad experience that should be addressed. 

Who’s Reading Online Reviews?

The search engines can see every single word of the review. Even better, the search engine algorithms that read the reviews are now artificially intelligent. Not only can they see the words of the review, but they can also interpret them.

Potential customers are also reading your reviews–especially your negative reviews. They are trying to see if you’re a reputable company: one that they would want to do business with. In a recent survey that was done, 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. 

In fact, 90 percent of people will first check out what others are saying about a business before making the decision to move further. Over the last ten years, reviews have started becoming an even more common part of consumers purchasing decisions. The average person roughly spends around 13 minutes reading reviews before making the final decision. 

How to ask for reviews

Did you know that seventy percent of consumers will leave a review if you just ask them to. But how do you go about doing this? Do you just bluntly ask them to write you a review on the service that was provided?  The short answer is yes. We recommend that you ask your happiest customers to write you a review on one of the top three platforms (Facebook, Google, Yelp). Don’t always pick just one, though. You need to make sure your reviews are balanced between the three. You don’t want to have all your reviews on one platform and none on the others.

Responding to good reviews

The top 3 platforms, Yelp, Facebook and Google allow business owners to respond to their reviews. Most business owners understand that it’s important to respond to bad reviews, but did you know that it’s just as important to respond to your good reviews? It is.

A simple thank you for their review is the bare minimum that any business owner should do. But since everything is marketing, great reviews deserve a unique communication for your customer’s appreciation. 

While it’s fantastic to thank a customer for their nice review, it’s far better to write them a little note of appreciation. There are many ways you can do this. 

Examples of a Response

  1. You can thank them for the review and offer compliments on their wording and tell them they’re a great writer. Something like “Hi (Customer name), thank you so much for your kind review. We appreciate it. Your review was so well written that I read it out loud to my team. You made our day.”
  1. You can thank them for the nice review and talk a little bit about the services that you did for them. Something like “Hey (Customer name), thank you so much for your nice review, it was truly a pleasure to help you cure your back pain.”
  1. You can thank them for their nice review and make them a special offer. Something like “Hey (Customer name), thank you so much for your very well written and kind review. Because you were so kind as to write us a nice review, I would like to offer you 20% off your next service.”
  1. You can thank them for their kind review and make them aware of some other services that you provide that they may not be aware of. Something like “thank you so much for your kind review, we really appreciate it. We were so happy that we were able to fix your laptop after you spilled wine on it. Just to let you know, we also make house calls. If you ever need anything right away, we’re happy to send one of our technicians out to your home.”
  1. You can thank them for their kind review and elaborate on the purchase that they made. Something like: “Hey (Customer name), thank you so much for your beautifully written review. We appreciate you buying all your wedding flowers from us. Make sure to keep them in a cool and moist place until the day of the wedding.”

Of course, you can simply just say thank you. But why pass up the opportunity to build upon the relationship with your customer? Clearly, they are happy with your service or they wouldn’t have written you a nice review. You can make them a customer for life by continuing your outstanding customer service after the purchase has been made, and they have already been made happy.

The bottom line is this: make sure to respond to your good reviews as it can often lead to more business not just with the reviewer but with potential customers. It’s never a waste of time to nurture a relationship with your customer.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

Why Even Your Own Mama Won’t Write You a Nice Review

Why Even Your Own Mama Won’t Write You a Nice Review

I remember back in the day when I was running my computer repair business. I often fixed my family and friend’s computers, free of charge. The only thing that I asked of them was to write me a nice customer review to help build my business’ online reputation. But did they write customer reviews? Occasionally–but often they didn’t.

I frequently lamented how frustrating it was to fix somebody’s computer for free without receiving so much as a kind review in return. What was going on? The one that stung the most was my own mother. Despite repeated requests asking her to write me a nice review, she never did. 

It’s not like my mom was not tech-savvy. It wasn’t that she was ungrateful that I helped her with her computer. It was most certainly not because she didn’t love me. So why didn’t she write me a nice review? That’s a very good question, and it brings up an important point: people are busy. The internet is complicated. People are selfish, and nobody cares about your customer reviews more than you. Not even your own mother. The fact that it’s difficult to get even your own mother to write a review perfectly illustrates how challenging it can be to get your customers to write you nice reviews.

I wasn’t one to give up so easily. I learned some techniques that greatly increased the likelihood that somebody I asked would write me a nice review. What I learned was that you must make it as easy as possible and you might even need to bribe people sometimes. Sometimes doing people a favor or going above and beyond with your level of service is just not enough to get customer reviews. At the end of the day, what worked for me and is currently working for some of our customers to gain more reviews and build their online reputation is to employ a power of persuasion called reciprocity.

The Power of Reciprocity

One of the specific techniques that has worked well for us is buying $5 Starbucks gift cards and giving these cards to clients at the same time that you’re asking them for a nice review. We like to say, “thank you so much for your business, if we buy you a coffee would you kindly write us a nice review?” Using this technique, we’ve been able to substantially increase the likelihood that one of our customers would write us a Google or Facebook or Yelp review.

This is because if you give somebody something, they feel obligated to give something back. Hence the power of persuasion technique that is reciprocity. But even this technique alone proved to not be enough. Customers were only writing customer reviews about half the time! So, what we started doing was printing out review cards as well. The review cards simply said “happy with our service? Please write us a nice review”.

The review cards had three choices: they could write us a customer review on Yelp, write us a customer review on Facebook or they could write us a customer review on Google. Whichever one is easiest for people. We began texting people shortened links to make the customer review process that much easier for them. The shortened links that we use allow us to track the number of people who use the links and write us a review. They look something like this:

Bit.ly/fbreview

Bit.ly/googreview

Bit.ly/yelpreview

The true genius of these links is that when they click on them, they are directed right to the review writing process. They literally must do nothing except start writing their review. Texting these review links to their cell phone further increases the chances that they will write a great review.

So, a Starbucks gift card, review cards, and texting the link right to their cell phone all helped contribute to a high success rate for getting customer reviews. The bottom line is that reviews have become perhaps the most important online aspect for nearly any business. They are so important that business owners must do anything and everything to get them.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

Reviews Are a Two Way Street

Reviews Are a Two Way Street

Reviews are a two-way street. Customers write them, and it’s the business owner’s job to thank them when they’re great and to address the negative reviews in a timely manner.

Sure, it’s very easy to thank a customer for a great review. It’s good for your company’s image. When potential customers see that the review process is interactive through the good reviews you respond to, it fortifies a business’s image as attentive and caring. But the opposite is even more important.

The importance of responding to a negative review

If your business faces a negative review, it’s extremely important that you respond to it. Just responding is not enough though. You must respond properly and not make the situation worse, and certainly not make you or your business look bad.

Case in point, we were working for a holistic health care center. The owner was a bit of a loose cannon. 

They frequently got negative reviews and instead of the owner responding professionally to the negative reviews, she would argue with the unhappy customer and make the situation worse.

Common mistake to avoid at all costs

Some of these responses would make the customers even angrier and they could change their 2-star review to a 1-star review. This would further agitate the business owner, and sometimes the argument would spiral out of control.

Why is this bad? Because to a potential new customer, it just looks like a mess. It looks like a traffic accident, and a potential new customer will immediately avoid this type of situation and go elsewhere, where the traffic is free-flowing.

Never argue with an angry client 

Arguing with a customer that writes you a bad review is perhaps one of the worst things that a business owner can possibly do. I know from personal experience that it’s extremely difficult to remove an undeserved negative review. I know how painful it is to try so hard to please an irrational customer, only to be rewarded with a 1-star review. But arguing with them is only going to make things worse.

Thank the customer for his time

That’s why when a business owner gets a bad review, they must immediately address the customer. The first thing they should do is thank the customer. I know it sounds crazy, but if an upset customer was motivated enough to write a bad review, a smart business owner would be wise to thank them for their time. This is because unhappy customers, like all of us, consider their time valuable.

Apologize but don’t admit the wrongdoing 

The next thing a wise business owner should do when responding to a negative review is apologizing that they’re unhappy. It’s important not to admit any wrongdoing, even if there was wrongdoing. Simply thank the customer, apologize that they’re unhappy, and ask them if there’s anything that can be done to satisfy them.

Your response is the reflection of your business

The important thing to realize when considering your response is how you will look as a business owner to potential new customers. It’s not only about the unhappy customer who wrote the bad review. That’s small potatoes compared to the larger picture. Your response and your company’s reputation in handling unhappy customers is on the line.

A bad review can cost you a lot 

You would be wise to bend over backwards and offer a free service, or anything else that might make the customer feel better, even if you’ve already bent over backwards to help them. The cost of a free gift, service, or product to appease the customer will always be less than the cost of lost business from the negative review. 

Professional customer service is all you need

The chances of the customer actually removing the review or changing it to a positive review may be slim, but what’s important is that new potential customers will see that you are a responsible business owner and that you care about your business enough to do whatever is necessary to make a customer happy. In this way, a negative review is your chance to shine, and to show new potential customers that your customer service, especially when things go wrong, is top-notch and second-to-none.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

The Importance of a Balanced Review Diet – How One Company Got 75 Reviews in One Month

The Importance of a Balanced Review Diet – How One Company Got 75 Reviews in One Month

It was our operations manager who discovered the problem. One of our biggest clients, a large tire and auto repair facility in West Los Angeles, had over 500 Yelp reviews but only 22 Google reviews. I decided to reach out to the owner and explain the situation to him.

Having over 500 Yelp reviews, he was no stranger to the concept of getting reviews. So he immediately understood when I explained to him why it was important to have a more balanced review profile. After all, one of the reasons he partnered with us was to help his auto and tire repair shop get more business from online searches.

The owner wasn’t different from many of our other customers. He knew how important Yelp was and spent years building his 500 plus reviews. While he knew that Google had its own review platform, he didn’t realize how important it was. If you’re trying to rank higher on Google, their review platform is the most important platform in the world. If you want to rank on Google, it’s a good idea to play the game that Google has made. Google’s review system is based on its “Google My Business” platform. And getting more reviews on GMB is just the start. GMB is a full-fledged social channel for businesses. Business owners would be wise to participate in all aspects of it, not just the reviews.

Google rewards businesses that use their platforms. Their reviews are arguably the most important. The reason they are important is they’re a search ranking factor. They are also important for converting people into customers. It can look fake if a business has dozens or hundreds of reviews in one place, and almost none anywhere else. Having a balanced review profile is the end game.

So what is a balanced review profile? A balanced review profile is a natural pattern of reviews. People use a variety of platforms to find and interact with businesses. It makes sense that they would also write reviews in different places. These reviews can be anywhere from Trust Pilot to Yahoo, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Super Pages and many more. The big three for most businesses are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. 

The takeaway is that if you’re a small business trying to get more reviews, don’t put all your review eggs in one basket. Ask for reviews on “The Big Three” and when you get each of them sorted and balanced out, then start asking for reviews in different places to keep them more balanced. The more places your business has reviews, the better.

The more review diversity a business has, the better it is for their search engine rankings. It’s also better for their consumers. Most people use a variety of different places to find what they’re looking for. It’s important to have reviews in as many places as possible, as long as it makes sense for your particular type of business. For example, an attorney might want to get many reviews on avvo.com. Reviews on avvo.com don’t make sense for a tire dealer.

Which, brings me back to the customer this story is about. One of the things we do for our customers every month is to send them a review flow report. Our review flow reports show every single review ever written about a company. We like to see our customers getting at least a few reviews every month. I was blown away when I read the review flow report a month later for the tire and auto repair facility. They received 75 reviews on Google in one month! That amounted to an average of 2.5 per day. We have customers that struggle to get 2.5 reviews per month. Here’s this amazing business owner who was getting up to 5 reviews per day. Within two months they had well over 125 reviews, and their review profile was becoming more balanced each day.

Naturally, their Google rankings surged to an all-time high. I might mention that the owner of the tire and auto repair shop had a little help. They used a review management platform that made it easy to get reviews. Nimbus Marketing offers the same type of review management platform. For $75 per month, our system automates the review process. If you’re interested in learning more about automating your review process and getting more reviews per month, reach out to us at nimbus@nimbus.market.

Learn why online reviews are so important for your online marketing strategy. 

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

Customer Review Stories – Cancer, a Speeding Ticket and a Wildly-Unfair Review

Customer Review Stories – Cancer, a Speeding Ticket and a Wildly-Unfair Review

Crazy but true customer review stories: Episode 1

It was 2 p.m. on a Friday when she called. This customer had a hard drive that was unresponsive. She desperately needed some critical files off of her laptop by the end of the day for an important project she was working on. I felt her pain and invited her over for a free diagnostic. She arrived at my

shop and I immediately set to work recovering her files from her expensive laptop. There was only one problem: she forgot her power cord and the battery was dead. So, she hopped in her car and quickly drove home to get it.

About an hour later she returned to my computer repair shop and I finished the job and recovered her files. Total turnaround time was about 3 hours, including her trip home. I ran her credit card, thanked her for her business, and patted myself on the back for a job well done.

I was utterly shocked, no, I was near-mortally wounded the next day to receive a notification that she had written me a 2-star review on Yelp!
I was dumbfounded. Shocked. Stupefied. I was in absolute disbelief. As I read the review, I started to become angry. In the review she thanked me for the outstanding service, but complained that she received a speeding ticket on
the way home. She actually wrote me a 2-star review because she got a speeding ticket on the way home!
When I was working in the shop with her, we had a plenty of time to talk and she explained to me that the reason she was bald was because she was going through chemotherapy. She had cancer and it had spread. She also explained to me that she was tired and sick a lot, and having trouble finding work. Her brave story only fortified me, and made me more resolved to getting the job done at a fair price, and with free Rush Service.
I must have read that 2-star review 10 times. When I finally collected myself, I responded to the review in writing. I politely pointed out out that her review was unfair. I had provided outstanding service, and the
speeding ticket had nothing to do my company. What happened next nearly exploded my brain. Instead of seeing the point of my argument, she got angry and changed the 2-star review to a 1-star review!
This illustrates an important point that I wrote about in an upcoming article: never argue with a customer who writes you a bad review. But I was less mature and evolved as a businessperson at the time. I argued with her and got nowhere.
I tried messaging her on Yelp. She ignored me. I repeatedly called her and left voicemails. She never called me back. I tried text messaging her. She ignored me more. Her review hit me hard and was particularly painful because her one-star review was one of only a dozen or so for my business, so it brought
down my company’s overall ratings average from 5 stars, to 4 stars. This reduced the number of phone calls I received on a daily basis by a factor of 10.

This unfair review also hit my bank account. Up until this situation, I had never received such a terrible review. And I didn’t realize until later that not only was I arguing with her, I was doing so in a public forum. I never had to use the “send private message” feature on Yelp . My arguing with her made me look like a terrible business owner, even though I was completely in the right.

I persisted trying to contact her and eventually succeeded by blocking my caller I.D. Before she could hang up I practically begged her to remove the review. Flabbergasted, she said that if I made a donation to a local cancer organization she would

remove the review. So I donated to the Leukemia Foundation, designated her as the person who inspired the donation, and sent her a copy of the thank you note and receipt. Within a few days she removed the review. I had lost thousands of dollars in business, but the phone thankfully started ringing all day long again.
One day about three months later, I received a notification from Yelp that I received a new review. I immediately went to my Yelp business profile and noticed that this same customer had written a new 1-star review. I was stunned. She betrayed me! But when I read the review, it made sense. The customer had passed away and her sister, acting as somewhat of an online vigilante, rewrote the negative review and even went so far as to say that I harassed her sister. She went on to say that I harassed her dead sister who was suffering from cancer. I was mortified.

The phone stopped ringing again. The new review on Yelp was so long, that it took up two entire pages on Yelp. But this time I knew what to do.

Luckily, writing a negative review under someone else’s name violates Yelp’s guidelines. I reached out to Yelp and they not only removed the review, they removed the deceased’s Yelp profile completely. I only lost a couple of days and several hundreds dollars worth of business.
Then about 2 years later, I noticed that

we had another 1-star review. It was the sister again, more than two years later, going on and on about how I harassed her deceased sister. I wondered if this nightmare was ever going to end for good. I contacted Yelp’s customer service and explained the situation: that this person had never done business with us, and was the sister of somebody who had passed away. I supplied the history of the previous review they removed. Yelp removed the negative review and all was well.

What I learned from this crazy customer review experience is to never argue with a customer on a public forum. It makes you look even worse. Instead, keep communications private. And always remain kind and calm, even when customers are being downright unfair. Oh, and I also learned that cancer really sucks. To the deceased girl who wrote the bad review because of the speeding tick and then removed it, may your soul rest in peace.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.