- The First-time Reviewer
When you encounter a first-time reviewer, bare in mind that if yours is the first review they write, they have a strong emotion towards your brand, whether the experience is good or bad. If it is good, it means your service is outstanding and make sure to pass this to your team and congratulate them. However, on the flip side with negative feedback, identify the truth in the feedback and internally rectify any changes/mistakes. If valid, your response should outline the steps that will be taken to avoid this issue again in the future. And, if you disagree with the reviewer’s claims, politely and professionally provide your side of the story. This will help provide context to readers.
- The Serial Complainer
Those reviewers usually have a long and storied history of leaving negative reviews since they are very picky and have unrealistically high standards/expectations. Tread carefully here, as the serial complainer has had lots of experience with other businesses just like yours. They are professionals at making you look bad. Your response will need to be very measured while also addressing the points made. Look at how other businesses have fared when dealing with them and avoid making the same mistakes. Be aware that the serial complainer is very likely to continue the conversation and will respond back to your comments with additional complaints or disagreements. And if you can’t change their mind, don’t be disheartened!
- The Direct Communicator
The direct communicator will be straightforward and expect someone senior to handle it. They don’t direct their reviews to the world at large, but to the business owner/manager. They would want to receive a personal response and likely to discuss on the public review site rather than a private conversation. You should avoid making excuses because direct communicators value straight talk and expect swift action.
- The Storyteller
They often take time to craft exceptionally detailed reviews. They share the smallest of details and picture their entire experience, sometimes it isn’t directly relating to the product or service being reviewed. You can recognize them by the length of the review.
If they post a negative review, take time to check and re-check your response before posting, as the storyteller will often be highly critical of replies which aren’t equally as thought out. This doesn’t mean you should match the length or tone, not that necessary to add too much background information if it doesn’t serve a purpose.
- The Sharpshooter
The review will be brief and to the point, and perhaps poorly written or rushed. When dealing with these people, be conscious that your response needs to be concise but not short. Use succinct, clear sentences rather than wordy, elaborate ones to better reflect this type of reviewer’s communication style.
- The Faker
Most businesses will probably come across reviews from fake people/competitors at least once. Fakers hold grudges and delight in leaving made-up one-star reviews to damage your online reputation. If you suspect a review is fake, check your customer records to determine if they have ever used your business. Don’t be tempted to reply straight away if you think it’s fake*. In the meantime, focus on attaining new positive, genuine reviews to push the fake one star down.
Each type of review requires a different response strategy. Change your approach, amend response length, tone and details to suit their needs.
*We have a post on fake/manipulated reviews here