As a business owner, you need to respond to client reviews. If you don’t, you’re missing out on the opportunity to get important feedback, control the tone and branding of your page, and encourage more awesome reviews. Think about it: If you aren’t engaging with reviews on a regular basis, how do clients know you’re reading them? How do they know their effort was worth it? They don’t.
It’s time to make responding to reviews part of your marketing strategy and show clients you are more than just a service: you are a business, brand, personality, and experience.
PRO TIP: StyleSeat encourages clients to leave reviews after each appointment. As a professional, you’re notified when you have a new review and you just have to tap the respond button to leave a thoughtful reply.
Leaving a public response to a review (positive or negative) can be tricky and the way you respond could make or break a potential client’s decision to book with you. Here are some tips to make sure each response you leave is professional, personalized, and represents your brand.
HOW TO RESPOND TO POSITIVE REVIEWS
A common mistake business owners make is focusing on negative reviews only — but your strategy shouldn’t just be about damage control. Engaging with positive reviews allows you to take a happy client and turn them into a loyal customer who refers you to their friends and family. A client who leaves a great review felt strongly enough about their experience that they had to tell the world — don’t miss the opportunity to reinforce what they’ve shared about you.
- Personalized: Everyone likes to feel special and heard — make sure your responses are genuine and not robotic so clients know you’re listening. Personalize each response by using their first name and mentioning a detail from their appointment. This shows the client that their experience was important to you and you see them as an individual (not just a paycheck).
- Professional: This is also a great opportunity to build trust and credibility with potential clients who read through your reviews. In your response, feel free to give recommendations about other services or advice about how to care for their look outside of the salon. This reinforces that you are an expert and truly care about your client’s needs.
HOW TO RESPOND TO NEGATIVE REVIEWS
Unfortunately, no matter how great your services are or how much your clients love you, negative reviews happen. It’s something every business owner will have to deal with. Your first instinct might be to take it personally and get upset, DON’T. If the majority of your reviews are positive, having a few negative ones proves to potential clients that your reviews are legitimate and not edited by you, the business owner. Successful stylists have learned how to let go of the personal stuff, and instead, look at negative reviews as a branding opportunity.
- Personalized: Just like positive reviews, you should always use your client’s first name and thank them for their feedback. Even if you know the client is wrong, this response is not just for their eyes — it’s for all potential clients too. Let them know that you take feedback seriously and each experience is important to you.
- Professional: As hard as it might be, great business owners take the high road and apologize. Even if you’re not sorry about the way you run your business, you can still be sorry they didn’t enjoy their experience. Say something like:
“Hi Julie, I appreciate the feedback and I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your experience. I hold my services to a high standard and I’m sorry they were not met during your appointment.”
This shows potential clients you have integrity, hold your business to high standards, and act professionally.
- It’s never a good idea to start a long conversation publicly, especially when you’re speaking to a client who is upset. Offer to contact them offline to resolve the issue:
“I just sent you an email with some additional questions. Let’s see what we can do to fix this : )”
- Branding: Responding to negative reviews quickly and professionally allows you to control the conversation on your site. Boost your image with potential clients by showing how reasonable you are and how dedicated you are to your brand integrity.
PRO TIP: Even if the bad review is uncalled for, this is still a public response: don’t make excuses, always apologize and offer to make it right, and continue the rest of the conversation offline.
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