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February 2021 Edition

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! Responding To Customers' Online Reviews.

by Dawn Varga

February 19, 2021

Receiving customer feedback in the way of online reviews can be an emotional roller coaster. One customer is extremely happy with the customer service they received or product they purchased and can't say enough nice things about you and your business. Then the next customer comes along who wasn't completely satisfied and leaves a negative review, venting their concerns to anyone willing to read them. And then there is the angry customer, who leaves a scathing multi-paragraph review, vowing never to return, threatening to post their rant on every public site, and letting you know they will tell all their friends about what happened.

It is important to respond to all reviews (even the ugly ones). Why? Because every review, positive or negative, is an opportunity to show your business in a positive light. Ignoring negative reviews is not an option. You need to show you care and demonstrate professionalism. Yelp says, "A Public Comment shows your commitment to customer service. " and Google states, "You can reply to reviews, which can help build customer trust." And your responses can actually help you to show up in search results too. If you respond with the right content it can be free marketing - yay!

You know it is important to respond to every review, but what do you say? 

The Good

Responding to positive reviews is easy. Thank the customer for their business and for taking the time to leave the review. Try to not used the same "canned" responses. Make each response personal by mentioning the product they purchased or the name of the employee who helped them. Ask them to come back again and use the opportunity to provide a phone number, email address or website link for promotional purposes.

The Bad

It's never easy to read a negative review, especially if there is some truth to it. Take the opportunity to see it as a learning experience and improve upon your service or product. In responding to a negative review, acknowledge their concern, apologize for their experience, and offer a solution or the opportunity to discuss their concerns offline. Provide your contact information to make it easy for them to take the next step. Never get into a back-and-forth on the public review site. It their issue was not valid, you can state your "side of the story", but keep it brief and don't direct the blame at the customer.

The Ugly

When a customer is extremely angry with you or your business and takes to the internet to rant and rave about it, there is one thing that is most important for you to remember...keep you cool. Do not blast back. Take a breath. All the cliches hold true in this situation..."less is more", "kill with kindness", "don't lose your cool", and "take the highroad". Whether the review is true or not, respond to this customer in the same way you would respond to negative review mentioned above. Be sure to offer to discuss their issues offline. If possible, you may want to private message, call or email them directly to start the conversation in an attempt to resolve their concerns. Of course, if the review is legitimately false or fake, then you can dispute, flag, or report the review and attempt to have it removed. There is no guarantee that the review site will see the review as a violation of their terms of service, but it is always worth a try. 

Other consumers looking to do business with a company like yours will take the time to research online and will read the reviews of your previous customers. Therefore, it is important to have current reviews and good star ratings, but you should also show that you care about your customers by taking the time to respond publicly to their online reviews. it takes time, but the benefits far outweigh the cost of not doing so. We hope these responding tips and best practices will help you properly respond to all your reviews – the good, the bad and the ugly! 

Need help monitoring your company's reviews and responding to your customers?

Contact OnTarget Digital Services for professional assistance. We will respond to customer reviews on your company’s behalf to promote your brand and maintain a positive online reputation for your business. Call or Text (951) 394-1952 or visit our website for more information. 

Why Responding to All Your Online Reviews Is Critical

by Eric 'ERock' Christopher, Member

February 17, 2021

Find out why you need to respond to all your online reviews – not just the negative ones.

Would you do business with your own company? If you searched for your company by its brand name and added the word "reviews" at the end, would you be happy with what people are saying?

Competition is fierce in today's digital age, with nearly every business claiming the best products and services and touting fantastic customer service. How, then, do people decide which company they're going to do business with?

The answer is customer reviews, which can be managed with online reputation marketing. Notice that I didn't say online reputation management. Managing your brand's reputation is essential, but marketing it is also critical to the success of any business.

To improve your online reputation marketing efforts, you can start simply by responding to all your existing customer reviews – including your positive reviews. Sadly, this is one of the most neglected and underutilized online reputation marketing strategies around, yet it's one of the easiest to execute. Here's how to respond to positive reviews.

How to write a response to a positive review

When responding to a positive review, you can easily fit these steps to your company's personality and brand:

  1. Write your response sooner rather than later. A response to a positive review will appear more meaningful and genuine if you deliver it quickly. You don't have to respond mere minutes after the review is published, but don't wait more than 24 hours.
  2. Address reviewers by name. When Sarah H. leaves a positive review, don't just start your reply with "Thanks for your review!" Start it with "Hi, Sarah!"
  3. Continue with gratitude. After you address the reviewer by name, move on to simple gratitude. Your response should be something like "Hi, Sarah! Thanks so much for your enthusiastic review."
  4. Address the reviewer's key points. If Sarah's review says that she loves your accounting company's thorough tax preparation tips, acknowledge that point. You can usually acknowledge all the reviewer's positive feedback in just one sentence.
  5. Offer discounts or rewards. While this is optional, offering discounts or rewards in your responses to positive reviews can encourage customer loyalty. If you do include these offers, it should be near the end of your response.
  6. Keep it short by ending here. Responses to positive reviews shouldn't be long. You can be genuine and grateful with just the above, along with a final "thanks" or another expression of gratitude at the end. Don't forget to include your name at the end too.
  7. Share your positive reviews. After you respond to the positive review, share it on your company’s social media feeds. You can also add positive reviews to your website’s testimonials page.
An example of how to respond to a positive review

Given the above tips, this might be an appropriate response to a positive review:

Hi, Sarah! Thanks so much for your enthusiastic review. We're really happy to see that our thorough tax preparation tips and advice have made a difference for you. Feel free to remind us of this review the next time you use our services for 20% off! Thanks again for choosing us. –[Your name]

Why you should respond to positive reviews

Now that you know how to respond to a positive review, here are five reasons why you should respond to every single customer review.

1. Let the world know you care about every customer, not just the ones who complain.

As you research a company and read its reviews, you'll hopefully see some positive ones. Suddenly, you discover a negative review, and that's when the business finally decides to take the time to respond. The business is rewarding someone's negative comments with its time and attention, instead of replying and showing appreciation to all the customers who took the time to share a positive review of the business. 
What does it say about your business when people see positive reviews ignored, but then see a lengthy response to a bad review? It says your business cares more about your reputation than about your customers and their experiences.

That's the real difference between reputation management and reputation marketing. The business is managing a negative review, instead of marketing its brand using all the reviews. If you thoughtfully respond to all your online customer reviews, you can market to your existing customers and attract new customers as well.

Here's a tip about replying to positive reviews: Don't just respond with a simple "Thanks!" or "We appreciate you." Instead, personalize your response where appropriate and possible, showing your customers you took the time to compose a sincere and meaningful reply. You might think that you can't afford the investment of time to respond to all reviews. However, when you invest the time, it will provide you a positive ROI.

Cranberry Sauce

Naturally Green Shamrock Shake

View Recipe on

Cool, Creamy, Minty, Refreshing! 

This homemade shamrock shake recipe is naturally green, and has only 3 ingredients and no preservatives! You're 5 minutes away from a delicious St. Patrick's Day treat!


  • 1 1/2 cups natural vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves stems removed, loosley packed
  • 1/2 tsp pure mint extract
  • real whipped cream and homemade chocolate syrup for topping.


  1. Place ice cream, mint leaves, and mint extract into a high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and garnish with any of the following: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, chocolate syrup, strawberries

  • For a thinner shake, add some milk. Start with 1/4 cup. 
  • If you don't have a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, it can take a couple of minutes to really blend up the leaves, don't worry, it will get there!
  • If you don't have mint extract, you can use peppermint, but use half the amount. 
  • For more subtle mint, leave the extract out completely.


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