Reputation Management continues to be all the rage these days and many businesses have chosen to automate it. An online review is gold to a business, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.

It’s become the norm for a business to respond to complaints and negativity. Some companies employ entire departments to monitor their social media streams to catch bad reviews and quickly resolve them or at least respond.

We’ve all seen Twitter feeds of popular brands that answer questions and solve problems in real-time. You kind of have to in this day and age. Because we all know what happens when criticism or a call for help goes unanswered.

But, there is one group of consumers that have been largely ignored. The happy customer. Who is responding to them?

Are we that jaded a society that a compliment is expected and not acknowledged?

Paying attention to the positive reviews will reap more benefits than focusing on the bad, IF, and only if, this function is not automated.

Why? Because a personal touch from the business owner, or a representative from the business, goes a long way towards customer loyalty.

Incorporate these 6 simple rules of etiquette when responding to a positive online review:

Use the words “thank you.”

Sounds simple enough, right? “Thanks” is too informal and doesn’t include the operative word “you.” Being sincere is important and nothing shouts sincerity as much as using this all-important pronoun.

Address your customer by name.

Almost every review platform shows the customer name. While many consumers prefer to use a nickname or just an identifying tag, like “A Google User”, most sites default to at least the first name of the reviewer. Use it in your response.

It conveys to the reviewer that a real person actually did read the review. And, who doesn’t like to be called by name?

Acknowledge the compliment with specifics.

Reflect back to the reviewer the compliment(s) they are giving your staff or service person, acknowledging you are glad so-and-so delivered great service.

For example, “We are happy that Alex arrived promptly and resolved your broken water pipe.”

This might take 30 more seconds of your time, but it’s time well invested.

Writing a bunch of generic one-sentence responses will quickly be discovered when other potential consumers read your reviews. And that is not a good reflection on your business.

You don’t want to sound like a robot – be genuine and individualize each thank you.

Express appreciation and gratitude.

Although this etiquette tip may seem painfully obvious, I have seen many responses to reviews that only say, “Thanks.” Period.

Keep in mind your customer took their precious time to publicly compliment you, so incorporating words of gratitude are important.

Something like, “We greatly appreciate the time you took to share your feedback with us. It is valuable and important!”

Or – “Your business is important; thank you for taking a few minutes of your day to share your kind words and kudos. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!”

Loyal customers need to be recognized.

Repeat customers are not only loyal, but they are also your best source of referrals.

Be sure to mention their loyalty factor. Customers like to know that the business notices someone who is a devoted fan.

Here’s an example, “We appreciate your review and are very happy to know you have been a loyal customer over the years. We are thrilled you continue to (visit us regularly), (order our product)”, or whatever statement applies.

Close with a sincere invitation to use your product/service again.

A simple sentence or phrase like, “If you ever need our assistance again, don’t hesitate to give us a call!” is a perfect way to end a review.

One of the best ways to keep all of your reviews organized is to use a service. I recommend Reputation.com and Bright Local – but there are many others out there. Check out this site for a compilation of different software programs that interface with eCommerce sites and more.

Hiring a dedicated person to respond to your reviews is a good idea. It’s a guarantee that every single review will receive a response.

How do you encourage and respond to the positive reviews about your business, product, or service?

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