How to reply to positive customer feedback

Kimberlee Meier,

Writer

8 June 20210 min read

It’s pretty awkward to give no reply to a compliment when you’re chatting face-to-face. But when it comes to online reviews on Facebook, G2Crowd, TrustRadius, the app store, and more, many companies only prioritize responding to the angry customers.

"Nice shoes!"

Blank stare.

It's pretty awkward to give no reply to a compliment when you're chatting face-to-face. But when it comes to online reviews on Facebook, G2Crowd, TrustRadius, the app store, and more, many companies only prioritize responding to the angry customers.

Your happy ones deserve a response too. Replying to these reviews will not only show your customers that you value their business, but it will also show potential customers how you will treat them. Below we'll look at:

  • Why it's important to respond to positive reviews

  • Real examples for how to respond to positive customer feedback

  • Why you should develop a plan to share feedback with your team

Why it's important to respond to positive reviews

Replying to positive reviews goes beyond just having good manners—although that's a good reason, too. Saying thank you to a customer or just acknowledging their positive review can have a knock-on effect. This simple step can put you at a massive head start compared to your competitors. Replying to positive reviews can:

  • Bring in new customers: If people are window shopping and reading reviews, they're trying to decide whether or not to buy from you. Making a good impression with how you respond to reviews can leave a good impression and turn them into new customers

  • Improve customer retention: Replying to positive reviews shows your customers that you care about them and appreciate them

Real examples for how to respond to positive customer feedback

What to include in every reply

Get personal & say thanks

Talk to your customers like you would if you were on a phone call or seeing them in person. When responding, don't begin with "Dear customer." Use their name instead. If their name is Bill, start your reply with "Hi Bill" or "Good Afternoon Bill". It's that simple.

Next, say thank you to the customer for taking the time to leave you a positive review. You can fill in the rest of the message with other specifics about their review, but starting and finishing your reply with a "thank you" is very important.

You should also be mindful of using generic templates to respond to feedback, even when you are just saying thanks for a positive review. One scroll down your list of reviews will expose this lazy tactic, and your customers (and potential ones) will pick up on it.

Get specific

Making replies as specific as possible will show the customer that you actually read it and absorbed what they've said.

This is an active listening technique that shows the person you're talking to that you are listening to what they say. Repeating what the customer said or picking up on a particular product or service they mentioned is an ideal way to do just that.

Look at this example:

By repeating the brand of car the customer has, the garage owner is clearly showing them that they not only appreciate their positive review—they've actually read it.

Be human

Here's something you may not know—responding to reviews (positive or negative) can help boost your search engine rankings. This doesn't mean you should stuff them full of keywords to try and rig the algorithm. On the contrary, you should keep your tone of voice as human as possible.

Reply template example: Rave reviews

Learning how to respond to positive reviews is a bit like accepting compliments—it can take some getting used to.

For businesses, there's nothing quite like seeing a 5-star review pop-up on a platform. When responding to rave reviews (which you should do ASAP once they're posted), stay humble and appreciative. Remember, these customers are the ones that are going to tell their friends and family about how awesome your products are, so keep it all about them.

Check out this response Made.com wrote after a happy customer posted a rave review on Trustpilot:

This response ticks a lot of boxes because it:

✅ Addresses the customer by name

✅ Is written just 6 hours after the review appeared online

✅ Mentions the product the customer purchased and thanks the customer for their business

How to steal this positive response

Got a rave review you need to respond to? Try this:

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME[,

Thank you so much for your amazing review! We are so happy to hear that you are enjoying your [PRODUCT PURCHASE]. Please let us know if we can help you with anything further, and thank you for taking time out of your day to leave us this super kind review.

From all of us at [COMPANY] family, we look forward to seeing you again soon!

[YOUR NAME]

Reply template example: Storytellers: people who write a long-winded review

Sometimes, reviews take us on a journey.

They are so happy with a product that they want to paint us a picture of how they came to find it: what problems they encountered, and how your company has solved them. Like any good story, these reviews are structured and have a start, middle, and end.

Like this review from a restaurant patron:

The customer clearly came into the restaurant for a drink with his friend, but it was the staff's attention to detail that won him over. The restaurant's response was perfect because it took the praise while highlighting the bartender's hard work:

How to steal this positive response

If you get a storyteller review, here's how you should respond:

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Reviews like yours make our day because it makes all the hard work worthwhile. It's so fantastic that [PRODUCT OR SERVICE] has made such a difference and has finally solved your problem.

Thanks again for choosing [COMPANY], and we can't wait to see you again!

[YOUR NAME]

Reply template example: Customers who love your product and want to help

Even customers who are super happy with your product want to offer constructive feedback in their positive reviews.

Replying to these types of reviews is really important as it shows customers that you are actively listening to suggestions on how to improve your product. When we receive these types of reviews at Front, customers tell us how to improve the product to make their lives easier.

Check out this review we received in 2019:

The review was very positive (check out that 10/10!), and we're lucky to have helpful customers who want to make our product better. The constructive feedback was noted in our response:

This response works because it:

✅ Thank the customer (and addresses them personally)

✅ Acknowledges the positives (it's making the customer's life easier)

✅ Takes on board the workflow issues and reassures the customer that the development team is working hard to fix them

Two years later, and we're happy to report that the issues have been fixed.

Reply template example: Stand-up comedians—people who try to be funny

Customers like to have fun like the rest of us, and sometimes it spills into their reviews. Check out how this comedian-turned-reviewer praised a company when they purchased… a gallon of milk.

This whole review is a ride, and the customer is obviously dabbling in sarcasm. But reviews like this open up the door for companies to mix up their replies and have a little fun as well.

Here's how we would respond:

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thank you for your review. Our entire ethos at [COMPANY] is to nurture up-and-coming Nobel Prize laureates—and it looks like we've achieved it!

Have you tried out our chocolate milk? It's ideal for late-night study sessions.🥛

Thanks again for your review,

[YOUR NAME]

Share customer feedback with your team: develop a plan to share feedback with your team

When your company gets feedback (good or bad), the rest of the team should know about it.

Our friends at CustomerSure said it best: "If the first mistake is to ask for feedback and do nothing about it, the second mistake is to get valuable customer comments but only let a few people see them." So, how should you do it?

Companies often make the mistake of gathering feedback and summarizing it before giving it to their team. If your team gets feedback like this, they won't have any context about who the customers are and what their problems were.

To make sure your team knows exactly what your customers are feeling, develop a plan to share feedback with them. You can do this in three easy steps:

  1. Figure out a way to present customer feedback to your team

  2. Make customer feedback easy to understand

  3. Automate the process so it runs on its own

Related reading: Check out our detailed guide on how to share customer feedback with your team.

Have unanswered reviews? Time to get replying.

Replying to reviews—whether good, bad, or ugly—is an important part of customer service.

What may seem like a simple "thank you" to a positive review on your end can change how customers (and future customers) view your brand. Responding to positive reviews shows customers that you care about them and take their feedback into consideration.

But it also does something more—it humanizes your brand. A company that shows public appreciation for customers and says thanks for positive feedback is a clear message to future customers: we got you.

Written by Kimberlee Meier

Originally Published: 8 June 2021

Stories to strengthen the heart of business