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2021 customer review survey

Getting a 5 star review is your obvious target when requesting reviews – but what is the minimum number of stars required to gain trust from prospective customers?

We asked over 1,000 people their opinion about reviews. We then broke down the information by age and gender and crunched the numbers. The Leave.Review 2021 review survey will help your understanding of what builds customer trust, how reviews impact your online reputation and also gives you faith that online reviews will work for your business.

We asked the following questions:

Let’s get started with question 1

When reading online reviews, what’s the minimum number of stars a business must have for you to be interested in using them?

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Leave.Review 2021 Customer Survey

OK, so that’s interesting – so it looks like 4 stars is the sweet spot, with fewer consumers demanding 5 star reviews. In other words, 56% of new customers expect to see a minimum of 4 stars before they’d consider using a business

This means when receiving a 4 star review, you should celebrate as you’re in the “hot-zone” of customer reviews.

Diving down in to the detail a bit more, we learn that there is very little difference in the response to this question by gender:

When reading online reviews, what’s the minimum number of stars a business must have for you to be interested in using them (by gender)?

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Leave.Review 2021 Customer Survey

So, gender does not have a big impact on review choices for minimum star, rating. How about age groups?

When reading online reviews, what’s the minimum number of stars a business must have for you to be interested in using them (by age)?

Chart by Visualizer

Leave.Review 2021 Customer Survey

Breaking down the data of minimum stars required to use a business illustrates that there is an increase in demand for the 35-44 age group for 5 stars. This group accounts for 22.73% of the 6 age bands. The smallest volume was 5.68% for the 18-24 year olds demanding 5 star reviews.

Key statistics – Minimum review count

  • 56% of new customers expect to see a minimum of 4 stars before they’d consider using a business Tweet this
  • Only 9% of consumers require a business to have 5 stars before they will consider using them. Tweet this
  • Just 6.76% of consumers would consider using a business with a 1 star, and only 7.85% would customer using a business with 2 stars Tweet this

Do people read online reviews?

Ok – it’s great to know that the specific star rating is important for people reading reviews, but how many people actually read reviews?

How frequently did you use the internet to find a local business in the 12 months?​

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Leave.Review 2021 Customer Survey

What’s reassuring about this is that it’s clear that a lot of people are using online reviews before choosing a business. Over half (53.98%) of those surveyed use online reviews at least once a week. Only 9.64% have not used online reviews in the last 12 months.

The shockers? 18.09% only use the internet once a monthly basis to read reviews. My assumption before analysing the data would be that people are as dedicated to reviews as I am. I was expecting the “Few times per week” statistics to be a the leader with a much bigger lead.

Let’s see how these stats look when split down by gender:

How frequently did you use the internet to find a local business in the 12 months?​ (by gender)?

Chart by Visualizer

Leave.Review 2021 Customer Survey

Ok – where’s the notable stats? The graph shows us that men are 30% more likely to read reviews a few times a week compare to females. They’re also 38% more likely to read reviews daily compared to females.

All other gender comparisons have too little in difference to be remarked upon.

Let’s break down the data by age group to see if that creates an interesting angle.

How frequently did you use the internet to find a local business in the 12 months?​ (by age)?

Chart by Visualizer

Leave.Review 2021 Customer Survey

It didn’t! – You can see that the age groups are divided relatively equal for all categories. That’s 10 seconds of your life you’re not getting back 🙂

Key statistics – Minimum review count

  • 53.98% of consumers use online reviews at least once a week Tweet this
  • Men are 38% more likely to read reviews daily compared to females Tweet this

Do you read online reviews for local businesses?

OK, time to bring out the big stats. A whopping 86% of people surveyed said that they read reviews for local business, with only 13.6% who say that never read them.

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In more detail this is 12.2% always read reviews, 50.8% occasionally and 23.4% regularly.

The clear message is that if you want a customer for your local business then there is an 86% chance that a prospective customer will read a review before making a buying decision

How likely are people to write a review (in the last 12 months)?

It is quite interesting to know how many of those surveyed have actually left a review in the last 12 months.

This gives us an idea of the size of the review writing market out there – which may have an influence on your review outreach strategy.

Have you written an online review for a business in the last 12 months?

That’s another interesting statistic. My assumption would be that most people would have written at least 1 review, but it appears that just 34.19% of those surveyed had left a review in the past 12 months.

Chart by Visualizer

This may mean that those who write reviews, write many and that there are a large segment of consumers who are more “readers” than “writers”.

Have you written an online review for a business in the last 12 months (by gender)?

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The gender breakdown is evenly split, illustrating that there is no bias in leaving a review

About this Survey

  • The survey was conducted over 3 days between 10th Jan 2021 and 12th Jan 2021
  • A total of 1007 consumers provided complete responses
  • Responses were taken from consumers in the USA
  • Hover over the segments in the charts below to reveal the actual count of gender and age categories.

 

How to get more reviews

The internet has created a superpower called reviews. Reviews can be a force of good and evil for consumers and businesses alike. They’re the perfect double-edged sword.

This article gives you the tools to defuse review grenades and maybe converting shrapnel into medals of achievement for your company service.

Back in the olden days (pre-internet), the only way consumers had to determine if a business is a right fit was to read publications or by asking a friend. Today you can read a review of most products or services within seconds, filter by the number of stars, sort by recency and get immersed in tales of misfortune, joy and the occasional rant.

What’s interesting is how the business owners respond to a negative review. I’m quick to read how the owner addresses a public complaint. Their response can be one of the most telling signs of their approach to customer service.

Negative Publicity

If you take reputational management seriously, you’re actively encouraging your customers to leave reviews on sites such as Google, Tripadvisor, etc. 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m choosing between 2 places to eat, if they both have 5-star reviews, I’m likely to select the one with the most reviews. 

Reviews are an excellent opportunity to confirm what works (or doesn’t work) in your business. When I receive a 5-star review – where the customer is waxing lyrically about how absolutely awesome we are, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my ego gets a power-up.

On the flip side, your customers have a free reign on the internet. At any day and any time they can open their phone and vent their fury. For business owners, their terrible experience can trigger a reputational crisis for you. 

Negative feedback can come in from a complaint, personal attacks and even exposure to a particular product’s dangers. If you represent a larger organization, then there is a risk of a mob mentality – a viral effect causing others to ride the wave of momentum by piling on their views. If the speed of reviews increases rapidly, then there is a risk of catching the attention of a local or national news organization.

Customers are not alone in writing negative reviews. You may also see reviews written by:

  • Competitors running a digital smear campaign
  • Disgruntled employees and their friends
  • People are accidentally reviewing the wrong company.

It’s for these reasons that it’s good to be prepared. Welcome to your ultimate negative review response guide:

Check the facts

Your business is your baby, but don’t let that maternal instinct kick in like a mother protecting it’s young from a predator. Just like socks with sandals (sorry Uncle Bob), this is not going to be good for your image and is the first step towards failure in damage limitation.

We recommend the first thing that you should do is investigate the validity of their claim. It’s vital to recognize that the reviewer also may not be alone – one person may voice their views, but it can actually represent the same opinion of many others. Some people are either reluctant or too afraid to express. Therefore, dismissing a single reviewer can amount to being rude or uncaring.

If you need more time to investigate, then do this – Thank the reviewer for their feedback and promise to look into the issue before getting back to them with a detailed response

Respond to reviewers. Immediately.

ine wines, smelly cheese and George Clooney are examples of things that improve with age. My waistline and on online reviews definitely do not.

Most review sites have timestamps against each post that effectively starts the clock in evaluating your vigilance and to a surprising degree how much you care about your customers. Leaving it too long and the details of the occasion will have faded, momentum is lost and if anything you’ve actually made the issue worse.

Pro tip: Even if there is no answer to a question raised or concern posted, it is useful to acknowledge their problems and give a specific time to look into the issue and solution. 

If you fail to respond to a negative review, you will by omission add enormous credibility to the critic – always, always, always respond. A comprehensive explanation can reaffirm their trust in your business and demonstrate to future customers that you care. You could even reclaim a lost customer.

What about happy customers? Engaged customers can be your best marketing team. Reviewers love it when they receive a response to their review. They’ll get an email from the reviewing platform and a simple “Thank you” can trigger a happy endorphin response. Good reviews have to be recognized. People are short of time. So when a client takes the time to leave a glowing 5-Star review please, please thank them!

Don’t Argue

Irrespective of how great you believe your services and products are – at some point will be someone who will still be dissatisfied. As soon as you come to terms with this, the easier it will be to deal with the general public! 

A business owner can become emotionally overwhelmed and engage in a fierce PUBLIC exchange. Although tempting, you’re likely to kick off a knee jerk response which will backfire like your first cars motor. It’s absolutely the worst thing you can do.

I know I said in the previous section to respond immediately, but being rational takes priority. It’s way better to respond 1 day late than to react aggressively.

Storytime: A few years ago, my team pushed a significant software feature live. The upgrade resulted in some users receiving the annoying Google Captcha code too frequently. Within minutes one of our customers left an aggressive all caps post on our preferred review platform.

If you’re ever worked in software, you’ll know that releasing software is a stressful time and I was tired. To be honest, I was expecting the responses from our customers to be full of virtual high fives, glowing feedback and appreciation of our hard work and dedication to helping their business grow.

To say I was disappointed when I got the 1-star review (on 2 different review platforms) is an understatement. First thing I did was (curse under my breath) verify the issue. 

Equipped with knowledge (and a tech guy on standby) I called him and immediately apologized for the inconvenience. While talking through the details of the issue, he started to explain how his business has had a tough time recently. Apart from the irritation of the google captcha code, he was dealing with two major customer issues of his own. In reflection, the software bug was an irritation, but it was the tipping point of his stress levels. Writing a negative review was an easy way to vent his frustration.

Fortunately, we were able to resolve the issue while I was on the call. Within 10 minutes of the call ending the negative reviews had been deleted and replaced with super positive 5-star ones, highlighting our excellent customer service.

Personalize Your Response

Advertising companies have been hyper personalizing adverts for years. When a message is 100% directed to you, including exact details of your experience, it has far greater traction than a generic response.

Start with the customer’s name and introduce yourself with your organizational title and name.

e.g.

“Hello Sam, I am Stan Smith, PR Manager at Acme Corporation…”

If you can identify the customer – who they were served by, what they bought, when they received the product or service, etc. All of these details within your response demonstrate your attention to detail and how seriously you take their complaint.

It’s a Marketing Opportunity!

A response to a client’s negative feedback should offer an opportunity to market an organization and reinforce its core values.

Companies mission statement / pledge

There is a company in the UK called John Lewis who claim that they are “Never Knowingly Undersold” – this means if you can find the same product for less money, they will reimburse you the difference. They actively monitor their competition to ensure that you’re getting the best value. John Lewis’ price matching and their excellent customer service are core to their success.

Having a dependable guarantee to their customers allows John Lewis’ customer service team to promote this message in their review responses as well as provide refunds (if the occasion occurs).

It is also helpful to mention customer service procedures or standards.

These standards should explain that the organization takes customer complaints seriously and that every complaint will be thoroughly investigated and addressed.

Finally – I’ve seen this done well – A business owner can respond to a customer about their complaint informing that they can have a full refund as well as full payment for them to receive the same service at one of their competitors. This response is mind-blowing. This company seriously believes that their business is so good that they’re happy to pay for you to go somewhere else if you’re not 100% satisfied. A potential customer reading will feel their trust growing with this company – especially as it out there for the world to see!

Example negative review response templates

Hi Jane,
I’m Bob from Acme Inc – I’m sorry to hear about your issue with us, and I’m personally responsible for helping resolve this.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a phone number or contact email for you, so please contact us at XXXX when convenient.


Hi Jane,
I’m Bob from Acme Inc – I’m the manager/owner at here. We try to maintain the highest standards of service, but clearly, that’s not what happened here. I am sorry to hear about your bad experience yesterday.

Unfortunately, I was not in at the time. Please give me a call at XXX at your convenience. I want to find out what I can do to help.

Example negative review response template with detail

Dear Jane,

We want to sincerely apologize for your negative experience on at . However, we’d like to learn more about your situation and what exactly happened with .

We want to make things right. So, please give us a call on [phone number]. You can also email us at [email id], and we will get back to you promptly.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,
Bob – Customer Sevices Manager
Acme Inc

Example positive review response templates

Hi Jane,

I’m Bob from Acme Inc – Thank you for the 5-stars! We appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback. Hopefully, see you again soon.


Hi Jane,

I’m Bob from Acme Inc – We are incredibly grateful that you took the time out to leave us this review. Our company values put customer satisfaction as the top priority, and we are committed to our customers. Its customers like you that make our job fulfilling.

We look forward to serving you again.

Bob

FAQ

How do I handle a complaint that is creating damaging online engagement?

The organization should aim to move the conversation offline and engage the complainant on a private platform.

It helps minimize online engagement on a complaint by moving the conversation to a video chat, a phone call, direct message on the phone or social media platforms.

If multiple people are experiencing the same issue, create a formal channel for their problem to raised, log and dealt with in o a structured way.

How do I respond when the customer is right about the problem?

If the organization is responsible for the action that caused the negative review, it should offer a discount or any other compensatory measure.

How do I respond when the customer is wrong about the problem?

The organization should explain itself using facts and offer to help the client understand the situation entirely.

How can I find negative reviews about my company?

It’s excellent idea to get your whole team involved.

All employees should be encouraged to report instances of bad reviews on any platform. Younger employees may be more on the pulse with emerging social networks than you are. My kids think that Facebook is for oldies.

Try and work as a team in spotting bad publicity in any form.

All Google My Business Categories

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There are lots of Google Business categories – check this list for the full amount. Be warned that the list is added to almost every month, so by the time you read this it is probably out of date. So not the most informative web pages you’ll stumble across in your lifetime. This chap has a great site that queries the Google my business API. You will need to know the categories for your Google My Business listing

Some tips for category selection though:

CSV  Excel  
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How to rank higher on Google My Business / Google maps

You will have been living in a cave for the past decade if you have never used Google to find a business.

When you do a business/service search on your phone’s browser via Google, it will automatically find businesses local to you and display these within the search results. Let’s dissect the results:

Let’s break down these search results in more detail:

  1. Google knows where I am. Google is pretty smart at identifying where you are in the world, so the business listings that are displayed in the search results are all LOCAL – which matches the User Intent. And Google is ALL ABOUT INTENT – ie delivering results that align to the attention of the users search request – which in my case is location / region specific.
  2. Showing the Google My Business category here. In your Google My Business setup you can define the primary category of your business from a drop down list. This category you can see on the screen is from that list.
  3. It is showing me the MOST RELEVANT results – That’s good to know!
  4. This business has no photos uploaded, so we have a generic photo – Notice that if you upload images for your business, Google will display them. It’s fallback position is to show your location on a thumbnail google maps icon. You can upload photos in your Google My Business page.
  5. Notice that this has more reviews but is LOWER in the list. It’s a reasonable, but common misconception that if you get more reviews you’ll be higher up in the rankings on search results for local businesses. I thought it too until I research it and wrote this article on How Google ranks businesses in local search results
  6. Lastly – these results appear ABOVE the webpage listings – ie the normal google results listing. So, if you had a website that scored position #1 for the keyword “Bicycle Rental Service” – you would appear underneath these Google My Business / Google Maps listings

Why rank higher on Google Maps?

We did a survey, crunched the numbers, and produced pretty graphs on how the general public (customers in your world) use Google and reviews to find local businesses. The results below come from our consumer review survey on how often do people use the internet to find reviews

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In a simplified bar chart format it is a whopping 90.4% of people used the internet to search for a local business in the last 12 months

Chart by Visualizer

In short – if you’re not ranking higher on Google Maps you may be losing new customers to your competitors.

Steps to boost your business listing on Google Maps and Google searches

Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Claim your Google My Business Listing

It kind of goes without saying – If you have not claimed your Google Business listing yet – then it’s super important you do this. We have created this guide to show you how to Claim Your Google My Business Listing – it’s pretty straightforward, but does take a few days to complete the verification as Google will need to send a postcard to your address.

Optimising your Google My Business Listing

Name Address Phone (NAP) – Google My Business Optimisation

What is NAP and why is it important to my Google Business location?

NAP is an abbreviation for Name, Address, Phone Number and it’s part of Googles (brace yourself for another abbreviation) EAT – So what is EAT? E-A-T is part of Google’s algorithm and baked into Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. What this means is that everywhere your name appears on the internet it should be spelled exactly the same way. For example, This Company Ltd and This Company Limited although the same company lack consistency in spelling. Also, your phone number appears with country code digits and lacks consistency. Think accuracy and consistency with these. There’s a Forbes article on this that expands on this concept.

While you’re updating your NAP, please also remember to check the website linked from your Google My Business Location. It’s important that the phone number, address, and location all match those on the website.

Check ALL Categories Relevant To Your Business

Many businesses only state their primary category when creating their Google My Business profile. This is the minimum you should do. You’ll probably find that your business can fit into multiple categories, so your mission (that you should accept) is to seek out those categories.

For completeness here is the official guide from Google

Online review metrics to measure success

It’s very tempting to rush into an online review boosting campaign without thinking about statistics/data. Yes, it’s the boring part of the strategy (who wants to pore over numbers and review graphs (sorry to all the number nerds out there), but it is super important. Without this data how would you be able to calculate your success? How would you know which outreach campaign/strategy worked better than others? It’s also good to know that you’re doing well so you can give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back (A physical one is tricky – I’ve tried).

First thing with Google My Business (GMB) is that it has a relatively short memory (just 3 months). With Google Analytics, you can go way back in time to when you first installed the tracking code. We have a great article on how to segment traffic from you Google My Business listing which means you can now start recording data and never lose it.

So, what are we going to learn?

  • How to segment your Google My Business traffic into Google Analytics
  • What are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for Google My Business?
  • Which free systems can provide the metrics for online review success?
  • How do I find the review statistics in TripAdvisor?
  • How do I measure my competitors review statistics?

What are the KPI’s we will be focusing on?

  • KPI Number 1 = Organic Traffic by source

Which KPI’s should we ignore?

One thing we are going to avoid here are vanity statistics. These are numbers that paid online advertising gives you to telling you that you have 1,000’s of impressions and loads of “reactions”. This means very little if your sales from the adverts are less than your investment. So let’s get started with stuff that really matters.

If you don’t have a website and rely 100% on your Google My Business / Trip advisor listing then you can jump to the next section.

How to segment your Google My Business Traffic in Google Analytics – (the right way)!

How to segment your Google My Business traffic into Google Analytics

After logging in to Google Analytics to review your conversion goals and the results of your marketing campaigns you wonder how many conversions came from from your Google My Business page.

Sure you can see how many people VISITED your website from Google Analytics (using the Insights page).

However, the big question is… How many of those visitors to your website bought something, or did the action you’ve spent weeks laboriously crafting the user onboarding journey for?

The answer is, you don’t….but you can!

Understanding Google Analytics Source Medium

When you log in to your Google Analytics page you can easily find where your traffic is coming from. Click on :

  1. Acquisition
  2. All Traffic
  3. Source Medium
  4. Then you can see the list of traffic sources
Google Analytics traffic by Source / Medium before Google My Business Traffic

So we can not see in here the traffic from Google My Business. To solve this we are going to do next is to update your Google My Business website link with some special code that Google Analytics will use for segmentation. The way we do this is using the urchin tracking module (UTM):

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are extra bits of text added to the end of a URL to help Google ANALYTICS track where website users arrive from. when they click a link with these special bits of text, essential information such as: Organic traffic / paid, social network links, marketing campaigns, etc is passed to google analytics allowing data to be categorised / segmented

Google Analytics does a good job of inferring the type of traffic already, but UTM gives YOU control over the segmentation. Let’s get started with creating your link.

We need to head over to a tool provided by Google Analytics Demos & Tools for the campaign url builder – Follow this link https://ga-dev-tools.web.app/campaign-url-builder/

If you’re like most people where you’re an expert at buying stuff online, but less familiar with generating this special url for your business fear not. You’re in safe hands and it really is easy.

Let’s break it down into the following steps. In this page: https://ga-dev-tools.web.app/campaign-url-builder/ follow these instructions

  1. Enter your business website link, eg https://yourwebsite.com
  2. For the campaign ID, enter GMB – this stands for Google My Business
  3. For the campaign source, enter GMB – this is because traffic to your Google My Business page is typically Organic traffic
  4. For the campaign medium, enter Organic – this is because people searching for your Google My Business are typically local to your area
  5. For the campaign name, enter your business location. If you have one location, it’s easy – put the town/city. If you have more than one location/facility you can segment the traffic by each location. Put the street name, name of the facility, whatever makes sense for your different locations
  6. With the powers of the internet and other sorcery the URL you need is magically created at the bottom of the box. Click on the icon to copy it to your clip board

Top tip: Always test your new link to make sure it opens your website. It’s easy to make a mistake manually typing your website url, especially if it’s at the end of the week and you’re drinking wine. While the window is open, you can check that Google Analytics can “see” the tag information using the Real Time traffic view

Go to:

  1. Click on Realtime
  2. Click on Traffic sources
  3. Look in the main section – you should see Medium is Organic, Source is GMB

You can see that at the time I took the screenshot the website had 2 visitors. Me and a random person.

Both visits are tagged as organic, however, the random person found the website via a Google Search, and my visit was segmented by source GMB as marked by the number “3” I placed on the picture.

Now head over to your Google My Business listing and update it:

On the Google My Business Profile Manager page

  1. Select Info on the left hand side
  2. Scroll down the page and find the icon of the globe and click on the Pencil icon
  3. Replace your website link with your new fancy link
  4. Click Apply

And you’re done.

Ready to move on to the next level? Set up a conversion goal in Google Analytics. As this is out of the scope of creating and maximising reviews I’m going to pass you over the All seeing and all knowing Neil Patel for his advice on Google Goal setting

How to ask for a review with a QR code

QR codes and your phones camera

One of the positive things to come out of the COVID 19 pandemic is the education and uptake of QR codes (Quick Response Codes).

Before COVID 19, QR codes were the tools of the nerds (like me, and even I rarely used them). Sure you’d find them on the back of some advertising packages, but most people had no idea what they are. The thought of pointing your camera at the code was as alien as…… well an Alien.

During COVID, they became ubiquitous and sometimes an essential passport to access the normality that was taken away from us all.

Most phones have inbuilt QR readers. Apple released the feature for iPhone’s to read QR Codes as early as 2017, and Google android introduced in 2018 – before that people had to download an app to read QR codes

How do QR codes work?

You know barcodes right? You know how they work right?

Nope – ok, well each line reflects an amount of light. Depending upon the amount of light it reflects its tells the computer what number it is. You’ve been in a store before when the code doesn’t scan, so the cashier grumpily types in the number manually while squinting at the tiny digits.

So what is the difference between QR codes to barcodes? Well first of all a barcode is read horizontally, whereas a QR code is read vertically and horizontally. Due to this structural difference, it can hold a hundred times more information. kaboom!

The 3 black squares are position markers – these allow the scanners to know where the data modules are. The different-sized blocks are in rows and columns, and each block represents different pieces of information. Some cool things about QR codes are that they can have your logo/picture in the center and they have built-in error correction (something called the Reed-Solomon Code) which adds backup data to the QR code mathematically. This means if part of the QR code is obscured it will still work (up to a point)

Check the QR code on the right, we have the Leave.Review logo and our main character image embedded on to the QR code. I created this quickly by pasting on the graphics and testing, but you can get really creative with your branding and your QR code.

How do I get a QR Code for online reviews?

Before we rush ahead with QR code generators, you will first need to get your write a review link that directs your customers straight to the leave a review page

Grow Your Business With Google Reviews

More than at any other point in history, people are relying on online reviews. If you’re a small business owner with capacity to expand and you’re not paying attention to Google Reviews, you’re missing a trick and more importantly losing opportunities to get more customers and build your online reputation

When it comes to online reviews, yes, they are really critical. Of course, we will guide you through the steps necessary to expand your firm.

In this post, you can expect to learn the following:

  • There are many ways to get more Google reviews.
  • Detailed steps on how to leave a Google review
  • If you want to remove a review from Google, then follow these steps:
  • The solution to getting more reviews is to use Weave.

The following five steps can help you get more Google reviews from your customers.

Step 1: Ask Your Customers for a ‘Favor’ – never offer a reward

When customers have a great experience with your company, they are likely to write a positive review on your Google review page. By asking clients to do you a “favour,” it becomes a really friendly way to request a review. This is a different experience to the typical, “Please can you leave me a review” approach. A favour has more gravitas and a more emotional commitment.

Google and many other review sites have a clear rule about never soliciting a review. This means offering a reward or paying for a review. Your listing can be removed from Google if you’re found out, which will suck. 100%.

Step 2: Give your customers a reason to write a review on Google

So, moving on from:

Please can you leave me a review

which can expand to provide an incentive:

Please can you do me a favour and leave us a review? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any photos you can upload to the site

Please can you do me a favour and leave us a review? It really helps others to learn about our business.

Adding a little bit of context to the request

Good review examples

Shoppers value customer reviews.  A whopping 86% of people surveyed said that they read reviews for local business.

When it comes to online reviews, a high star rating isn’t enough to differentiate your company from the competition. A star rating (no matter how high) falls flat in the absence of written reviews.

Before making a decision, the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading through reviews and review responses. The right review response from your company can boost the impact of a 5-star review while mitigating the impact of a negative one. Let’s take a look at some positive review examples and discuss how your company can leave winning responses.

What is a positive online review?

The answer to this question may appear self-evident… A “good review” is when a customer gives your company 5 stars! In reality, what we need is an excellent review – This entails much more than a star rating. Here are three specific elements to look for in a customer review that make it particularly valuable.

Detail in your online review

What, a 5-star rating isn’t enough to impress new customers? You want your positive reviews to be as detailed as possible. Although high star ratings are always appreciated, a detailed review explains why the customer enjoyed your company. This helps prospects understand what distinguishes your company from the competition.

Take a look at how this review of an Asian Restaurant goes above and beyond the star rating.

The review describes how the review felt when entering the restaurant. It described the atmosphere, highlighted a benefit for families, and finally included photos of a couple of the dishes.

This review ticks a lot of boxes for Google My Business. So despite it being older than many of the other reviews of the restaurant, it appears at the top of the search results. You can read more about how Google decides which reviews are most relevant to customers here.

Provides a description of the customer experience

A good review should cover a wide range of aspects of the customer experience. Did the customer receive excellent service? Was a particular employee especially helpful, and did the customer mention the employee’s name in the review? Did the customer mention other aspects of the customer experience, such as a fantastic website that was simple to use? These details will not only be appealing to potential new customers, but they will also help you understand what your company is doing well.

positive feedback from customers

  1. Detailed feedback
    Did you receive a high star rating in a review but mention some negative experiences in the review response? This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how your company responds to feedback. Thank the customer for their response and explain how you plan to improve. This will likely make the customer even happier, and show prospects that you are always working to improve your business.

Why should I react to positive feedback?
Responding to positive reviews boosts their worth. When you respond to a positive review, the customer who left the review feels appreciated, which increases the chance for repeat business. Review responses also show that you value customer feedback and care to improve your customer experience. This will attract new customers and set you apart from your competitors.

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How to respond to positive reviews: 5 examples
Now that you know what to look for in a good review, it’s time to learn how to respond to them from these positive review response examples.

Example 1: Be creative and personal.
Chef John Howie uses YouTube to respond to Yelp reviews of his restaurant, Seastar Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar, in a creative and personable way. This type of review response is advantageous for a few reasons. First, by posting these videos, Chef Howie reaches a broader audience than just Yelp users. Videos are also shared more often than other forms of media, so this can help increase visibility for the restaurant.

Second, a response like this establishes the restaurant’s credibility — the chef is proving that he actually reads his reviews and values customer feedback because viewers can watch it happening for themselves. Finally, by responding to his reviews on video, Chef Howie is giving a face to his business. When customers and prospects feel like they know the chef, they are more inclined to return to Seastar Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar time and time again.

Example 2: Respond quickly.
There are few businesses who are better than JetBlue when it comes to responding to customer feedback. JetBlue proves that your business’s response doesn’t need to be long-winded. Even a quick thanks goes a long way.

quick response
JetBlue is also great at responding to negative feedback. When a passenger complained about their broken television screen on Twitter, JetBlue responded instantly. This opened up a personalized conversation, and both parties could come to a solution.

Example 3: Use humor.
How can you turn a negative review into a positive one? Use humor in your response! Instead of this sandwich shop getting discouraged by negative Yelp reviews, it actually used them for marketing content.

Putting a lighthearted spin on one customer’s rant got them a lot of attention. This chalkboard not only shows passersby that the business has a fun vibe, it also proves that the owners actually read their customers’ feedback. Using humor when responding to both positive and negative reviews is a great way to show your business’s personality and grab customers’ attention.

Example 4: Recognize the staff.
Positive reviews are a great way to boost employee morale and keep your team motivated to deliver awesome experiences every day. In this review of Hard Rock Cafe, the customer mentioned the fantastic waitress they had by name. Take a look at how Hard Rock Cafe responded to that positive review:

Example 5: Don’t shy away from personality
When you respond to reviews, don’t be afraid to show your company’s brand! This will make customers more excited to engage with your business. The hair dye company oVertone does a great job at using their brand personality in every response. Every employee is free to use emojis and includes their favorite shade of hair dye as a sign-off signature.

personalized positive review
Review response templates
Need help getting started with your review responses? Look no further. Here are some templates showing how you can respond to positive reviews, negative reviews, and everything in between.

Type 1: The customer is happy and they have no complaints.
This is the easiest kind of review to respond to. A simple thank you should do the trick.

Thank you for your review. We’re glad you had a good experience, and hope to see you again soon!
Type 2: The customer is happy, but there is room for improvement.
Start by thanking the customer for their feedback, then move on to an apology and what you are going to do to make the experience better for next time.

Thank you for your feedback! We are happy that you had a good experience overall, but we are sorry to see that you are upset about [the complaint the customer has made]. We are addressing your concerns by [your plans to fix the problem]. We hope that you come back to see how we’ve implemented your feedback. Thank you again for your review, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Type 3: The customer is upset, but they provide no details.
Responding to this type of review can be tough. Without details to go off of, it can be difficult to know how to respond. Start by asking if the reviewer could give more details about their experience, then switch to email or direct messaging to finish solving the issue.

We are so sorry that you had a negative experience with us. Can you please provide more details about what went wrong? We will do what we can to make it right. Thank you!
Type 4: The customer is upset, and they provided details as to why.
While this can be upsetting to read, this type of negative feedback can be very helpful to your business in the long run. Negative reviews that offer specific reasons can show you exactly where your business is missing the mark. When responding to this review, address each concern the customer has. Take ownership for where you went wrong, and explain how you are planning to improve.

We are so sorry to hear about your negative experience. Please know that we strive for all of our customers to have a great time when visiting [name of your business]. I see that your main concerns are [list the specific complaints the customer has]. Here is how we are planning on correcting these issues: [list how you plan to improve]. Again, my deepest apologies for your negative experience. We hope that you come back to see how we are improving. Thank you for your feedback! We will use it to grow our business and correct our mistakes. All the best.
The image below is a great example of how a business can respond to negative feedback.

respond to negative feedback
These positive review response examples and templates should give you everything you need to identify and respond to good reviews. Learn from these positive review examples and start engaging with your customers today.