Responding to Positive Ratings and Reviews – in TIME

Your Source for Restaurant Marketing & Retail Marketing Best Practices

Posted by Robin Johnston on Jul 3, 2019 8:32:00 AM
Robin Johnston

In last week’s blog post, we discussed the importance of responding properly to negative online ratings and reviews using TACT. As important as this is, it is also important to respond to the positive ratings and reviews your business is receiving online.

Many business owners will look at a positive review and think it is fine to simply leave it alone. It is, after all, a positive. But responding to positive reviews can do wonders for the reputation of your business, and the loyalty of your customers.

How to Use Your Free Wi-Fi for Real Time Market ResearchWhen customers and potential customers see you in a public forum acknowledging the negative and positive reviews, it sends a clear message that you are engaged with, and care deeply about all of your customers. You just have to make sure you respond in T.I.M.E.

TIME is an acronym that stands for:

  • Thank them
  • Identify your business or location
  • Market (just a little)
  • Engage them

Let’s take a quick look at each bullet point.

First, you want to thank the reviewer for their patronage, for their loyalty, and for taking the time to leave their rating and/or review. Doing so will satisfy the reviewer and will encourage others to leave positive reviews.

Next you want to identify your business or location. Remember that this is in a public forum where people frequently scroll through to find a certain type of restaurant, or an establishment in a specific area or neighborhood. This is an opportunity for you to let potential guests know that your business is relevant to them. For instance, you might say, “Thank you Paul for providing this great review. As one of the premier restaurants in the Garden District, we would like to…” or you might say, “As San Francisco’s oldest flower shop, we would like to…”

In a related way, you should take the opportunity to market to them…just a little. You don’t want to post anything that is way too salesy or promotional, but you do want to take the opportunity to do something that can show a value proposition or some compelling value to persuade guests to come into your restaurant.

Finally, you want to end with a call to action or a request for them to somehow become engaged. This could be asking them a question, inviting them to come back to the location, or asking them to share it with their friends. You want to stimulate and activate them a little further at this point.

Remember, these customers are already our advocates because they’ve taken the time to write a review and post it online. You just want to coddle that a little bit and allow that goodwill to carry you a little bit further.

As an example, perhaps you received a 5-star rating from a recent customer. Here’s how you could respond using TIME.

“Thank you for your 5-star review and for taking the time to share your experience. As the premier coffee shop in the downtown area, we’re always excited to hear how great our coffee is. We also offer complimentary cheesecake for birthdays! We hope to see you again soon.”

Remember that leaving a positive review alone without leaving a response isn’t going to break your business, but the upside to responding can make a huge difference in customer loyalty and acquisition. Just remember to respond in TIME.

To learn more about the effects of positive and negative online reviews, download our free ebook by clicking the banner below.

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