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October 7, 2022

Customer Review Response Guide - The Update

Our popular Review Response Guide has undergone a dramatic update, increasing its value to your business's Google and Facebook review response strategies.

At Widewail, online customer feedback, in all its many incarnations, is something we take extremely seriously. It’s our bread and butter, and a mission-critical aspect of digital marketing for which we’ve been providing innovative solutions to our clients since 2017. 

Whether the sentiment in question is a glowing positive review, or a less-enthusiastic piece of constructive criticism, we always take the time to respond. And we recommend you do the same, especially in the interest of strengthening your Google business profile visibility.

Quite simply, this is because we believe that responding to reviews is an important part of providing good old-fashioned customer service fundamentals. And we all know how important that is to be managing effectively.

Few things are more important, period. 

Why the New Version?

There’s a right and a wrong way to do just about anything.

This is why we launched our free Review Response Best Practices guide nearly two years ago. It has grown in popularity to become one of our most linked to, well-trafficked, and frequently downloaded (122,000+ downloads to date!) pieces of content.

As a result, we recently decided it was high time to extensively improve, expand and rethink the guide in the interest of keeping it an outstanding and relevant free resource. 

We’re pleased to announce both the new online version and more comprehensive PDF download are now available. Both resources are free to put into action, today!

Why Should I Read It?

The answer is simple: because it's among the best free collections of customer feedback management strategies, examples, and templates for all of the unique scenarios you will encounter when responding to reviews. The latest version of the guide includes everything covered by its predecessor, including: 

  • Why a review management strategy is something you absolutely, positively have to have as part of your marketing arsenal.
  • How to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. 
  • Real-world examples of how to reply to both positive and negative reviews. 
  • The 8 most common types of review responses. 
  • Statistics, visuals and invaluable best practices.
  • Tips on how to get more Google reviews.


So, What’s Changed?

If this is your first time reviewing the guide, there’s lots to see and learn from. Every review used as a good/bad example was written by a real consumer. Every response was authored by the Widewail team.

If you’ve found it helpful in the past, here are some of the new additions to help you decide if it may be time for another run-through.

  • 10 brand new review response examples in the online version.
  • 37 bonus examples available by download in the upcoming PDF version, which has grown to 74-pages in length.
  • Additional social media comment engagement examples and best practices for 2022 - and beyond.
  • Striking design elements and a focus on improved readability. 
  • The PDF version will feature industry-specific reputation and response management examples for 7 verticals, for how to best handle positive and negative feedback.
  • Tips on how to effectively manage a mass review spam crisis.
  • A printable "cheat sheet" made up of 54 words and phrases to help you add variety to your responses, pulled from real content Widewail's expert response team utilizes every day.

Download the 74-Page Book with 56 Review Response Examples

Online vs. PDF Version

One of the main differences between the new versions of the online guide and the downloadable PDF, is an increased focus on review response examples by industry. These include specific insights on the following, with plans to add new verticals on an ongoing and regular basis:

  • Automotive: From auto sales to vehicle service, we highlight the most common customer concerns faced by dealerships with real-world examples of how we’ve managed responses to both complementary and unenthusiastic consumers.
  • Health Care: Doctors, dentists, hospitals and other professionals on the front line of health care know how critical patient reviews can be. But do you know how to be HIPAA compliant in your responses? Read our guide and keep your online bedside manner compliant and exceptional.
  • Home Services: Another industry where peer-to-peer online reviews have become a major deciding factor, we can help you figure out how to manage everything from HVAC install mishaps to a glowing recommendation for a general contractor.
  • Property Management: Tenants may love your laundry facilities and abundance of guest parking, while taking issue with certain fees and service call waits. Stay on top of it all with our recommendations for timely responses.
  • Restaurants: Whether referencing long lines, bad service or disappointing food, you’ll find detailed tips on how to keep customers coming back and how to get a positive review from 4 to 5 stars.
  • Retail: They loved the product, but hated the shipping time. We’ll show you how to flip a mediocre or just plain “bad” review into valuable social proof for future shoppers.
  • Travel and Hospitality: Whether addressing how your hotel inadvertently interrupted a guest’s travel plans, or extolling the many convenient amenities of your resort, our guide will help make sure your responses are effective.

Download the printable cheat sheet of 54 high-impact words and phrases to use in review responses

Enhancements to Core Principals

We’ve also taken our existing coverage of review response fundamentals and good review examples to the next level. These two important cornerstones of any strategy have been reworked with additional examples and key points: 

  • When responding to a negative review, the most important thing is to remain professional and courteous. Avoid getting defensive or engaging in a personal attack. Instead, try to focus on addressing the customer's concerns and addressing any mistakes that may have been made.
  • For positive reviews, simply thank the customer for their feedback and let them know that you're happy to have helped them out. You can also use this opportunity to promote any special offers or deals that you may be running.

Above all, remember that your goal is to provide excellent customer service. By following the new and improved tips in our review response management guide, you can make sure that you're always prepared to reply to customer feedback with the best potential for a positive outcome. 

We hope you enjoy the latest updates to both our web review response guide and the longer PDF version with a larger focus on individual industries. Rest assured these will not be the last updates to this popular free resource, and - happy responding!

Download the Book: 56 Review Response Examples


Tag(s): Review Response

Dave Pye

A digital marketing dinosaur, my SEO career began in 1999 at one of Boston's first digital marketing agencies. Prior to becoming Widewail's Director of Search I had a long focus on GMB, reviews and local organic visibility for automotive dealerships in competitive locales. Regardless of a specific industry, this decade of experience was the perfect precursor for a role supporting our innovative Engage and Invite services. Originally from Canada, I enjoy hockey, Frank Sinatra, writing on a variety of subjects, old movies - and am the proud parent of a geriatric Boston Terrier. Customers, peers, or anyone with online review-related questions are encouraged to contact me, anytime.

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