Congratulations on receiving a 5-star rating or review of your business. That’s a great indicator you’re providing a quality product or service — but now the question is, what should you do next? Is it really necessary to reply, or is that just a waste of your time? And if responding truly is so important, how can you make sure that yours include (and omit) the right sort of wording?
These are essential questions for any business owner or manager to be asking themselves. This article will provide clear and detailed answers, explaining three strategies for responding to 5-star reviews with easy-to-follow example templates included. If your business needs help replying to 5-star ratings on Yelp, Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, or any other review platform, try following the strategies suggested in this guide, or simply allow our review response service to take care of the work for you!
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the benefits of replying to reviews — even in situations where your customers are already satisfied.
Is it Necessary to Respond to a 5-Star Review of My Business?
It may seem as though responding to 5-star ratings or reviews is an inefficient use of your team’s finite resources. After all, you might ask, why should I spend valuable time focusing on customers who are already loyal to my brand? From a marketing or financial perspective, what does my business have to gain by interacting with reviewers who are currently satisfied with my product or service?
Put simply, what are the benefits of responding to 5-star ratings?
We’re glad you asked. We covered this topic in depth in a previous article, which you can check out here; but if you’re crunched for time and prefer a quick overview, here are the key points you need to know about responding to positive reviews:
- It boosts customer retention, which costs less than customer acquisition. Just because a customer was satisfied with their last visit or purchase, doesn’t guarantee there’ll be a next one. Even if you’re a well-established brand, you can’t afford to take customer loyalty for granted — especially not if you’re in a saturated, struggling, or hypercompetitive industry. Acknowledging their feedback is one of the simplest and easiest ways to ensure that your satisfied customers stay that way.
- It positively influences undecided consumers, who are more likely to choose businesses that respond to reviews. Recently collected statistics show that most consumers who read reviews also read owner responses — at least, on the relatively rare occasions when they receive them. Unfortunately, only about 35% of consumers report receiving responses to each review, while an additional 18% say they don’t receive any responses. This represents an enormous missed opportunity, since statistics also show that a full 69% to 70% of consumers “are more likely to use a business” that replies to its reviewers. If you aren’t responding to positive ratings, such as 5-star reviews on Yelp or Facebook, you’re missing out on business, plain and simple.
- It’s an emerging trend in consumer expectations — and your business needs to keep up. In 2020, one in five consumers surveyed said that they wanted businesses to respond to their reviews within 24 hours. Another 26% said they wanted an owner response within 48 hours, while another 15% expected one within 72 hours. By delaying your responses — or worse, not responding at all — you’re falling out of step with consumer expectations, giving your competitors more room to get the edge.
3 Strategies for Responding to a 5-Star Review or Rating
Strategy #1: Express Gratitude
Your customers don’t get paid for reviewing your business. They’re volunteering their valuable time, all to provide your brand with what amounts to a free endorsement.
Since they aren’t receiving any financial rewards for their feedback, it’s absolutely crucial for you to thank and acknowledge your reviewers. Otherwise, your business might look indifferent or ungrateful toward its most loyal supporters. By not thanking reviewers for 5-star feedback, not only are you likely to disappoint the original reviewer, you’re also potentially making a negative impression on other consumers who are browsing your reviews — and, you’re overlooking an opportunity to cement the reviewer’s brand loyalty.
It’s essential to ensure that each review response is unique in order to make a memorable personal connection with your customers. That being said, here are some suggestions for ways you can thank a 5-star reviewer:
- Thanks for leaving our business a 5-star rating, [Reviewer], it’s truly appreciated!
- Thank you, [Reviewer], for taking the time to share your feedback with our team.
- Hi [Reviewer], thank you for rating and reviewing [Company]!
Though certainly not mandatory, it’s a good idea to open your response with a thank you right away, ensuring you quickly make a friendly and positive first impression. You can also close with a second, shorter thank you to help wrap up your reply. For example, toward the end of your response, you might sign off with a closer like:
- Thanks again for sharing your feedback, [Reviewer], we appreciate your input!
- Once again, thank you for taking the time to provide a review for [Company].
- Thanks for supporting our business, [Reviewer], it truly means a lot to our team!
Strategy #2: Spotlight Your Team Members
Customers who leave 5-star ratings have had truly spectacular experiences with your brand. In many cases, that’s because one of your employees was exceptionally helpful, or went above and beyond to ensure that the customer was satisfied. For instance, you might receive 5-star reviews that include comments like, “Patrick is awesome, he got me an appointment right away!” Or, “I am so grateful to Monica, who was incredibly patient, kind, and caring toward our family throughout this difficult process.”
Whether the reviewer’s tone is serious (like in our “Monica” example) or casual (like in our “Patrick” example), you should make an effort to reference the employee or team member in your review reply. This shows the reviewer that you took the time to read their comment carefully, while also adding a memorable, personal touch to the interaction. For example, you might reply to a 5-star review about an employee by saying something such as:
- We’ll make sure we pass your kind words along to [Employee], who we know will be delighted to read your comment.
- We’re pleased that [Employee] was able to [provide you with exceptional service / resolve your issue quickly / answer all of your questions]!
- From [Employee], [Employee], and all of our team members at [Company], thanks for [being a member / sharing your feedback / your continued support]!
Again, it’s important to remember that these are simply suggestions — not templates you’re required to follow. The more variety (and greater specificity) you can incorporate into your replies, the better!
Strategy #3: Call Out Special Deals, Offers, or Programs
Let’s be very clear: highlighting deals, discounts, and perks is less important than thanking your reviewers or acknowledging employee call-outs. That’s because it’s a less personal strategy, which also means it’s less likely to make a lasting impact.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s useless or pointless to highlight special features, offers, or programs in your review responses. On the contrary, responses provide excellent (and plentiful) opportunities to share helpful information or exciting new updates with your customers. For example, you might choose to include a sentence like:
- The next time you visit us in [Location], ask one of our team members how you can get great discounts through our [relevant program, deal, or special initiative]!
- We’re glad you enjoyed the , [Reviewer]! We think you’ll also love our [related benefit, perk, or feature], which makes it even more [convenient / affordable / enjoyable] to [description of your product or service].
One minor caveat here: don’t simply talk about your discounts, features, or services without acknowledging specific details from the review. On the contrary, you should try to devote the bulk of your response to personalized content — for example, “We’re thrilled to hear that our new location is so convenient for you and your family, Pam!” — while limiting the amount of generic information you feature (such as, “We’re currently offering one month free for new members”). Following this tip will help to ensure that your 5-star reviewers feel like they are being listened to, rather than simply advertised to.
Think of it this way: your response should act like a dialogue with the customer — not a monologue at the customer.
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Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.