The Hidden Benefits of Responding to All Customer Reviews

Has attitudes towards review responding changed? Is it best practice to respond to all customer reviews? I came across the following paragraph as I was updating the page...

woman holding a drawing of a sad, neutral, and happy face with with text saying "Respond To All?" customer reviews

"A report from Cornell University, highlights that revenue hits a point of diminishing returns after a 40% response rate. As odd as it may seem, a hotel’s management can expect a negative impact if it continues to respond to more reviews after that point."

The odd thing is when I clicked the link to the report, it took me to a 404 page meaning it no longer existed. I seems like the page was taken down. In addition, when you Google the topic, the consensus among industry leaders is to respond to every review good or bad.

This begs the question: should you respond to every positive and negative review on review sites or social media pages? In this post, I’ll shed light on this topic and how you can tweak your review management strategy to fit this new trend.

Determine the Type of Response Based on the Customer Review

Studies show that around 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. However, in today's business world it's a good idea to respond to all reviews, but not every customer review deserves a lengthy response. 

For example, while a simple ‘thank you’ on a review website will be enough to acknowledge your customer’s appreciation, a 200-word response to the same is overkill, especially if you use the opportunity to blatantly promote your business.

To keep things simple, determine whether a review actually deserves the time you are giving it. For instance, a negative review deserves a detailed response, as the query itself is usually lengthy. A typical negative customer review often comes with a description of what went wrong and how your management handled it.

You will need to choose your words carefully to acknowledge the customer’s experience, provide a remedial solution, and wait patiently for your customer to calm down before you proceed further.


Time Your Responses

When it comes to responding to reviews, timing is crucial. Responding to a positive review after a few hours is the right way to go about it, but doing so after several days or weeks will make you seem lazy and irresponsible.

Whether you respond to customer reviews or not depends on what is being said, and your own business requirements. For example, if your restaurant is still new, responding to a negative review on the review website immediately makes sense, since you wouldn’t want other people to be put off by it.

Choose Review Websites that Suit your Industry

Deciding how to respond also depends on the type of website people use for reviewing your business. Not every review website will generate the same leads for your industry.

For example, your restaurant will get more reviews on Yelp where 20% of reviews are about restaurants and cafés rather than TripAdvisor, which is more focused on businesses, like hotels or bed and breakfast establishments.

Understand the Dynamics

Not every review website works the same way, and customer expectations from businesses vary, as well, based on the nature of different platforms.

For example, customers might not expect a lengthy response to a negative review on TripAdvisor, but will probably expect the contrary on websites that are more personal in nature, like Airbnb or Facebook.

The main focus of websites like Facebook, and Google Business Profile, is to give you the chance to list your business online and make it more visible. And while the reviews may be important for some businesses, they might not be as much for you depending on the nature of your business.

For instance, if your business has a physical location, but operates solely on social media, then you should consider tracking and responding to reviews that followers leave there.


Review management is a critical aspect of any business. It is important to respond to reviews, but not every review requires the same amount of attention.

You should determine the type of response based on the customer review, time your responses appropriately, and choose the review websites that suit your industry.

It is also important to understand the dynamics of each review platform and tailor your response accordingly.

By following these tips, you can optimize your review management strategy and enhance your online reputation, which in turn can help attract more customers and drive revenue growth for your business.

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