review response in a crisis
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11 Must-Have Review Response Templates During a Crisis, Emergency or Disaster
Author | Chatmeter
Date Posted | September 30, 2022

 

At some point, every brand and business location will face an unexpected emergency or crisis. From hurricanes, wildfires, or other devastating natural disasters to out-of-nowhere structural issues to a global pandemic, business leaders must be prepared to tackle these massive problems at the drop of a hat.

They also have to think about their employees, customers, and the general public — all of whom are essential to carry your brand through a crisis, yet are often put on the back burner. That’s a huge mistake that could turn a rocky road ahead into an unrepairable one. These are the times when companies must focus on the customer experience (CX) and recognize the people who make their company successful during good times and bad, not treat them like inconveniences.

And when life gets “back to normal,” everyone remembers the brands that treated them like humans (who often are dealing with the crisis themselves), and the brands who ignored them.

Online review response is a fantastic way to improve CX during a crisis and stay connected with your customers and community. From empathetically replying to an upset diner after a restaurant location unexpectedly floods to a thrilled shopper raving about picking up a new dress curbside during a health crisis, a simple reply can be the nudge needed to turn people from a casual buyer to a lifelong loyal customer.

Still, coming up with even a short review response for positive and negative reviews can feel like one task too many when facing an emergency. We’ve got your back! With just a little customization, copy and paste these 11 review response templates already written for brands in a moment of crisis. In seconds, your customers will know that you’re still there for them while you free up your team’s time to handle whatever the world has thrown at you.

 

The Basics For Responding to Online Reviews in a Crisis

Before getting into the actual response templates, let’s outline the structure behind what makes an online review response effective, especially in a time of crisis. While it is similar to your everyday review response, there are elements that differ.

 

How to Respond to Positive Reviews:

  1. Thank the customer and use their name to personalize the interaction.
  2. Reference specifics about their experience. Did they love the burger? Enjoy the customer service? Mention how happy you are that they loved it.
  3. Address any crisis-related efforts your business implemented to make that experience possible. This both shows the reviewer AND those reading the review that you put deliberate thought and care into this complex moment.
  4. Make them excited to come back, and bring their friends! Maybe mention when fixes will be complete or mention an upcoming sale that they’d likely be interested in. Keep that connection moving!

 How to Respond to Negative Reviews:

  1. Keep it short and sweet. Too much detail, even with good intentions, can open up unexpected dialogue.
  2. Always be empathetic. Apologize and genuinely thank them for their feedback.
  3. Respond appropriately, and always take the high road. Even if you personally disagree, it never looks good for a brand to engage in an “online fight” with a customer.
  4. Matter-of-factly address any limitations due to the crisis at hand, and reiterate any changes to business policies. This informs both the specific reviewer and those reading the review online.
  5. Encourage the conversation to go offline and provide a phone number or direct email address for further discussion. A more human discussion is often all that’s needed to clear up an issue, and even take down or edit their review (This actually happens 33% of the time!)

More Review Response Template Best Practices:

  • Keep your brand voice consistent.
  • Be as human as possible. We suggest signing off with your first name.
  • Write with a sensitive, positive, and empathetic tone.
  • Rotate and/or tweak wording within templates so they don’t appear to be copy and pasted.
  • Templates don’t work for every review, especially when they’re extra-thorny. When in doubt, write it out!

11 Review Response Templates for Business in Times of Crisis

Template #1: How to Respond to Short Reviews

Positive Review Response:

Hi [NAME],

We’re delighted to hear about your positive experience here. With all the [CRISIS]-related changes our business has had to adapt to, our team is very appreciative to know our efforts have been paying off. Thank you for taking the time to rate us. We look forward to delivering a positive experience for years to come.

Negative Review Response:

Hi [NAME], 

We apologize if the issues you are referring to occurred during our limitations during [CRISIS]. We look forward to providing you with improved service soon. If you’re open to discussing your experience further, please call or email us at [PHONE/EMAIL]. 

 

Template #2: Responding to Safety and Health Concerns

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback with us. It truly means a lot to have our customers share their positive experiences, especially during this time. Our team has worked hard to ensure that all health and safety concerns of our customers are met. I’m glad you enjoyed your experience here!

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

We’re very sorry to hear your expectations weren’t met. [CRISIS] has unfortunately placed constraints on our services. However, we are working hard to overcome these challenges. Please reach out to us at [PHONE NUMBER] or email us at [EMAIL] so we can learn more about your experience. If you give us the chance, we’d love the opportunity to resolve this. Thanks – [YOUR NAME]

 

Template #3: Responding to Nature or Weather-Related Reviews

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you very much for sharing your positive experience with us. We’re aware of the challenges [CRISIS] has created and our team remains committed to providing fantastic services so we can keep serving our valued customers while keeping our community safe. We look forward to seeing you again very soon. Thanks! – [YOUR NAME]

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thanks for your feedback, and we regret that our services didn’t meet your expectations. Due to the current [CRISIS], we have implemented new changes and processes to keep our employees, customers, and community safe. While this may have affected your experience, we’re still dedicated to making every customer happy during their visits at [YOUR STORE]. We’d love to see how we can make your next visit better. Please reach out to us at [PHONE] or [EMAIL]. Thanks – [YOUR NAME]

 

Template #4: Responding to Service-Related During a Crisis

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you very much for sharing your positive experience with us. We’re so glad that enjoyed our customer service as much as possible, even during these current challenges. We’re glad to hear the extra precautionary measures we have taken toward protecting your health and safety have made a difference. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you for your feedback. We’re very sorry our service did not meet your expectations, as we always strive to create excellent customer experiences at all times. Because of the current [CRISIS] we have implemented new changes to our policy to ensure the safety and health of our customers. Still, we want to make every customer happy every time they visit. Please let us know how we can make this up to you by reaching out to us at [PHONE] or [EMAIL]. Thanks -[YOUR NAME]

 

 

Template #5: Responding After a Crisis-Related Policy Change

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME],

Thank you very much for your positive review. It’s incredibly helpful to know our updated policies and extra level of support from our team during [CRISIS] has made such a difference for you. We hope you return again soon! Thanks – [YOUR NAME]

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

We’re very sorry your visit with us fell short of expectations. We appreciate your patience with us as [BRAND] continues to adapt to all [CRISIS]-related changes. We’d like to use your feedback to improve our experience, so we can continue to serve our customers with the best possible service. Please reach out to us on [PHONE] or email us at [EMAIL] so we can provide a solution for you now, and ensure we continue to create great experiences in the future. – [YOUR NAME]

 

 

Template #6: Responding to Billing or Pricing-Related Reviews

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME],

Thank you so much for sharing your positive experience. We are always striving to keep our customers happy and prices fair during this uncertain time. We’re happy to hear that our updated processes and pricing have helped you. We look forward to your return. 

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME],

Thank you for sharing your feedback. We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with this [BILLING or PRICING] issue. We strive to offer fair pricing and an easy buying process for every customer and take your feedback very seriously. Our [TITLE and NAME OF MANAGER] would like to address your concerns. Please feel free to reach out by phone [PHONE NUMBER] or email [EMAIL] so we can get this issue resolved immediately. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. – [YOUR NAME]

 

 

Get a My Online Brand Visibility Audit

 

 

Template #7: How Multi-Family Housing Brands Can Respond to Crisis

Positive Review Response:

Hi [NAME]. We are very happy to hear you are pleased with our adjustments to our policies for those who may have been affected by [CRISIS]. At this time, as always, our number one priority is the health and safety of our tenants. 

Negative Review Response:

Hi [NAME], 

Thank you for bringing this to the attention of management. Be assured that no late fees have been charged and no evictions have been filed for late payment of [MONTH OF] rent. We have advised all tenants that if nonpayment is due to [CRISIS], please contact our property manager, [NAME], at [PHONE NUMBER] for assistance.

 

 

Template #8: How to Respond to Reviews in a Crisis for Restaurants

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thanks for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review. We are incredibly grateful to have your support and recognition during this unprecedented time. Our company values customer satisfaction as a top priority, and our team is dedicated to providing exceptional service, whether it’s for dine-in, pickup, takeout, or delivery. We look forward to serving you again. 

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

We’re extremely sorry that your experience with us was not up to par. We pride ourselves in providing quality customer service. Due to [CRISIS], there have been certain limitations placed on our business, and our team has had to adapt to many changes. We hope that you will give us another opportunity. Please reach out to us at [PHONE NUMBER] or email us at [EMAIL] so we can learn more about this issue. We’d love to make it up to you. Thanks – [YOUR NAME]

 

 

Template #9: How Care Facilities Can Respond to Reviews in a Crisis

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you very much for your positive feedback. We are overjoyed to hear that your loved ones experienced great care with us. Our staff is continuously going above and beyond to keep health and safety a top priority for everyone’s well-being here. We’re very appreciative of your kind words.

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you for sharing your feedback. We’re very sorry to hear that your loved ones didn’t have the best experience with us. There are strict requirements and protective measures that [BRAND] takes to ensure a healthy community for all. Please send your full name and phone number to [EMAIL] and we will ensure that a patient advocate reaches out to the resident directly.

 

 

Template #10: For Retail Brands Responding to Reviews in a Crisis

Positive Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you for sharing your positive feedback with us! We’re pleased to hear our additional services implemented during has been a factor in making your experience better. We genuinely appreciate the time you took to write this review and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Negative Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. We are committed to creating a comfortable and safe environment for all of our customers and are sorry to hear about your experience here. We at [BRAND] are working very hard to prevent any limitations and constraints from [CRISIS] that may hinder our customers’ experience in any way. We’d like to address this issue with you as we take our customers’ feedback seriously. Please contact us at [PHONE] or [EMAIL] when convenient so we can resolve your concerns. 

 

 

Template #11: For Reviews That Potentially Are Fake or Spam

Standard Review Response:

Dear [NAME], 

It seems as if you may have left this review in error. This review is in violation of [REVIEW SITE]’s policies and we have flagged it for removal. If you believe your review was flagged in error, please reach out to us at [PHONE NUMBER] or [EMAIL] so we can resolve this matter ASAP. Thanks – [YOUR NAME]

 

 

These review response templates can help your brand respond to all crisis-related (and non-crisis) reviews in a timely manner while ensuring that your customers’ needs and expectations are always met. These are some of the most important moments in solidifying or saying goodbye to your customers’ loyalty. And oftentimes, all it will take to keep these customers for life is a genuine review response. 

Still overwhelmed? We understand, and Chatmeter has tons of great solutions. From easy-to-use review responding tools that aggregate all online reviews onto a single feed to bulk response options to a full-service review response team, get everything your business needs to engage with customers during good times and back.

Schedule a demo today with one of our experts to see how this platform will free up your time while building a fantastic brand reputation and CX strategy no matter what the universe throws your way.

 

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