How to respond to positive and negative Beauty reviews

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Instagram comments and stories, Facebook Page reviews, Fave ratings – Beauty reviews are read by women everywhere! Because they form such a huge aspect of word-of-mouth marketing, it is almost deadly to turn a blind eye to them. 

StaffAny dissects and investigates what makes a good review response, and how salons, spas and parlours can better respond to both positive and negative reviews.

Positive reviews

It’s pretty straightforward in responding to positive beauty reviews – we are happy, thankful and appreciative to receive them, and our replies naturally take on such a tone. But how can we level up and also introduce a variety of responses to create more colour in our customer conversations? 

Here are some next-level opportunistic tips you can consider 🙂 

1. Play up the SEO

Yes, reviews go into SEO as well! This is an opportunity for you to reinforce your business name, location, best dish and/or your unique selling point.

“Thank you, Felicia! It is our commitment at Oasia Retreat to deliver soothing but deep massages, especially Bo Jin, in Singapore :)”

2. Zoom in on the goodness

Double down on what your customers loved and share the story behind it! People are keen to hear stories about things that they like – be it how the team was founded, the hard work from the team or even surprises like “Jean never considered she could be a professional hairstylist!”. The business increases the human touch factor and consumers feel like they are interacting with people instead of a “company”.

“We're delighted to hear that - and you can look forward to us delivering better cuts next time! We send our hairstylists for courses once a year to ensure they level up in their skills" 

3. Introduce other possibilities

a. Other Services

Use this chance to talk about any underrated services or alternatives you could be “testing the waters” with. Given the eyeballs on beauty reviews, this is a viable channel to get the word out.

“If you’re bringing your girlfriends here next time, don't forget to check out our BFF package, many of our customers are on it and ove it!”
“We bring in new colours every 3 months, so you can pick from a new set the next visit" 

b. Marketing Initiatives 

Customers may not reach every single touch point of your intended customer journey and by now, you probably realise you can do this through review responses!

“Don’t forget to bring your loyalty card next time for the free treatment sample!" 
“Btw, we launched a giveaway this month - you can join it via Instagram :) Look forward to serving you again!”

4. New perspectives

Often from beauty reviews, you get to hear first-hand what customers really love about you – and it could be something you never thought about! Perhaps it is the location, the excellent detail and gentleness of the crew. Consider using these to market yourself to potential like-minded customer personas! 

5. Finally, ask and you shall receive!

One way to improve your online presence in reviews is to accumulate more customer reviews – by asking customers! Well because if you don’t ask, the answer is already no. Ask happy customers to leave you a review, especially if they have told you in person about their good experience. Or, you can offer a free drink in exchange for a review. Share with them how this will help you in your marketing efforts to bring your pampering experience to more customers. 

F&B reviews negative

Not-so positive reviews 

And here comes the part most dread. We know how detrimental bad reviews can be in turning away potential customers but at the same time, it is a chance for businesses to understand customers’ experiences better. Ensure that the responder is calm when creating the response to avoid any heated replies! 

1. Address the customer by name

Nuff’ said!

2. Thank them

Why thank someone for a bad beauty review? We believe communication is better than none at all – better a customer who told us which parts of the experience could be better, than 20 “meh” customers who said nothing at all! 

“Thank you for writing in to share your experience with us”
“Thanks for choosing to have done your hair/nails/facial/massage with us”

3. Call out the issue clearly

This tells the customer that you hear exactly what they are dissatisfied about. It is step one to restoring the bridge of trust by showing that you are not avoiding the situation or saying that the issue they faced was not a big deal.

“I understand that you were really looking forward to an hour of relaxing. However, due to the persistent up-selling, this caused you to be be unable to enjoy your session with us." 

4. Apologize and empathise

Some may ask, does this mean admitting we are wrong, even if we were really not? No, not really! Empathy is not directly saying “I am wrong” but rather, “I hear you” and “I hear your frustration and disappointment.” 

“We are deeply sorry... I would have been equally upset if I were you.”
“I understand that you were looking forward to the same experience you had previously but this time, you did not get the same standards” 

5. Explain, concisely

Many times, there are reasons for certain experiences such as overbooking of the place, or perhaps the preferred person was suddenly unable to make it. While rational explanations may not calm the emotional customer, it can help readers understand more objectively what caused such a situation. A concise explanation would be good though, as long explanations may sound defensive!

“Janice was unfortunately held up in an unforeseen traffic jam and as we did not want to keep you waiting, we transferred you to so-and-so" 

6. Next steps

And finally to assure both the reader and unhappy customer, this “recovery process” could be the most important to prevent similar unhappy customers. Because what’s worse than 1 unhappy review, is 2 of the exact same kind! At times, you may want to take it offline to prevent an ugly online explosion. 

“We will be reviewing our selling process and ensure that we are internally consistent with regards to this. Rest assured that we will respect your preferences in future visits". 

7. SEO?

Ending with our first point on SEO, some would recommend responses not to include the company name, location, service and USP so that they don’t show up on reviews. Well, that’s up to you 🙂

At this point you might be thinking, gosh… must one beauty review contain all of that?! I’d need to hire a writer already! Do you have any templates?? We think it’s perfectly already to start off with templates. But as review readers, reading copy-paste review replies can make it seem slightly insincere. Forcing too many “tips” into one review can also feel overwhelming for the readers.

So TLDR, write from the heart – from gratefulness, understanding, empathy and responsibility. When so, words are easily felt.


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