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How Well Does ChatGPT Work for Replying to Online Reviews?

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Learn how ChatGPT performs when it comes to writing review responses, and how it compares to specialized AI solutions. Explore the strengths and limitations of ChatGPT in online review management and make an informed decision for your business.
How Well Does ChatGPT Work for Replying to Online Reviews?

Introduction to AI and Online Reviews

In the contemporary digital age, online reviews have become a crucial aspect of businesses, influencing customer decisions and shaping online reputations. In fact, 98% of consumers say they read online reviews before making a purchase. However, with the vast influx of reviews, managing responses can be an overwhelming task. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) steps in, offering an efficient and streamlined solution for online review management.

One such AI tool making waves in this realm is ChatGPT. But what is ChatGPT and how well does it perform when it comes to replying to online reviews? In this article, we delve into the workings of ChatGPT, its strengths and limitations, and how it fares in handling online reviews compared to other AI solutions.

Understanding ChatGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a language model that uses machine learning to produce human-like text. It's incredibly versatile and can be used for tasks ranging from drafting emails to writing code, and of course, responding to online reviews. However, like all tools, it comes with its own set of strengths and limitations, especially when it comes to the specific task of managing online reviews.

ChatGPT, also known as GPT-3 (or GPT-4), employs machine learning, specifically a transformer neural network architecture to generate text that mirrors human writing. It's trained on a diverse range of internet text, but it doesn't know specific documents or sources it was trained on. As a language model, ChatGPT generates a text string in response to an input text string. However, GPT-3 does not have any internal understanding of the concepts or ideas it talks about. It's essentially manipulating symbols (words) based on patterns it learned during its training process.

Since its introduction to the market, ChatGPT has rapidly become a staple among businesses, specifically on the hospitality industry . In fact, in our blog Get the Most Out of ChatGPT: How Hotels Can Leverage the Technology, we learned that 60% of hotels are now using AI on their operations.

Strengths of ChatGPT for review responses

There are several areas where ChatGPT shines:

  1. Versatility: As an AI language model, ChatGPT can generate human-like text for a variety of tasks, from drafting emails to creating code, making it remarkably versatile.
  2. Scalability: ChatGPT can handle a large volume of data, which is a boon for businesses dealing with a high influx of online reviews.
  3. Constant Learning: Given its machine learning backbone, ChatGPT is always learning and improving over time, enhancing the quality and relevance of its responses.

Limitations of ChatGPT review replies

Despite its advantages, there are certain limitations to using ChatGPT for online review management:

  1. Lack of Personalization: While ChatGPT can generate human-like responses, it may not be able to capture the unique brand voice or style that a business might want to portray in its responses.
  2. Generic Responses: Since ChatGPT isn't inherently product-specific, it could produce generic responses that may not effectively address specific customer concerns raised in reviews.
  3. Lack of Contextual Understanding: While ChatGPT is capable of generating coherent and contextually relevant responses, it lacks the deep understanding of the context that humans typically possess. This could potentially lead to responses that miss subtle nuances in reviews.
  4. Potential for Inaccuracies: ChatGPT could generate information that wasn't included in the initial context or invent things, a phenomenon known as "hallucination". This could lead to incorrect or irrelevant responses.

In the next section, we'll delve deeper into how ChatGPT handles online reviews in practice.

ChatGPT in Action: Replying to Online Reviews

With the increasing importance of customer reviews in today's digital marketplace, businesses are constantly seeking the most effective ways to manage and respond to reviews. AI-powered solutions like OpenAI's ChatGPT promise to optimize this process. Let's analyze how ChatGPT performs when it comes to handling online reviews.


Responding to Reviews with Efficiency

One of the main advantages of using an AI solution like ChatGPT for review management is its efficiency. Capable of analyzing and generating responses to a large volume of reviews quickly, ChatGPT outpaces human capabilities. With a simple prompt, ChatGPT can generate a coherent response in a matter of seconds. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses juggling a high influx of customer reviews across multiple platforms and need a way to manage them efficiently.

For instance, given this prompt:

Prompt: "A customer has left a negative review on your website saying that they found your delivery service to be slow and unprofessional. Please draft a response."

ChatGPT could generate a response like this:

Screenshot of ChatGPT generating a response to a negative review.
A tricky response from ChatGPT to a negative online review.

While the response is very well written, making promises about improving services based on the review might be unwanted by the business owner and should be used with caution. To learn more about the best practices in responding to negative reviews, read Don’t Let Negative Reviews Ruin Your Business: Examples & Tips.

Maintaining Personalization

In the realm of customer engagement, personalization is key. While ChatGPT does a commendable job at generating human-like text, it can occasionally fall short when it comes to personalization. Since it’s not inherently product-specific, the responses might not always capture the unique brand voice or style that a business might want to portray.

For example, given the following prompt:

Prompt: "A customer has left a positive review on your website praising your innovative product designs. Please draft a response maintaining your brand's cheerful and informal voice."

ChatGPT might generate this response:

Screenshot of ChatGPT generating a response to a positive review.
A generic response from ChatGPT to a positive review.

While the response is generally satisfactory, it may not fully capture the unique 'cheerful and informal' voice of the brand, something that specialized AI solutions might achieve more effectively.

Personalization is one of the most important factor when crafting an effective response to online reviews. On our article No Contradiction: Personalization and AI-generated review replies, we’ve learned that genuinely connecting with consumers pays off financially.

Understanding Language Context

One of the inherent advantages humans have over AI is a deep understanding of the subtleties and nuances in language context. However, the gap is closing, with AI-powered tools like ChatGPT excelling in generating contextually relevant responses.

Yet, it’s important to remember that while the AI model can create seemingly intelligent replies, it doesn't actually understand the content it’s generating. This lack of deep contextual understanding might sometimes lead to responses that miss certain subtleties in reviews.

For instance, in response to this prompt:

Prompt: "A customer has left a review on your website complaining about the wine selection at your restaurant. Please draft a response."

ChatGPT might generate this response:

Screenshot of ChatGPT generating a response to a complaint about wine selection.
A review that doesn’t really address a customer’s concern.

While the response is generally appropriate, it may not address specific subtleties or nuances that could be present in the actual review. The AI doesn't know the specific wines the restaurant offers or the philosophy of only serving a changing selection of regional wines, meaning it can't create a truly personalized and contextually accurate response.

Aside from the fact that such responses don’t really address the customer’s concerns, these general replies also miss the opportunity of using target keywords that may help your search engine visibility. In this reply, the business could use “best wine” + “location” or “best restaurant” + “location” when talking about their services and offers. To learn more about this, read How to SEO Optimize Your Review Responses.

Comparison: ChatGPT vs Specialized AI Solutions

When comparing AI solutions for handling online reviews, it's important to consider the specific needs and goals of your business. Although ChatGPT offers a versatile and efficient solution, it might not always be the best fit for all businesses. Let's examine how it stacks up against more specialized AI tools for review management, focusing on a tool called MARA.


ChatGPT: The Jack of All Trades

As we've seen, ChatGPT brings versatility and scalability to the table. Its ability to generate human-like text for a variety of tasks, including review responses, makes it an adaptable solution for businesses. However, ChatGPT's general-purpose nature could also be a limitation, as it may not possess the specialized features required to effectively manage online reviews.

MARA: The Review Management Specialist

Writing personalized responses can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant of MARA. This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

AI-Powered Review Inbox

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google,, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA AI Review Inbox
Streamlined review management with MARA Review Inbox.

Advanced Review Analytics

To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA Review Analytics
Intuitive Review Analytics

Simplified Group Analytics

Additionally, our group analytics overview can provide a quick evaluation of the performance of each location. Other than key metrics such as response rates, ratings, and the number of reviews, MARA also offers category scores based on advanced AI analytics. In the screenshot below, you can find an analysis for hotels with category scores for areas like Food & Beverage, Front Office, and Housekeeping. This analysis aids in swiftly identifying potential weaknesses, with a preview of detailed topics appearing when you hover over a category.

MARA Group Analytics
Simultaneous sentiment analysis for all listings.

The most personal response AI

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thoughts

In the realm of online review management, AI solutions offer promising potential to streamline processes, maintain brand consistency, and enhance customer engagement. While general-purpose AI tools like ChatGPT can provide efficient and versatile solutions, specialized AI tools such as MARA provide a more tailored approach to managing online reviews.

ChatGPT's strength lies in its ability to generate human-like text for a variety of tasks, including crafting responses to online reviews. However, its limitation resides in its general-purpose nature, lacking the ability to fully capture a brand's unique voice or address specific subtleties in online reviews.

On the other hand, MARA's primary advantage is its specialization in online review management. Its ability to learn a brand's tone, response style, best practices, and incorporate personalized smart snippets in its responses, makes it a potentially more effective tool for businesses.

In conclusion, when choosing an AI solution for managing online reviews, businesses should consider their specific needs and objectives. A balance of AI efficiency and human touch in crafting responses will lead to an enhanced customer engagement strategy. As we continue to advance in the digital age, the role of AI in customer engagement is undeniably becoming more significant, making the choice of an AI solution for your business a crucial decision. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

This article is part of our hero content on "AI Review Replies: All You Need to Know"

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the main strengths of using ChatGPT for online review management?

ChatGPT brings versatility and scalability to online review management. Its key strengths lie in its ability to generate human-like text quickly for a range of tasks, including crafting responses to online reviews. ChatGPT is capable of managing a large volume of data swiftly, making it an efficient tool for businesses juggling large quantities of customer feedback.

What limitations does ChatGPT have in responding to online reviews?

While ChatGPT can efficiently generate responses to reviews, it may not always fully capture the specific voice or style of a brand due to its general-purpose nature. It may sometimes produce responses that miss certain subtleties in reviews or require additional editing to ensure that they align with a brand's unique voice. It can also sometimes generate information that isn't included in the initial context or invent things, a feature known as 'hallucination'.

How does MARA fare against ChatGPT in managing online reviews?

MARA is a specialized AI tool designed specifically for online review management. This specialization allows it to incorporate features specifically catered to review responses, such as personalized signatures and smart snippets, which might provide more streamlined responses than ChatGPT. Also, MARA is tailored to understand your brand's voice and style, and can learn to adapt its responses accordingly, which might give it an edge over ChatGPT in maintaining the brand voice and personalization in review responses.

How do AI tools like MARA and ChatGPT maintain brand voice and personalization in review responses?

ChatGPT generates human-like responses; however, it may not fully capture the specific voice or style of a brand. On the other hand, MARA learns a brand's tone, response style, and best practices to generate responses that are in harmony with the brand's ethos. It uses features like Brand Voice and Smart Snippets to customize its responses according to the brand's personality and business information, ensuring a higher level of personalization.

Why should businesses consider using AI tools for managing online reviews?

AI tools can revolutionize the way businesses handle online review responses. They offer potential benefits such as increased efficiency, consistency, scalability, and the ability to personalize responses. They can manage large volumes of reviews swiftly, maintain brand voice across all responses and provide valuable insights into customer feedback, ultimately enhancing customer engagement and boosting the online reputation of the business.

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