Google is the king of search engines.
And people are consulting Google on a daily basis when they are looking for businesses on the local search. And guess what they tend to look for? Customer reviews!
That’s right. Google reviews are an important part of the customer experience for local businesses. They also help potential customers decide if this is the right place to spend their money and time. That means that responding to your online reviews can make all of the difference in maintaining customer loyalty as well.
Responding to your reviews on any review site (Yelp, TripAdvisor, social media) but especially on Google My Business is a vital part of the reputation management strategy.
And replying to customer feedback can be a bit challenging sometimes, that’s why we created this post. Our goal is to help you avoid making mistakes that could damage your reputation with unhappy customers. Read on to learn the essentials that will make responding easy and effective.
Why respond to Google reviews?
Many people form their first impression of a business on the internet based on its review page – paying great attention to the (if) and to the way they respond.
Responding to reviews shows dedication in providing customer service which will help boost reputation online as well as offline and land new prospects into your store. It will work wonders for your online reputation.
Customers have expectations that their voice will be heard from the business owner or someone who’s in charge.
You already know that people often use search engines to find big and small businesses. And the most favored business names are ranked higher on the SERP and Google Maps.
This is because Google relies on factors like trustworthiness and quality of service in order to provide reliable results for customers’ queries, so it makes sense that these same things would help your business with local SEO efforts and rank higher as well.
How to respond to Google reviews from desktop?
Before we go deeper into the technical part, I recommend you to turn on the notifications so you’ll be notified every time someone leaves you a review.
You can respond to Google reviews following these steps:
- Log in to your Google business profile (You can use business.google.com to navigate to your business listing)
- Go to the ‘Reviews’ tab on the menu of your left-hand side
- Find the business review you want to respond to
- Click ‘Reply’
- Write your review response and click ‘Post reply’
How to respond to Google reviews from your mobile phone?
Many times you’ll be on the go and responding to reviews can be put aside for a little bit. And then you’ll completely forget about it. To avoid causing negative experiences for your customers you can respond from your mobile device. And here’s how.
- Log in to your Google My Business account (You can use Google My Business app)
- Scroll down to the Reviews section on the homepage and click ‘Manage reviews’
- Find the review you want to respond to
- Click ‘Reply’
- Write your response and click ‘Post reply’
Now, your customer will get the notification that you’ve responded to their review.
How to respond to positive reviews?
This is the most exciting moment – when you receive positive feedback for your work!
When customers are given a great experience, they tend not only to trust the business but also to recommend it on social media.
You want to keep your happy customers around, don’t you?
So, let’s talk about ways of making sure those satisfied clients feel noticed by responding in kind when they say something nice.
- Personalize your response – It’s important to keep responses personal. You can do this by simply mentioning customer names, letting them know their feedback is being taken seriously and that you are not just copy/pasting what they have written but truly care about hearing it.
- Respond in a timely manner – It is important to be responsive when a customer gives feedback about your company. It will show them that you care and it’ll make their experience much better! Don’t take too long with the response!
- Follow the reviewer’s vibe – You need to continue the enthusiasm your customer had for their product, keep that same level of excitement going. If they elaborate their experience, don’t just keep it short and sweet – vibe with that enthusiasm!
Positive review response examples
Finding the right answer each time you receive a good review can be time-consuming. That’s why it’s a good practice to have some response templates by your hand.
Check these positive review response templates to help you in the process.
Here’s one example you can copy and use right away.
Thank you for your kind words [Customer Name],
I’m glad to hear that [Business Name] was a great place to stay!
We’re always happy when our customers get the chance to experience what it means to be part of [Business Name] and are grateful for your feedback about [Employee Name], who is an important member of our team. We’ll make sure he/she sees this review so she knows how much her efforts meant to you!
[Customer Name], thank you for your feedback!
We love hearing about our customers’ favorite menu items and we’re glad to hear that you enjoyed [Product/Service]. We take pride in sourcing high-quality ingredients from local farms whenever possible, so it’s wonderful to know that you were able to taste the difference in our food. It sounds like you have a good handle on what makes our wings so special – we’ll pass this information along to the kitchen team as well!
How to respond to negative reviews?
No one likes bad reviews but you’ll get some negative feedback.
But that’s not the end of the world. If you know how to manage negative reviews you can pull a good experience after all!
That’s why responding to negative Google reviews should be on the priority list of your review management.
Here’s how you should respond:
- Keep calm – Don’t take it personally. Try to understand why the bad thing happened and why your customer is disappointed, so you can make things right.
- Personalize it – Personalization is very important when it comes to negative review responses. It will let your customer know that behind your business stands a real person and not just a robot that doesn’t care.
- Apologize & sympathize – Take responsibility for what happened. Let your customers know that you’re sorry for their bad experience and you understand why they feel the way they do.
- Try to make things right – Apologizing without changing your behavior is meaningless, remember? So offer to make things right. Ask the person who has given you feedback what can be done in order for them to feel better and let’s go from there. Ask for their phone number or other contact information and try to solve the issue offline.
Negative review response examples
I know how difficult it is to find the right response. That’s why we prepared these bad review response templates so you can use them and prove that your company cares about maintaining high standards.
Thanks for the feedback [Customer Name].
I’m sorry to hear about your experience and we’ll take a look into this. We normally don’t turn people away, so it sounds like you might have been turned away by mistake or under unusual circumstances.
Please email me at: [Email Address] with more details and we’ll investigate what happened and make sure that doesn’t happen again in the future!
[Customer Name], I’m sorry to hear that your experience at our [Business] was less than stellar. We’re always working on improving the customer service aspect of our business and are committed to providing a positive environment for all customers.
I’ll be sure to pass your feedback about [Business Name]’s front desk staff on to them so they can do their best in the future. Thank you for letting us know what happened during your visit – we appreciate it!
How to deal with fake reviews?
Sometimes, businesses can face some suspicious reviews online.
No matter if they are positive or negative, fake reviews can seriously hurt your brand reputation. Even though they are hard to notice, there are several indicators that often give them out:
- Usually, they are extremely negative or extremely positive
- It lacks detail
- They have spotty review history
- They use the same phrases in many reviews
Google doesn’t know who your real customers are and it’s very hard to prove someone’s identity.
You can flag that review, which will take you through a process of filling in information. after that, Google observe but also considers whether or not the comment violated their policies- proving beyond doubt why this particular statement should be removed from public view. Once it’s decided you’ll be notified.
In the meantime, you can respond to the fake Google review and slightly letting the fake reviewer know that you’re aware of the situation. You can use this template:
Hi, [Fake Customer Name],
We take these matters very seriously. Unfortunately, we have no record or recollection of your experience with us, nor can we verify anything about your identity from your name in our records.
If you have done business with us, we would like to investigate this issue further. Please contact [Manager’s Name] immediately at [Email/Phone Number] so that we can resolve this issue.
How to respond to Google reviews with a third-party software?
To make the process easier we designed EmbedReviews – a review management platform that has direct integration with Google.
That means you’ll be able to manage and respond to your Google reviews directly from the platform and do all the management from a single dashboard.
You can pick each Google review you want to respond to, copy the template you want to use, personalize it and that’s it – you’ve got your response! Simple and easy without the struggle to logging in and out of your GMB account.
Just follow these steps:
- Log in to EmbedReviews or start a free trial if you’re a new user
- Connect your Google My Business account to the platform
- Go to the ‘All Reviews’ tab on the left menu
- Click on the ‘Respond’ option next to each Google review
- Write your response and click ‘Send Message’
Now your response will automatically appear as a response to the review on your Google My Business profile.
Take a look at how the review responder within the platform looks like.
It’s worth noting that, eventually having both good and bad Google reviews doesn’t look so terrible.
Having a mix of great customer service from your happy customers with less than stellar online feedback for them can work in your favor as it shows you are truly an authentic business.
In the end, the must-do thing is to respond to both types of reviews and keep the image of a customer-oriented business that cares for more than money.