How to Respond to Google Reviews in 2022 | Best Responses to Good and Bad Reviews (with Examples)

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In today's marketplace, customers rely upon reviews to know about businesses, and the local consumer review survey by BrightLocal has shown that 63% of people use Google as their primary site to read them.

When someone searches for your business on Google, there's a good chance your Google Maps listing will display prominently on the search engine results page. A star rating appears as part of your listing, and when users click on these, they will be taken to a page where they can see all of your Google reviews. Not only can people see every review that's been submitted, but they also – more importantly – have the ability to see every comment you have made in response.

While taking the time to read reviews is essential, it's also important to respond to them accordingly. Some businesses don't respond to Google reviews because they feel like it's not worth the effort, but there are many benefits to replying and staying in touch with your customers.

Why should you respond to Google reviews?

Responding to Google reviews is one of the ways to outshine your competitors online. Google reviews have become more prevalent in recent years because they can affect search rankings, business reputation, and overall perceptions. In this sense, responding to Google reviews could lead to an increased volume of positive feedback from your satisfied clients, help you win over new customers, and improve your search ranking.

Moreover, people don't just read reviews; they also read businesses' responses to them. Responses are all about taking control of your business's public-facing content, so when you respond to Google reviews, you are also showing your customers that you care for them.

How to respond to Google reviews

Now that you know why responding is essential, it's time to know how to respond to Google reviews and, well, start responding. So how exactly do you do that? - through Google My Business.

Your business can actually be listed on Google and may be collecting reviews without you even knowing it. This is because a Business Profile (your Google listing) is essentially just a place on Google Maps—which anyone can create. It's only once you claim your Google listing by verifying ownership of your business that you can respond to reviews and control the information displayed on your listing.

That being said, provided you have a Google My Business account, log in to your account, and you'll see a reviews tab in your dashboard where you can respond to your Google reviews.

How to Respond via Google My Business on Desktop

  1. Go to your Google My Business Dashboard ( https://business.google.com ).
  2. Click on the correct location (if you have multiple locations).
  3. Click on the menu and select "Reviews."
  4. Click "Reply."
  5. Once you've written your response, click "Post reply."

How to Respond via Google My Business on Mobile

  1. Open the Google My Business app ( App Store ).
  2. Tap "Customers."
  3. Tap "Reviews."
  4. Tap the review to which you'd like to respond.
  5. Once you've written your response, tap "Send."

How to respond to a positive Google review

Positive reviews won't drive your customers away as bad reviews do. So why respond? The short answer is - responding to a positive review directly translates to seizing an opportunity.

Responding to positive reviews is also a great way to support your marketing efforts, build customer loyalty, and call more attention to the significant parts of your customer experience.

Say thank you

If a customer pays you a compliment in person, the most natural response is to say thank you. The same goes for good reviews.

Show appreciation for the customer who took the time to share their positive experience. After all, great reviews and high ratings serve as powerful social proof for attracting new potential customers and influencing their decision-making process. Your customer just did you a solid.

Some things you can say:

"This review made our day!"

"Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us this amazing review."

"We are so grateful for your kind words. Thanks for sharing your review with the community and us."

Reinforce the positive

Often, positive reviews cite specific things that the customer liked best about their experience. Identify them — then mention them in your response. This lets you do some subtle reputation marketing and hype up a specific product, service, or feature.

In your response, explain that the delicious red velvet cupcakes they loved so much are actually from your mother's old recipe, let them in on how you grow your own rocket lettuce, and tell them that others have also commented on the fantastic views from the cliffside swimming pool.

Pass along the compliment

When the customer mentions someone who works for your company by name, always pass along the compliment. For example, if a customer wrote, "Your assistant, Anna, is always super helpful and clear," reply by saying something along the lines of: "I'm so glad you like Anna's work! We'll pass along the kind words."

Responding to reviews is a way for you to share the best feedback you get and make it a point to let your teams know when they're doing great work and call out your superstars.

How to respond to a negative Google review

Receiving a bad Google review can create the feeling of a pit in the middle of your stomach. Even though it can be tough to read how you've disappointed a customer, behind each bad Google review is a human hoping to be heard.

Handling a negative review is all in how you respond. According to BrightLocal, 70% of people are more likely to use a business that responds to negative reviews.

When responding to these reviews, a timely response is key – ideally within a week. As much as it can take some serious mental energy to draft a thoughtful reply, you need to reply quickly.

While tackling one-star ratings can be stressful and time-consuming, you’ll find a few tips to help with drafting a well-thought-out reply.

Apologize and focus on the solution

This is the most important part of your reply. Acknowledge what happened and apologize for it. Thank the customer for taking the time to share their experience, then get to work on offering a solution.

Some things you can say:

"We apologize for your experience. Please send us an email and we'll get this sorted out for you."

"We're sorry for the inconveniences you experienced. We take your complaint very seriously and are working to make sure it doesn't happen again."

"We're sorry to hear that our staff was not able to give you the care you expect. We will be in touch with you shortly to follow up on your feedback and discuss possible solutions that may be of benefit."

Take action by offering amends

When dealing with negative feedback, try to avoid cookie-cutter responses that do not resolve or address any specific issues raised in the review. Include details about the customer's experience in your response (when relevant), and communicate any changes or improvements you have made or will make due to their feedback.

How you choose to respond to an unhappy customer can either instil or remove confidence for readers that you care about your guest's experience. You may have heard the saying, 'people will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.' Always think about the feeling you want to leave people with as you respond to reviews.

Should you respond to every review?

What is the ideal response rate? Should your business respond to every single Google review that comes in? It depends. There are many factors you should take into consideration.

In general, it is always best to respond to every review - both the good and the bad. In fact, most customers expect businesses to reply to their reviews. Responding is an acknowledgement of their opinion and shows that you care about them. However, if you're receiving a high volume of reviews, responding to every review may not be the best option.

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