How to Respond to Google Reviews

How to Respond to Google Reviews

Responding to Google reviews is essential to any customer feedback management and online reputation management strategy. It helps improve the customer’s experience, increases your number of customer reviews and optimizes your business listing in Google Maps and local search engine results.

Figuring out the right way to respond to the customer feedback you receive via your Google reviews might sound simple at first — you just reply to the customer reviews, right? Well, no. Knowing how to respond to Google reviews is essential for managing your business profile online.

This article will go over every single thing you need to know about replying to your business reviews. There are techniques for handling everything from negative experiences and negative feedback to good comments and 5-star reviews.

Google Reviews and how to respond to them

Why do Google reviews matter?

Getting your small business to show up on Google is one of the most important things you can do for your company if you want to be found online. 

Not only do reviews from past customers help you win over potential customers, but Google reviews also improve your local search ranking. Improved search ranking means you’re more likely to show up in top search results on the web. Learn how to score more Google Reviews here.

Do I have to respond to Google reviews?

Responding to your online reviewers is crucial — whether they’re negative reviews or positive reviews — because this is what your potential new customers see. If consumers see you ignoring poor reviews, they may think that you won’t be attentive to them as a customer.

Instead, they may go to your competitor who has taken the time to listen to the customer’s experience, responded to negative reviews, made things right with the customer, and turned the bad situation into a good one. 

Remember that behind every piece of customer feedback is a real person who may bring in repeat business and has the power to attract more customers with positive word-of-mouth marketing and referrals.

How to respond to Google reviews

Follow these critical steps when responding to the customer feedback you receive on your Google Business Profile. 

Check your Google accounts for reviews

Before you reply to your business’s Google reviews, you’ll need to know where to find them! If you’re not sure how to get to your Google reviews, here is what you do.

  1. Sign in to your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business account) at business.google.com or by using the Google My Business app (AKA the GMB app). 
  2. Click the three horizontal bars to get to the menu, then select “All Locations.”
  3. If you have more than one business location/account, choose which one you want to manage reviews for and click “Manage location.”
  4. Once on your page, go to the “Reviews” section.
  5. Click the blue box that says “Manage reviews.”

And, boom — you’re in. This is where you can see all the reviews for that specific location. Now, it’s time to sift through them.

If you do not have a Google Business Profile set up, check out our Google My Business Guide to learn about how to:

  • Claim your business listing on Google
  • Verify your business listing
  • Review your business information, including your business name, phone number and other contact information
  • Ask for customer reviews
  • Remove Google reviews

Evaluate your Google reviews

Google Review Response Online

Start reading through your Google reviews:

  • Take note of negative reviews and use our guidelines below for responding to bad reviews.
  • Look for fake reviews and report them. There is no need to respond to fake reviews, but you can report them.
  • Check out your positive reviews and use our guidelines below for how to respond to positive feedback. Be sure to save your favorite 5-star reviews and use them as part of your customer review marketing strategy

How to respond to positive Google reviews

Chances are you have lots of happy reviews. Good job! Go you! But your work does not stop there. To keep these satisfied customers happy, you need to acknowledge the real person behind the review and let them know that you appreciate the time they took out to say nice things about your company. 

Responding to positive Google reviews is luckily very simple. Here are a few things to keep in mind when replying to positive reviews:

  • Respond promptly. Nothing says, “I don’t care if you spend your money here ever again,” quite like sending a thank-you two years later. To hold onto that happy customer, try to respond as soon as possible to stay top of mind.
  • Thank the customer. Just using your manners can go a long way. Thank them for their feedback and mention the customer’s name in your reply — nothing fancy here.
  • Be authentic. You could copy and paste your positive review response and use it for every nice review, but people are going to notice you took the easy way out. Instead, change it up by adding a personal detail that connects with the reviewer. Thank the reviewer directly by commenting on something they mentioned in their review. The slightest effort here can make a significant difference.

Invite them to take action. While you’re making friends, invite your new fan to spread the love. You cannot receive without asking. Just remember to play it cool and be polite — don’t make the reviewer feel like they owe you anything.

responding to positive Google review

How to respond to negative Google reviews

Negative Google reviews are not fun for anyone, but ignoring them is certainly not the best way to handle them. In fact, avoiding a negative review is worse than neglecting a positive review. 

If you want to take control of the situation and do some damage control, the best thing to do is respond to the negative review. Responding allows you to manage the narrative, save face, and possibly reconcile a relationship with unhappy customers.

Though the context of negative reviews can vary greatly, the nature is still the same. So, when you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and respond to your negative Google Reviews, here are some tactics to keep in mind.

  • Acknowledge the problem. No good apology starts by undermining the problem or blaming the reviewer. You have to swallow your pride, even if you think the reviewer is wrong, and acknowledge the fact that there was an issue. You might even thank the reviewer for bringing this issue to your attention.
  • Take responsibility and apologize. The worst thing you can do is get upset and respond with excuses. Take responsibility and apologize for whatever it was that bothered the customer. Let your pride take the back seat if you want to manage your reputation effectively.
  • Explain things if necessary. Some negative reviews might warrant some type of explanation on your end. If you can explain the situation from your side without being rude or accusatory, then try to do so in your response.

negative Google review response

  • Make things right with the reviewer. Offer to pick up the tab for their next meal or next appointment. A small gesture that doesn’t cost a lot to you can mean so much to the customer. Offer to appease the situation with some sort of compensation to sweeten the apology.

compensating google reviews

If you’re still not sure how to craft your negative review response, check out these review response templates.

Can I delete negative reviews?

While it is possible to remove Google reviews, business owners can’t simply delete negative reviews about their company. If one of the posts on your business listing is not accurate or appears suspicious, you can flag inappropriate Google reviews, such as fake reviews or reviews with illegal, sexual, or dangerous content.

Why is it important to respond to Google reviews?

Responding to Google reviews is vital because doing so:

  • Shows existing customers you value their feedback 
  • Demonstrates your brand value to potential customers
  • Improves your SEO, which can help you attract more interest in your business listing and draw in new customers

Let Broadly Handle Your Business Reputation Management

Want to grow your Google reviews, TripAdvisor reviews and positive reviews on other review sites?

At Broadly, we have the tools business owners like you need to elevate your business profile, optimize your listings for local search and Google Maps, handle both positive and negative customer feedback. We can help you stay on top of notifications about your brand reputation and attract new star ratings.

Book a demo today to see how our technology offerings help local businesses manage their online reviews — both positive reviews and negative reviews — across Google reviews and other social media channels.