How to Respond to Google Reviews

Responding to Google reviews is essential to an online reputation management strategy. Customer feedback management helps improve the customer 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. Still, there are techniques for handling everything from negative feedback to five-star reviews.

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 appear in online searches.

Customer reviews can help you win over potential customers while improving your local search ranking. Improved search ranking means you’re more likely to appear in top web search results. Learn how to score more Google Reviews.

Do I have to respond to Google reviews?

Responding to your online reviewers, whether negative or positive, is crucial because it reflects your level of customer care. If potential consumers see you ignoring poor reviews, they may think you won’t be attentive to their needs and go to your competitor.

Why is it important to respond to Google reviews?

Responding to Google reviews improves your search engine optimization (SEO), shows existing customers you value their feedback and demonstrates your brand value to potential customers. All of this helps you attract more interest in your business listing.

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 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 need to know where to find them! If you’re unsure 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)
  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.”

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, check out this 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

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.
  • Check out your positive reviews and use our guidelines below for how to respond to positive feedback.
  • Save your favorite five-star reviews and use them as part of your customer review marketing strategy.

How to respond to Google reviews on a phone or computer

You can respond to Google reviews from a mobile device or computer by opening Google Maps or Google Search. From there, select your account profile on the top right and select reviews. Next to the review you’d like to reply to, click “Reply.” You can also track Google reviews and filter them by date or by star rating.

It’s a good idea to set up notifications so you get alerts when customers leave reviews, allowing you to respond promptly. Log in to your Google Business Profile and select “Settings,” then “Notifications” to enter your email address and select each type of review you’d like to receive automatic notifications.

How to respond to positive Google reviews

To keep satisfied customers happy, acknowledge the real person behind the positive review to let them know you appreciate the time they took to say nice things about your company.

Responding to positive Google reviews is simple; here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Respond promptly. Hold onto happy customers and stay at the top of their minds by responding as soon as possible.
  • Thank the customer. Just using good manners can go a long way. Thank them for their feedback and personalize it by mentioning the customer by name in your reply.
  • Be authentic. You could copy and paste your positive review response and use it for every kind of review, but people will likely notice you’re using a generic template. Instead, change it up by adding a personal detail that connects with each 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. Customer word-of-mouth is incredibly helpful in bringing in new business. Play it cool and be polite — don’t make the reviewer feel like they owe you anything.

How to respond to negative Google reviews

Negative reviews are not fun for anyone, but ignoring them can be a bigger problem than the reviews themselves. Avoiding a negative review can be worse than neglecting a positive review.

If you want to 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 repair relationships with unhappy customers.

Though the context of negative reviews can vary greatly, the nature is still the same. So, when you’re ready to 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. Even if you think the reviewer is wrong, 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. Manage your reputation effectively by taking responsibility and apologizing for whatever bothered the customer.
  • Explain 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.
  • Take things offline to avoid a public confrontation. In your response, you can say, “We will contact you directly to see how we can remedy the situation.” If you don’t have contact information for the customer, provide your phone or email in the comments for them to contact you directly. Show your concern and desire to make things right.

Can I delete negative reviews?

While removing particular types of Google reviews is possible, business owners can’t simply delete negative reviews about their company. You can flag suspicious or inappropriate Google reviews on your business listing, such as fake reviews or reviews with illegal, sexual, or dangerous content. Google will look at the review and determine whether it will be taken down.

Examples of great Google responses

Whether responding to a positive or negative review, it’s essential to be authentic and specific with each customer. Thank them for their response and reply directly to their points. Remember to vary your responses and customize them for each customer review.

Example template for a positive review:

Hi {customer name},

Thank you for your thoughtful review. We’re happy to hear you enjoyed {service or product}, and we can’t wait to have you back.

{Your name}

Example template for a positive star review with no words: 

Hi {customer name},

Thank you for the great review! We’re glad you had a good experience with us and hope to see you again soon.

{Your name}

Example template for a negative review:

Hi {customer name},

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We’re sorry to hear {the product or service} didn’t meet your expectations. Please contact our customer service team at {email address} or {phone number}. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to resolve this.

{Your name}

Let Broadly handle your business reputation management

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

Schedule a demo today to see how our technology can help you manage online reviews across Google reviews and other social media channels.