Online reviews are a major part to managing your online reputation. The more feedback you receive, the better gauge you have on how your business is doing and what potential customers could be reading when they’re deciding on bringing their business to you. But as a business owner, you have a major responsibility in the process: You have to responding to your Google reviews!
This can seem like a daunting process, especially if you’ve racked up quite a few reviews or are worried about your responses being public. But just know that in the same way that reviews help paint a picture of your business for potential customers, how you respond to reviews also illustrates your level of customer engagement.
Here are 3 simple tips for how to respond to reviews on Google:
- Respond to every review
- Carefully consider how you respond to negative reviews
- Flag reviews that are inappropriate to Google
Now let’s dive into greater detail on each of these tips.
1. Respond to every review
So maybe you’re new to managing your online reviews, and you’ve already got quite a few reviews in line that haven’t had any response from your business. If that’s the case, you’re in good shape. Honestly, any growing business would want to be in the position of having any number of reviews rather than having no reviews.
Now, let’s get to responding to them!
From your Google My Business dashboard, select “Reviews” from the right side column menu.
Under each review, will be the option to “Reply”– Go ahead and click that for the review you want to respond to first.
In your reply, include the reviewer’s name if they’ve provided it, and thank them for their review. It’s best practice to tailor each response to the individual reviewer instead of just using the same blanket response for multiple reviews. You’ll want to make sure you address any concerns the reviewer had, and if necessary, provide a way to follow up.
Here’s an example of a great business response to a review on Google.
2. Carefully consider how you respond to negative reviews
Now not all reviews are made equal, and it’s more likely than not, that you’re going to one day have to face a negative review. The way to look at bad reviews is to see them as an opportunity for improvement and to really show your ability as a business owner to manage criticism and seek out solutions.
It’s important not to overreact when responding to a negative Google review. You want to come across incredibly professional, respectful, and try to sort out the issues that the negative review concerned. Try to practice humility, and apologize for the negative experience, which can go a long way.
Here’s a great example of how to respond to a negative Google review.
Responding to negative reviews could be a bit of a drag. No one enjoys getting bad feedback and having to deal with it
,, but, to be honest, tackling these types of situations will only make you a better business owner.
Here’s an example of a negative review for a restaurant:
Alright, so the above example is not a review any restaurant owner probably wants to get. The restaurant generally has good reviews overall, but that doesn’t mean that negative reviews should be left undealt with.
Remember that these reviews, as well as your responses, are available to the public to take the time to address them seriously and show potential customers that you know how to handle criticism. Here are a few response examples:
- We apologize that you didn’t enjoy your experience with us, we take great pride in our staff and will continue to go to great lengths to train our staff on what our menu has to offer and how to provide the best service to our guests.
- We apologize that you feel our food is overpriced. We strive to keep our prices in line with the excellent quality of the food that we provide and will make sure we work with our chefs to ensure consistency and satisfaction.
- We apologize that you had to wait longer than you had hoped to be served. We are a large establishment and are working to expand our staffing and efficiency needs to make sure all of our guests are served within a timely manner.
Whatever your response is, you want to make sure that you’re not overly emotional or brash in your response. Take the time to think through the concerns that came out of the negative review and address them accordingly with the attitude that you want to improve the experience for the future and that you hope the reviewer would give your restaurant another chance.
Since it’s a restaurant review, it’s challenging to determine if this reviewer truly tried out the restaurant. So flagging a review like this for not being authentic could be tough, which is another reason why it’s best to treat negative reviews as an opportunity to show that you can respond effectively to criticism and are always seeking to provide a positive customer experience!
3. Flag reviews that are inappropriate to Google
Sometimes a review you receive, might not seem like it’s from a person who actually used your products or services. If a reviewer uses their name, and you don’t have any record of that person actually being a client of yours, it’s possible that the review left is fraudulent. Sometimes these things can be an honest mistake, or other times they’re fake reviews made to stir up the competition or try to make a business look bad.
If you find yourself faced with these kinds of reviews, it’s time to flag them as inappropriate and report them to Google for potential removal.
In order to flag a review as inappropriate, click on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner of the individual review. After clicking those dots, the option to “Flag as inappropriate” will appear. Clicking that option will allow you to inform Google as to why you think the review is inappropriate (whether it’s fraudulent, abusive, or against Google’s review policies in another way), and Google will review your request to remove.
Responding to your reviews on Google is a great way to engage with your customers, and interact with them in a way that is publicly available to people who are searching for information about your business. Going the extra mile to let customers know that you appreciate their reviews, or that you want to fix any problems they may have had, truly shows how much you care about the customer experience you provide.