Got a new Google review? Nice work! Google Reviews are great for increasing visibility and getting more customers to visit your business or website. But did you know that responding to customer feedback makes it even more powerful? Today we're showing you the best way to respond to positive and negative google reviews for maximum impact!

Google is the place most of us head when looking for, well, anything. So it's likely that customers - both existing and new - will see you in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) at some point. When they do, they'll also see your reviews. In fact, your Google Reviews could be the first thing customers see about your business, so it's essential to safeguard your reputation here.

But collecting feedback is just the beginning. It's also key to learn how to respond to both positive and negative Google reviews effectively in order to resolve customer problems, increase engagement, showcase customer service skills and more.

Now you know the benefits, it's time to learn how to nail those google review replies.

How to respond to Google My Business reviews

All businesses can collect reviews on Google. In fact, it's actually not something you can control - anyone with a Gmail account can leave a review for a business on Google.

Google will automatically set up business profiles for most places using data it crawls across the web. This is usually fairly accurate, but in order to have full control over the data seen on your business profile, you'll need to claim it. You can do this by creating a Google My Business account. Providing you can prove your authenticity, you be able to access your profile as well as see and respond to all the reviews that have been left for your business.

Once you've claimed your business, follow the steps below to respond to the Google reviews that have been left for your business.

1. Sign in to your Google My Business account.

2. From the menu on the left-hand side, select the reviews tab.

3. You'll then see a list of all your reviews. Click on 'Reply' to respond to a review.

4. You can now type in your review response. It can be edited once posted too, so don't worry too much if you make any typos.

5. The customer you're responding to will receive an email notification alerting them of your reply.

Now you've learnt how to access your Google reviews, it's time to figure out what to write in your replies.

How to respond to negative Google reviews

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It's really important to reply to negative feedback.

Although initially, you may feel some anger and upset towards less-positive comments about your business, they can be really useful in learning more about your customers.

When responding to negative Google reviews, the most important thing to do is keep a clear head. Remember: the customer is always right! Once you're cool and calm as a cucumber, the following format usually works pretty well.

  1. Thank the customer for their feedback.
  2. Apologise profusely and sincerely.
  3. The next step is to either to find out more about the problem or resolve the problem. If you already have some knowledge of the problem, explain why it happened and state the steps you've taken in order to resolve it. If it's the first you've heard of it, ask the customer to send you an email with details - such as their customer number - which will help you to find out what happened.
  4. Qualify your normal level of service and reiterate that you strive to please all your customers.
  5. Apologise again.

We recommend responding to every single one of your negative reviews. Not only will this help repair any damage done to your brand reputation, but you can learn a lot about your business from bad feedback and identify pain points.

Negative review response template

Here's an example review response we've knocked up to help you a little. Remember: don't copy and paste! However, feel free to customise what we've written to make it your own.

Hi Jordan. Thanks a lot for taking the time out to leave us a review - we really appreciate the feedback. I'm really sorry you weren't happy with the ambience in the restaurant on Friday night. We had an extremely busy evening and ended up understaffed so the service was a lot slower than we would've liked. This obviously had a big impact on your experience that evening, for which I apologise. We don't want this to be your last experience at The Thatchers Inn and we'd love to make it up to you. Could you possibly email me at tim@thethatchersinn.co.uk and we'll sort something out for you? Here at Thatchers, we pride ourselves on offering impeccable, friendly and timely service, and are sorry we did not live up to your expectations on this occasion. - Tim

How to respond to positive Google reviews

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It's not just negative reviews you should be focussing on here. It's also worthwhile responding to a few of the positive Google reviews that have been left for your business in order to show appreciation for your lovely customers.

However, it is important to remember there's a threshold for this. We don't advise replying to every single one of your positive reviews, as this can actually have an adverse effect - revenue may decrease if a business starts responding to more than 40% of its reviews - so be selective.

Responding to positive customer feedback is relatively self-explanatory. As before, you'll want to begin by thanking the customer.

1. Thank the customer for their feedback.

2. Express how pleased you are that they had a good experience with you.

3. Include personal details where possible (don't copy and paste).

4. Encourage them to come and visit you/shop with you again soon.

Remember, even when the feedback is positive, the customer journey still isn't over! Be sure to keep your tone friendly and upbeat to leave a long-lasting impression.

Positive review response template

If you need a little more help, refer to the positive review template that we've drafted up below.

Hi Sarah, Thanks so much for your kind feedback - it's so great to hear that you enjoyed your Bertie Bath Bomb. The Bubbly Bertie is one of my favourites too, so don't worry, it won't be going anywhere for now! We're actually running a promotion at the moment, so you can get 10% off the Bubbly Bertie and all of the other bath bombs on our site. Perhaps something to bear in mind! Thanks again from all the team here at Bertie's. We hope to see you again very soon. - Cleo

How to respond to fake Google reviews

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Now it's time to address the elephant in the room: fake Google reviews.

The nature of Google My Business means that anyone with a Gmail account can leave you a review. The reviewer doesn't need to provide any proof that they visited the restaurant, bought from the shop or got their toilet fixes by the business they are reviewing.

This obviously comes with some risks. Luckily, there are some very easy ways to spot a fake Google review, including its content, timeframe and lack of customer details. If you think you've been victim of a fake review, responding to it can be an easy and effective way of verifying or refuting your suspicion.

The main purpose of responding here, therefore, is to get more information. Here's how to do it.

1. Thank the customer for their review. 2. Apologise for their negative experience. 3. Ask them to send more information to you via email so you can look into the issue. If you're an eCommerce store, this could be a customer number. For restaurants, a date and time might be best. 4. Apologise again.

Remember, a review is authentic until proven fake, so be sure to tread carefully when writing your response. Keep the tone light, friendly and non-accusatory.

Fake review response template

Suspicious? Here's how to reply to a fake Google review whilst staying cool and credible.

Hi there, Thanks so much for getting in touch and leaving us a review. I'm really sorry you weren't happy with the boiler service TJMBoilers provided on this occasion. Could you possibly let me know the service that was carried out along with the date and time? If you just email service@tjmboilers.com that would be great. I'd love to look into this for you to find out what went wrong. Our customer's happiness is extremely important to us - it's why we're rated at the #1 boiler service in the Midlands - and we're sorry we didn't live up to our reputation on this occasion. - Patrick

In Summary

Every customer is different, every review is different and thus every response should be different. One of the worst things you can do when it comes to replying to customer feedback is giving 'copy and paste' answers. Instead, make sure you fully read every Google review left for your business and act accordingly.

Take time, stay polite and keep a clear head. Remember: your business' reputation is on the line!

With Reviews.io, responding to Google reviews is easier than ever. Your Review Timelines pulls in reviews you receive from almost everywhere to make it simple to manage your reputation across the web in one place. Sound good? Discover more about our Review Management tools here.