Generating, reading and replying to reviews of your business is an important tool in managing your business’s online reputation. Whether positive or negative, replying to reviews shows current customers that you have read and really care about the review and that customer. It also demonstrates to potential customers that you have acted on the review and how you treat your customers, even the disgruntled ones.
How to respond to reviews on Google
That being said, keep in mind that these replies are public and each review platform has its own content policies. Google Support has helpful guidelines for writing review replies:
- Start with thanking the reviewer for taking the time to write the review. This shows that you appreciate receiving feedback.
- Keep your responses respectful and courteous. Start with using the customer’s name. Your response can be friendly but also professional.
- Don’t write long, drawn-out responses. These can be too overwhelming for people to read and they will lose interest.
- Don’t use reviews as a selling situation. If they are already a customer, you don’t need to sell to them again. Use a different forum to notify them of sales or incentives.
How to respond to a negative review
All reviews won’t be positive, even though that’s your goal. There can be a negative review from a disgruntled employee or an unsatisfied customer. Sometimes it’s just a matter of miscommunication or different expectations. Google Support also has best practices on how to reply in these situations. Here are a few suggestions:
- First, check your records to understand the customer’s experience with your business. Don’t jump to reply with emotion, but don’t wait too long. A prompt response will let customers know that you care about their concerns.
- Thank the customer for the review using their name, and then apologize, if appropriate.
- For example, “Joe, thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. I’m sorry that your experience with us didn’t meet your expectations.”
- Give the negative reviewer a way to contact you directly, such as your direct phone number or email address. This shows that you would like to provide a way to give additional feedback and to come to a resolution.
- Make sure you include your name or initials when replying to show that you are a real person.
- If you feel that a review violates the platform’s posting guidelines, research how to flag a review as inappropriate. Each review platform is different but they all have posting guidelines. But just because a review is negative, doesn’t mean it will be deemed inappropriate.
Reply to google reviews to help grow your online presence
Managing your business’ online presence is an important part of doing business in the digital age. Showing your customers you care and you have a relationship with them will go a long way with helping your business maintain current clientele and also gain new customers through Local SEO. Let’s also face it, it’s easier than ever for people to do their homework on your brand and Google is trusted by consumers while they do their research. Consumers understand that as a business it’s inevitable to have unhappy customers. They want to know how you are going to handle these customers, so show them.
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