Google Business - Do you know how to respond to both positive and negative reviews?

Last updated by Chloe Lin [SSW] 3 months ago.See history

Many people use Google My Business to find reviews of potential businesses they could be going to to find out what other clients think about their service, products, or customer service before making a purchase decision.

Through these reviews, you can find out what customers think. Some people will have good or bad experiences and leave a review; some will not make an effort. However, a couple of these reviews could be faked, for the good or the bad (by competitors). You can get a good feeling of the business when they respond to their customers.

By responding to your customers, being it either related to a good or bad experience, you have an extra chance of making a connection with another customer and are also seen as more trustworthy (see below).

According to consumers, businesses that respond to reviews are seen as 1.7X more trustworthy than businesses who don't (76% vs. 46%). Not only does responding to reviews support trust-building, it also gives you an opportunity to humanize your business, show customers you care, and demonstrates professionalism.
Source: Google

So here are a few tips for responding to your customer reviews on Google:

  1. Follow your tone of voice if you have one. If you don’t, just be friendly/cordial and professional. This should be like the experience customers have with your business, be it in-person, over the phone or on social media messaging. Whatever channel they are talking to you, the communication experience should be consistent – this is why a tone of voice is important.
  2. Check your CRM to understand what happened before responding. This will help you shape your answer. Being honest is the best way. Show what you have done to fix the situation.
  3. Never leave a bad review without an answer! If you can’t give it a straight answer, offer to call or email by asking them to contact you through your channels or by sharing a contact number/email. Clear communication will be your best tool for understanding what went wrong and how to solve the problem. Even if they don’t contact you, other clients will see you are open to solving the situation.
  4. Don’t take bad reviews personally – a good tip is to always ask for someone else to check to make sure it doesn’t sound angry.
  5. Always start by addressing the problem or compliment.
  6. Be personal, use names and sign using your name when replying. This will show a real person is listening and taking care of the problem.
  7. Be quick to answer bad reviews. The client is already angry, so when they get to the point of leaving a bad review, give it a prompt answer.
  8. Be accountable and apologetic, especially if you were the one who caused the bad experience. If you didn’t, apologize if appropriate but don’t take responsibility. Showing that you care about their experience is the most important.
  9. Good reviews don’t always need an answer, but your clients will appreciate it if you do. A simple “thank you for your review!” says it all, but feel free to go the extra mile and make specific comments about their review.

Remember that your answer is public to all your customers (and potential clients) and that you are always trying to improve your customer experience.

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