Read and reply to reviews
Reviews from your customers can provide valuable feedback for your business, and replying to reviews can help build your customers’ trust. When you reply to a review, your response will appear below your customer’s review on Google Search and Maps under the label “Response from the owner”. People on Google will see both the customer review and your response when they look at your Google reviews. You can reply to reviews directly from your business profile on Google Maps from your computer, through the
Google My Business app, or opening its homepage. All Maps users will see replies, just as they see replies coming from the Google My Business app or homepage.
Note that you’ll be posting publicly as your business when you reply to reviews. Replies to reviews may not appear across Google immediately. Reviewers get a notification when you reply to their review. Then, they’ll have a chance to read your reply and edit their review.
Tips for responding to reviews
Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:
– Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline—it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy.
– Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be
overwhelmed by a long response.
– Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers.
– Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not have learned from their first visit.
Reply to negative reviews
Negative reviews are not necessarily a sign of bad business practices. For example, the customer may have had mismatched expectations. Replying to reviews can help identify points on how to improve the experience for customers.
Below are tips to help you respond well to negative reviews, and leave a positive impression with both current and future customers:
– Do not share personal data of the reviewer or attack them personally on Maps, on other services, or in the real world. Instead, suggest that they contact you personally (via Google My Business Messaging, email phone, etc.) to resolve the issue. A positive post-review interaction often leads to the customer updating the review, and shows prospective customers that you really care.
– Investigate the reasons behind the reviewer’s negative impression of the business. Check your records for the reviewer and their experience with your business.
– Be honest about mistakes that were made, but do not take responsibility for things that weren’t your fault. Explain what you can and cannot do in the situation. Show how you can make uncontrollable issues actionable (e.g. bad weather made you cancel an event, but you’ll monitor the weather and provide advance cancellation warnings).
– Apologize when appropriate. It’s best to say something that demonstrates compassion and empathy.
– Show that you’re a real person by signing off with your name or initials. This helps you come across as more authentic.
– Never lash out. Never get personal. Always be polite and professional, just as you would be face-to-face.
– Respond in a timely manner to show that you pay attention to your customer’s experience. You can use the Google My Business app to reply promptly