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Complete Guide To Responding To Google My Business Reviews: The Good And The Bad

pwd staff OLIVER WOOD
Oliver Wood

|16th July 2021

Reviews are fast becoming one of the biggest determinants of a business’s success. Your customer’s rating of your business now ranks higher than even proximity in Google’s search algorithm. For some searches, Google will not even display your business if it is ranked below 4 stars.

Google My Business has reshaped how businesses engage with their consumers, and it is now essential to optimise your Google My Business profile. Gone are the days of people asking for business recommendations from friends. Now, a whole host of reviews is just a few clicks away.

With these tips and tricks, responding to both good and bad reviews will help you boost your business.

Why it’s Important to Respond to Reviews

Many business owners understand the importance of having many good reviews. However, they believe the only way to bolster their business through Google My Business Reviews is to focus on the quality of their goods and services. While this is essential, it does not end there. You can further benefit from Google My Business Reviews by responding to reviews.

recent study has shown that businesses that respond to reviews get, on average, 12% more reviews. It is essential to get as many reviews as possible. Having more reviews makes people more likely to trust your business’s rating.

Another study has also shown that 40% of people will only consider reviews written in the last two weeks. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are getting enough reviews for them to be recent and persuasive. Having more reviews will also decrease the weighting of a bad review in your overall rating.

Responding to reviews also helps increase your rating. Businesses that respond to reviews will, on average, see their rating increase by 0.12 stars.

It is also a great way to show your customers that you care about their experience. It is a free space with a wide reach that you can use to advertise your business and boost your brand image.

Responding to Google My Business reviews is not the only way to improve your business’s search engine optimization. If you are a small business and looking for additional ways to do so, click here.

Guide To Responding To Positive Reviews

We know that responding to reviews is important. But, you also need to be careful in how you respond to reviews. So, here’s what to do when you get a positive review.

Respond Quickly

When a customer leaves a good review, they have gone out of their way to express their gratitude. They are helping you promote your business. Make sure you treat these reviews with the urgency that you would treat bad reviews.

There is nothing worse than leaving a good review and feeling like it has been overlooked. Reply quickly to make your customer feel like their review has been appreciated.

When people are leaving a good review, they are feeling very positive about their experience with you. You want to respond to them while they are still feeling so positive to reinforce their good experience with you.

Change Up Your Responses

Customers can see how you’ve responded to reviews in the past. If you respond to all good reviews with the same template answer, customers will pick up on this.

Try and engage with what they have said and provide a personalised response. If they have enjoyed a dish at your restaurant, suggest a similar dish they might like. If they thoroughly enjoyed your customer service, tell them about how much your business values good customer service.

This is more personal and makes them feel heard and valued. This, in turn, will provide the building blocks to establish a good relationship with each customer and build brand loyalty.

Use Their Name

Responding to good reviewers by name will further establish a good professional relationship with them. People respond positively to hearing their own names. It captures their attention. You are showing your customers that you see them as a person, not just a number. It’s an incredibly easy way to add a personal touch so always try to do it.

Record the feedback

Google My Business Reviews is not only a tool for potential customers to learn about past customer’s experiences with your business. It also provides you with invaluable information about your customer’s experience and what they love about your business.

Many businesses will only engage with the parts of their business that have been criticised in negative reviews. However, it is just as important to consider what people are loving about your business. This is what sets your business apart from other businesses.

As such, this will show you where the focus of your business should be and you should focus on giving people more of what they are enjoying.

Record the feedback and show reviewers that you have noted what they think. Tell them how their feedback has resulted in you further developing that part of their business. This will show them how much you value their feedback and how it goes further than simply typing out a response.


Show gratitude

People are not obliged to leave a good review if they had a good experience with your business. They are showing their gratitude. So, make sure that you return the favour!

Thank them for taking the time to leave the review. Tell them how much you appreciate them going out of their way to tell you about their good experience. This will make them feel even more positive about your business and will make them even more likely to return.

How To Respond To Negative Reviews

Getting a negative review is never a nice feeling. But, it’s still important to address them professionally. Here’s how you can do that:

Take Some Time to Think About Your Response

While it’s best to respond to good reviews immediately, the same cannot always be said for bad reviews. When someone leaves a bad review, your first reaction might anger them further and make your business look bad.

Take some time to consider how best to respond. You want to show other customers that you can deal with bad reviews with care and respect. Remember, you are not only replying to one customer. The whole world will be able to see your response.

Unreasonably bad reviews just happen every now and then. If most of your reviews are good, the occasional bad review without a good justification will not be that damaging. However, if you respond badly, this will damage your business. It will show other customers that you don’t value their experience with your company.

However, make sure you don’t take too long to reply either. You don’t want your customers to feel like you are not taking their reviews seriously.

Be Transparent About Mistakes

Most customers understand that everyone makes mistakes. If mistakes have been made, it looks much better for your business if you own them. Explain what went wrong. Apologise for any inconvenience and offer a solution. Explain any steps you are taking to prevent the chances of the mistake being repeated.

Ask Questions

Often, customers will leave a bad review without specifying why. If someone leaves a vague bad review, ask them what went wrong.

It is important for a business to know what areas need improvement. A bad review can be a good thing if it exposes a problem for you to work on. This can help you make sure that other customers do not have the same bad experience.

Asking the reviewer questions also shows them that you care about their experience. It makes them feel heard and shows that you care about what went wrong. It also shows other customers that if they have a bad experience with your business, it will be taken seriously.

If they are unable to justify their bad review, this will signal to other customers that their bad review should not be given much weight.

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Provide an Alternative Channel of Communication

Google My Business Reviews is a good place to engage with customers – for them to leave reviews and for you to respond. However, it is not a good place for a long customer service conversation.

If a complaint looks like it will take a long time to reconcile, offer to talk it over with the reviewer elsewhere. Provide your businesses’ email address or phone number and an invitation to deal with this matter further. This shows the reviewer, and other customers, how seriously you take their dissatisfaction.

Key Takeaways on How to Respond to Google My Business Reviews

To be competitive in the 21st century, it is essential to have as many good Google My Business reviews as possible. To help you achieve this, we have provided some tips and tricks to guide your responses to reviews – both good and bad.

While doing so will help boost your business, there is a lot more you can do to be at the top of your game. Learn more about a holistic digital marketing strategy here.