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Google reviews are important and responding to positive and negative reviews are equally vital. Since Google is the most popular search engine in the world today, as soon as anyone types in your business name into Google, Google reviews of your business will pop up. These Google reviews will either motivate a prospective customer to contact your company or move on to the competition.

Sadly, many customer service representatives and business owners believe that only negative Google reviews need a reply.

In this article, you will be exposed to how to respond to Google reviews.

Is it Possible to respond to a Google Review from a Customer?

Google makes the review response process very easy. As a business owner, you or anyone on your team with admin access can log in to your companies Google my business listing, and give reply to Google reviews of your business. Studies from Harvard Business school show that when a brand gives review responses, their business ranking on Google increases, it didn’t matter whether the Google reviews were good or bad.

When you respond to customer feedback, Always keep in mind that you are leaving a public comment. Try to avoid being salesy in your reply and also avoid offering incentives for angry customers to take down bad reviews.

Why is responding to a Google Review Important?

If you are second-guessing whether giving a reply to that positive or negative Google review is important to your online reputation, this section is for you. Review response, especially the negative reviews show that your business is real and it indicates that it is run by humans who care about their customers.

Among the vast benefits, here are reasons why you should respond to Google reviews.

1. It has an excellent influence on SEO

The manner in which you give review response affects SEO is governed by several factors. Some of these factors include

1. Review Volume

A study performed by Harvard Business Review findings proves the logic that businesses with customer service that respond to reviews regularly get about 12% more customer reviews. If there are a few negative reviews, a new volume of 5-star rating will push down the negative reviews.

Also, with a large volume of reviews, information about your brand or business is kept updated. According to BrightLocal, customers are only interested in reviews dated as far back as two weeks.

2. Review rating

On Google my business, when it comes to reviewing ratings, Harvard Business Review finding states that responding to customer reviews increases business ratings by at least 0.12 stars. So, if your business can stay between 4.5-5 stars, your business will be considered top class. Ideally, any rating below three stars is terrible, so make sure it doesn’t get as bad as that.

3. Number of Keywords used in the Response

Keywords are crucial in SEO, and responding to reviews gives you the chance to make Google know more about your business. When responding to a review, try to input the proper name of your business, location of the company, products sold, or services rendered.

2. It gives you the chance to be the Bigger Person.

Responding to reviews supports the “Adult in the Room” theory. By responding to reviews, customers get to know you are on top of the situation. When people know that for every unimportant negative review, the business will respond, many customers will avoid leaving reviews, except it is imperative to leave one.

3. Early problem Detection

Leaving reviews and giving replies to reviews will allow your team to identify and solve your companies’ problems quickly. No doubt, the best way to know where your business is lacking is by talking to customers and listening to whatever problems they are experiencing.

Also, always remember that how you respond says a lot about your company. The reviews’ replies will shift the attention of intending buyers from the actual review to how your company handles the situation.

Different ways businesses Respond to Google Reviews

We put together several ways people and businesses respond to reviews of their company. In this list, we suggest you take the professional response style since it is the best.

1. The Professional Response Style

This method which people use to respond to reviews is the best because it combines both intricacies of professionalism while making the responses very human-like. This type of response packs all the necessities your brand needs to boost its ranking on Google as it is filled with a lot of up to date keywords written in a meaningful manner.

2. The Eager Responder

This type of response writer is either in a rush or is going a little overboard with how they respond. This includes giving an overly long response, excessive thank you, or using several emojis that might make the reviewer uncomfortable. This type of responder needs to be taught how to treat customers without unpleasantly gratifying them.

3. Error-filled Responses

The title says it all; this type of responder replies with poorly written grammar, spelling error, or awkward sentence structure. The image of the brand is severely at stake here. It gives the public the impression that if your company cannot take its time take to hire a proofreader or a professional writer, why you care about the customer or giving customers the best service?

4. The Automated Response

Automated responses show no human emotions and make customers feel like they are getting responses from a robot. This type of response involves copying and pasting a template gotten from the internet or any other response template source. Already angry customers can get more furious since they want to talk to a real person and not a machine.

5. Ignoring the Review

One way to respond to a review is by doing nothing. Some companies simply do not acknowledge any of their Google reviews. A business can choose to ignore customers with positive reviews and give no attention and try to find out the possible negative reviews that are piled up against them. This type of inaction is nasty and implies the brand doesn’t care at all about its online reputation.

6. Giving a Negative Response to a Negative Review

The negative to negative reviews come in two ways. One way is when the responder only gives attention to positive reviews and ignores the negative reviews. This shows customers online that you do not care about the complaints of other customers. The other type of negative review is replying in anger or an impolite manner. The eyes of the public will be open to how the brand treats its customers. If they can get angry or be rude to you in public, what will stop them from getting physical with you when you visit the company’s business address.

7. Nonchallant Replies to Reviews

This type of reply gives customers the impression that the company is merely replying to fulfill all righteousness. The response can be a copy and paste thank you message to a positive review. Or it can be a message directing negative reviewers to forward their complaints to an email address, without really talking about the review where everyone can see.

8. Missing Keywords Response

The only problem with the missing keywords response is that the responder does not know how to include target keywords into the replies written. Essential details like the business name, address, services rendered, or products sold or manufactured are missing. When it comes to SEO, the responder gets zero points even though the customer service might be on an A-plus.

Steps on how to Respond to Google Reviews

Here is a list of steps you should follow if you want to reply to a Google review. Remember to respond in a timely manner.

1. Type in business.google.com into the search bar, enter and sign in to log into your Google My Business account.

2. Once you are signed in, there are three horizontal bars at the top left-hand corner. Click it to check your listing and click “Manage Reviews.”

3. Once you see the customer review you want to respond to, click “View and Reply” to provide the review with a reply.

Whenever you have a new review or give additional response to a review you previously provided on your GMB listing, Google will notify you via email. Through this email notification, you will be able to see the reviewer’s name, the reviewer’s rating, a portion of the review, and a link to the full review.

GMB accounts with more than 100 business locations for a single business automatically have their notifications feature disabled.

Using a Mobile Device to Respond to Google Reviews

Google My Business has a mobile app that you can get from the Apple Appstore or Google Playstore. With this app, you can monitor and even give replies to reviews. Here is how to go about it.

1. Download and install the Google My Business app onto your mobile device.

2. Open the mobile app and log into your Google My Business account.

3. Click the menu icon and click “Respond now” to reply to the review.

How to Respond to Google Reviews that are Negative

The way you will respond to a negative Google review differs from how you will react to a positive Google review. Bad reviews provide new ways to learn and beef up important business sectors that perform below customer’s expectations. So, do not shy from responding to them.

In this section, you will learn how to respond to Negative Google reviews of your business.

1. Take your time to ponder on the review before giving a response

An angry customer with a negative review is a ticking bomb. The reply you give can set that ticking bomb off instead of rushing to provide a reply to the review. Take a step back and assess the situation critically before giving your response. Remember that the whole world is watching how you will handle the situation. Here is a chance for you to show your expertise.

2. Respond Promptly, Publicly and in a professional manner

While it is crucial to analyze the situation, it will be unethical to respond late or respond in an unprofessional manner. Respond to the review online, do not sneak to message the customer privately. Stay professional and do not add sentiments or emotions when giving a response to the review. Also, do not be tempted to take the blame unless the fault is from your company.

3. Get the customer to message you privately

After responding to the review publicly, the next step is to tell the customer to message you through a helpline privately. Since Google reviews conversations are not in real-time; this step is vital as it will save both you and the customer from moving back and forth on the matter. Also, when replying to a review, ask for a detailed explanation of the actual problem the customer is facing. It is important that you do not jump to a conclusion.

4. Come clean if the mistakes are your fault

Own up to your companies mistakes. No company is 100% perfect. Many times, when customers see that you are ready to own up to your mistakes instead of giving excuses, it builds their trust in your brand. However, if a substandard or wrong material was used in manufacturing a product, only apologize for the frustration it has caused the customer and move the conversation to a private channel.

5. Establish facts

When a customer leaves a review, it is your job to determine what part of the review is genuine and what part might be false. When customers are angry, they might not even care to leave a complete and review and focus on leaving a bad rating. Your job is to ask the customer to shed more light on the issue, and once you get the full details, you can take it up from there.

6. Show that you’re human too and offer solutions

The business is yours, so for every negative review, you should be able to show compassion and offer solutions to every negative review. Giving a response without providing a solution will be a total waste of you and the reviewers’ time. Let the customer know the next step to take and what you are doing from your end to ensure the issue is remedied.

7. As the reviewer for a review update if possible

Once you are sure that the customer is satisfied, you can ask for a review update. The customer now sees your brand from a whole new perspective since you have succeeded in convincing him/her that patronizing your business is the best option and that their issue has been settled. It is crucial that before you ask a reviewer to edit or update his negative review, make sure you have regained the customer’s trust.

How to Respond to Google Reviews that are positive

1. Do not wait too long before Giving the positive review a response

Positive reviews do not require to be pondered upon before giving a reply. Each positive review has its generic response. Show your appreciation early, and the customer might even be able to provide more feedback on your product or service. Say thanks to the customer to show your appreciation.

2. Mention the reviewer’s name

Calling the positive review writer by the name is one excellent response strategy. Calling out people by their name triggers their attention, and it is much better than typing “hey there” or a “hello customer.” Backed up by science, Dennis P.Carmody and Michael Lewis on Brain activation performed a study on brain activation that proves that “hearing one’s name has unique brain functioning activation specific to one’s name.”

3. Use keywords in a professional manner

The manner you use your keywords when typing in your reply to a review matters a lot. So, this is another opportunity for you to add relevant keywords that will increase your GMB. Try to include keywords like your business name, business address, products, and service your business deals provide. Ensure you say “thanks” while planning out your SEO response.

4. Tell the customer about other products or services

When a customer is satisfied, it is good to tell the customer about other products and services that your business deals provide. In a way, you get to increase your net profit and the current product, which triggered the customer to leave a positive Google review.

Other ways include encouraging them to share their testimonies and lastly Sign off in a friendly manner so that they know they were attended to by a human and keep records of the Google review.

With all the information we have laid at your feet, it is obvious that negative review response provided in a professional manner is the best decision you can make for your business. If you are too busy, get dedicated writers and proofreaders to get it done for you. You will not only increase your business ranking on Google, but you will also be able to convert these rankings into profit.

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