Online reviews can help your business attract new customers. As people provide valuable feedback on your profile, this could have an effect on how others view your business. This said, not every review has nice things to say; you’re bound to receive both positive and negative reviews. Respond to these reviews in the proper manner so potential customers see that you care, and are willing to resolve disputes.
Responding to Reviews on Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business)
Before you can reply to a Google review, you need to know how to access and reply to reviews through Google Business Profile. The business owner or manager may reply to reviews through their Google account, Google Business Profile, or Google Business Profile mobile app. Follow these steps for responding to reviews.
How to Respond on a Computer
You can reply to reviews using Google Search, Google Maps, or your Google Business Profile account. If using Google Business Profile, log in to your account and then select “Manage Reviews.” If you have multiple locations, you’ll need to select the location you’re wishing to respond from. Now click “Reviews” and find the review you’d like to reply to.
After you type out your reply, you can post it. This process is similar for Google Search and Google Maps—but begins with clicking the account circle in the upper right corner and selecting “Your Business Profile.”
How to Respond on Android
Using the Google Business Profile app, go to the “Customers” option and select “Reviews.” You’ll see all of the reviews left for your business, where you can tap on the one you’d like to reply to. After you write your response, hit send.
In Google Search, search for your business and then tap on “Reviews.” Follow the same steps outlined above.
How to Respond on iPhone
The process for responding to a review is nearly identical on iPhone as it is on Android. Open the Google Business Profile, Google Search, or Google Maps apps and follow the steps to find the review you’d like to respond to. Next, type out your reply.
Can Reviews Be Removed from a Business Profile?
Google doesn’t allow for legitimate feedback to be removed from your account—whether it’s positive or negative. However, there are instances where a customer may post comments that are inappropriate or false. You can flag these reviews for Google to assess; they may stand or be removed. If a customer is harassing you or your business, those reviews will be removed and action taken against the posting account.
What to Say in Response to Bad Reviews
If the customer’s experience with your business wasn’t positive, the best approach is to try and reconcile. Taking reviews personally or responding rudely can worsen the situation and give the wrong impression to others. However, it’s good to respond or address even negative reviews. This gives you credibility to prospective customers that you’re actively aware of consumer needs.
Keep a professional tone and a calm head. Stick to the facts and respond directly to the issues the customer brought up. Let the customer know that you’d like the opportunity to resolve the matter. Above all, don’t take anything too personally; you’d rather avoid a war of words with your customers.
Apologize for the customer’s bad experience, and offer ways to make it right. Invite the customer to contact you directly; after the fact, you could even offer a discount or free service for their trouble. The customer could reverse the review in light of this. However, only apologize for legitimate concerns; don’t admit fault for imagined misdeeds.
Responding in a timely manner is important because it shows engagement with your customers and that you’re accommodating to their concerns. Don’t wait for weeks on end to reply to bad reviews as this gives the impression you don’t care about, or aren’t committed to, customer service.
Sign Off with Your Name
Ending the reply with your first name or initials shows your customers that it’s a real person replying. Customers will realize that you invested a moment of your time to reach out, rather than giving an impersonal, cookie-cutter response.
The Bottom Line
Responding to reviews is a good idea regardless of the feedback you’ve received. It gives you an opportunity to smooth things over with a disgruntled or unsatisfied customer. Responding the right way to online reviews may even inspire some customers to change their reviews in your favor!
NOTE: As of December 2021, Google My Business (GMB) is now Google Business Profile (GBP). This article has been updated from the original postdate of November 12, 2021 to reflect this new name change.