How do I respond to a Google review? If you sell a product or service, online or in-store, chances are you have experienced customers leaving a review. Business reviews are common and can help not only the business or vendor but other potential customers. While there are clear benefits, people may fall short on one aspect of reviews- how to respond to them, good or bad. In this article, you will learn how to respond to every type of business review, specifically bad reviews, and how to maintain professionalism online through your responses. This will not only better your customer service, but provide you with long-term satisfied customers!
Customer Reviews: The Basics
While this might seem unnecessary, you should have an understanding of what reviews are, how they benefit a business and its customers, as well as where you can and write find business reviews.
A customer review is any kind of comment or feedback that a consumer leaves as a result of purchasing a product or service. Whether it be good or bad, consumers should have the opportunity to leave a review so they can offer feedback and suggestions on what’s being done right or how you can do better.
Reviews are necessary and beneficial for both the business and the consumer. Businesses can see what they are doing well, how they can improve, and how consumers are interacting with their product or service. For consumers, they can see how people who already purchased the product or service are experiencing it. To emphasize the importance of online customer reviews, here are some statistics:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review
- Reliability (27%), expertise (21%), and professionalism (18%) are the most important reputation traits for a business
As you can see, customer reviews make up a huge part of the decision-making process. But where are customer reviews found and where can someone write one? Here are just a few examples of customer review locations:
On Google, there is an application called Google Shopping. While browsing through the different categories, consumers can see a small overview of popular products. You can see an image of the product, its name, the price, a rating out of five stars, and how many customers have left a review. If you click into the product, you are able to read full reviews that customers have left for that product. This is also where you would go to leave a review for products.
A huge benefit of positive Google reviews is it increases search engine optimization. Google is more likely to promote your website if it has positive reviews.
Yelp is a website where consumers can go and post reviews and recommendations for services around a certain area. This includes nightlife (clubs and bars), restaurants, entertainment, or even just things to do. While some people are hesitant to trust Yelp reviewers, this still creates another opportunity where consumers can go to read reviews and leave them.
Facebook is a social media platform that offers users the opportunity to create a Facebook business page. With this comes the chance to enable reviews so you can get feedback on the product or service you’re marketing on social media. Because of how prevalent social media is in today’s society, this is a great way to receive reviews and offer your audience the chance to leave reviews.
Glassdoor is another example of a website that current and past employees go on and leave reviews about businesses and companies. It also features the ability to apply for jobs, and those who are applying are able to see reviews from and salaries of that business’s employees. The process to leave a review on Glassdoor is simple and the person leaving the review is kept anonymous.
Regardless of the platform, all different types of reviews can be seen- the bad and the good. So how can you “fight” back on a bad review? Keep reading to learn tips and tricks on how to maintain a respectable online presence when dealing with negative reviews.
How to Handle Negative Online Reviews
Now that you have a simple understanding of where you can find reviews that may be posted about your product, service, or business, we’re going to focus on how to handle responding to negative reviews.
Negative reviews are very common. Everybody has different opinions and no matter how many positive reviews you may receive, the chances are high that at least one person will dislike the product or service. But, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can take this and turn it into an opportunity to attract more customers by responding in a respectful and professional manner.
Here are some tips on how to best manage your response to negative online reviews:
Seeing a negative review can be frustrating and irritating at the moment. Give yourself time to calm down and think of the results of your actions before making a snap decision. Responding to negative comments with the intention to hurt that customer or fight back will result in disloyalty and unnecessary tension. So stay calm and react with the knowledge that negative reviews are given to pretty much everyone.
If a customer writes a negative review and is hoping for you to take action, they are likely expecting a fast response. Because the online world never sleeps, if you can’t respond as soon as possible, it’s recommended to have a 24 hours response period. If it’s any longer, the situation could escalate into something that could be harmful to your business.
Be Polite and Professional
This tip speaks for itself. Don’t take negative reviews personally and point the finger to blame someone else. Especially online, words can be taken the wrong way or come off as disingenuous. Master the way of communicating in a technological world so customers are open and willing to hear you out. Take responsibility for any fault and explain how the issue can be resolved.
Take the Issue Offline
If an issue surfaces, respond to the reviewer and direct them to somewhere they are able to contact customer support or you directly. Confrontation over a negative review doesn’t need to be seen by the public. After the issue has been resolved privately, you can post a public comment explaining the outcome.
Request That Fake Reviews are Removed
Fake or misleading reviews are the same thing as a negative review. These put your business at risk. Examples of people who could write fake or misleading reviews include:
- Someone with a personal relationship with you (close friend or family), but posts a review without disclosing that
- A competitor
- A coworker or member of your staff
- Someone who was paid to write a review but never used the product or service they are reviewing
Motivate Customers to Leave Reviews
Know the difference between encouraging and forcing. If a customer is happy with your product or service, kindly encourage them to write a review as it would not only help your business but help other customers get a feel for potentially purchasing what you’re selling.
Maintaining Professionalism Online
Potential customers rely on business reviews to make a decision about purchasing your product or service, and the way that you respond to these reviews is just as crucial. When doing research into what your business has to offer, it’s a possibility that the reviews are the first impression that potential customers will have of your business. This is why it’s essential to stay optimistic when responding to any type of business review.
Online Success for Your Business
There are tips all over the internet on how to run a successful business. If you provide customers with a product or service, correctly responding to business reviews plays a part in this success. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a response to any type of business review (good or bad):
Define and embody your brand. When you started your business, it was probably shaped around ideas or core values that you stand for. Show this through your response.
Position yourself as an industry expert. Whether you have an immediate answer or not, formulate your response like you are a thought leader and know everything there is to know on how to fix the situation at hand. Putting yourself in a position of authority will gain you respect and customers are more likely to listen.
Establish your voice in the marketplace. There are limited opportunities to show your voice online. Being authentic and open with customers in your response to their reviews will build trust and loyalty between your brand and customers.
Before You Hit the Post Button…How Do I Respond to a Google Review?
Review your response to the review. Was it polite and professional? Did you tackle the issue or answer the question at hand? Is your response helpful enough that it will prevent similar issues in the future?
There are so many things to consider before properly responding to a business review. While you now know the basics, don’t be afraid to consider reaching out and getting help. Customer reviews are a crucial aspect of an online business, so don’t let a minor problem, like poorly responding to a business review, set you back. Experts at SEO Design Chicago know the ins and out of managing an online reputation and how to strategize business review responses, and they are ready to help!
FAQs about How to Respond to a Google Review:
- How do I respond to a negative online business review?
- What’s the importance of customer reviews for a business and for potential customers?
- Where can I view and/or write a customer review?
- What are the things I need to keep in mind when creating a response to any type of business review?
- What is a customer review?