The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: How to Handle Reviews on Google My Business
In my experience, many customers that have a negative experience will want to share it with someone and often leave a review. In comparison, only 1 in 10 customers who have had a positive experience, will take the time to go and share it online. So…
How do you handle reviews on Google My Business?
For the most part, your main goal is to always respond to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. How you handle them will be the pivotal point in how your business addresses customer experiences and acknowledges the bad ones.
We’ve already spoken about why reviews matter and the benefits of responding to them — builds better relationships with your customers, shows you’re human, public forum improves brand image — here’s how to handle them.
How to craft a positive review response
1. First and foremost, thank your customer for their review.
Show some appreciation for your customer who has taken the time to share their positive experiences. You can consider saying:
Thank you for taking the time to write us this amazing review, we appreciate your kind words.
Thank you, this review has made our day!
2. Use the magic formula in your response: service/product description, location, and company name.
If a customer has mentioned something positive about a specific thing they liked in their experience, use it in your response. The magic formula allows you to do some subtle SEO marketing on that specific product, service, or feature.
In your response, explain that the delicious pasta sauce they couldn’t get enough of is actually made from fresh home-grown tomatoes straight from Nonna’s garden, let them know how the pasta was hand-made and that many others have asked for the family’s secret recipe.
We appreciate your feedback on [product/service] in [city,state]. We value your input and look forward to working with you again. Thank you from the [full company name] team.
3. Be personable and nice, not a robot.
There’s nothing worse than pouring your heart and soul into a review only to receive a response that looks like it’s been churned out by an automated bot.
4. Let them know you’d love to see them again.
Make your customers feel welcomed by extending an invitation for them to return. Not only does this turn them into repeat customers, it also shows other online users that your business is the kind that people come back to again and again.
How to craft a negative review response
1. Address the reviewer, then the issue.
Acknowledge your customer, they want to be heard and addressed individually, before tackling the issue.
Dear [customer name]
Hi [customer name]
2. Say thank you for the feedback
To show your company appreciates the time taken and that you value their feedback, always say thank you in your response.
Thank you for your review. I’m sorry to hear about your frustrating experience, but I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re very sorry to hear you had a bad experience.
3. Apologise for the issue
Even though it may not be your fault, there will be times when it is, acknowledge the customer, say thank you for the feedback and apologise. People don’t want to do business with companies who are too proud to apologise.
We’re so sorry that your experiences did not match your expectations.
We pride ourselves on providing the best possible experiences, and we’re so sorry that this standard was not met during your time with our business
4. Take responsibility (even if your company wasn’t in the wrong)
Take it on the chin. Even if what happened was out of your control, an uncommon instance of an unfortunate incident, we all have our off-days. Acknowledge their bad experience and provide the reassurance you will rectify the issue and continue to provide a high standard.
We are so sorry to hear that your experience wasn’t of the quality you expected. We always strive to deliver great experiences and we’ll use this feedback to improve our service and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
5. Attempt to resolve the issue privately
It’s best for you and your customer to talk directly about the issue privately. In addition to the 4 points mentioned above, provide the customer with a direct method of communication where you will personally deal with the matter.
We are sorry that your experience with us didn’t match your expectations. We are known for our exceptional service and would love to know why, so that we can improve and deliver a better experience next time. Please contact us [email address] or [phone number] or [send us a direct message]. Thank you for your feedback!
6. Make things right and ask for a second chance
A negative review is not the end of the world. You can still make things right. Take ownership of the problem and ask for a second chance.
Here’s a complete template using all 6 points mentioned above:
Dear [name], thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re sorry to hear your experience didn’t quite meet your expectations at [company name]. We always strive to deliver the best experiences possible and have taken onboard your feedback to better ourselves. We would love to make it up to you if you give us another chance. Please feel free to contact us [contact info] with any further suggestions or concerns you wish to share.
Where can you answer the review your customers are leaving on GMB?
- Sign in to Google My Business
- View the locations you manage by clicking on the “Manage locations” tab on the left
- Select the location within your list
- Click on Reviews on the left menu
- Click on the “Reply” below each review
- Write your reply and click on “Post reply”
Needless to say, reviews have a big impact on your business, being the first thing potential customers read about you, a decisive decision-making argument, and to a certain extend even impacting your SEO performance.
We all agree: the more you have the better. When it comes to leaving a review, people who had a bad experience might be more driven compared to people who enjoyed your service or products. However, there are ways to make it easier for people to leave reviews, one of them being the review link generator we have developed.