Customers who have left a review for your website on Google will now receive notifications via email when you respond, providing even greater incentives for businesses to promptly respond to any reviews they receive.

In the past, it was possible a reviewer may have never seen your response unless they deliberately checked on their post. This made it difficult to properly address complaints and provided little reason for businesses to respond to praise.

Now, the new email notifications will help ensure both happy and disgruntled customers will see when you’ve responded and help develop better customer interaction.

Google has always recommended replying to your reviews because it is simply good customer service and shows that you care, but the email notification system makes it more important than ever to keep an eye on your reviews and reply promptly.

In their announcement, Google also included a number of tips for responding to reviews, such as:

  1. Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline—it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy.
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
  3. Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers.
  4. Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not have learned from their first visit.
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