Google My Business has released a new way for business owners to respond to online reviews, giving increased flexibility to when and where you can reply after a review.
Now, you can reply to your business reviews from your listing in Google Maps from any desktop device.
In the past, replying to reviews was only possible from the GMB app or website.
Of course, you will still have to verify your listing before you may be able to respond to reviews. Still, the release of the new way to respond to reviews makes it easier than ever for business owners to reply to reviews as soon as they see them.
Along with the new way to respond to reviews, Google has also updated its help document on the subject by adding tips specifically for responding to negative reviews.
How Google Says to Respond to Negative Reviews
First and foremost, Google encourages business owners to remember that negative reviews are not always reflective of a bad business. For instance, some customers may have mismatched expectations. In this case, replying to the review can help other customers set their expectations appropriately and provide more customer satisfaction in the future.
Additionally, Google says to follow these tips when leaving a negative review:
- Do not share personal data or attack the reviewer personally. Instead, suggest that they contact you directly.
- Investigate the reasons behind the reviewer’s negative impression of the business.
- Be honest about mistakes that were made, but do not take responsibility for things that weren’t your fault.
- Apologize when appropriate. It’s best to say something that demonstrates compassion and empathy.
- Show that you’re a real person by signing off with your name or initials.
- Never lash out. Never get personal. Always be polite and professional, just as you would be face-to-face.
- Respond in a timely manner to show that you pay attention to your customer’s experience.
It is important to keep in mind that negative reviews will not automatically hurt your business. How you respond can be just as important in shaping the public perception of your brand.