How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google (With Examples)

Receiving a negative review means how you disappointed a customer, behind every bad review on Google or other platforms is a human being hoping to be heard.

Customers can leave reviews in many places online, including on your (GMB) Google My Business profile. Reviews are important to both businesses and customers, and offer businesses a great opportunity to engage with customers and build loyalty.

Reviews help consumers make quick purchase decisions in their research by giving them a clear picture of your business. Studies show that among companies that respond to bad reviews, 37% turn around and post a good review, and 38% delete the original negative review. It doesn't matter if a good review or a bad review, it makes sense to respond, but how?

How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google (With Examples)

When responding to negative reviews on Google or other platforms, one of the best review responses is simply to ask for more information and try to understand what went wrong.

Despite your natural feelings of frustration, do your best to remedy the situation. Solve the problem by apologizing and fixing it. If you solve the problem, many customers will be happy to change their minds.

Below, I'll explain how to respond to negative reviews on Google.

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Importance of Responding To Reviews

As a business owner, you probably read your online reviews to see how customers perceive your company. You also want to respond to some of them, whether they are positive or negative reviews.

According to consumers, businesses that respond to reviews are considered 1.7 times more trustworthy than those that do not. Not only does responding to reviews build trust, but it also gives you the opportunity to humanize your business, show customers that you care, and demonstrate professionalism.

When responding to reviews, remember that your responses are public and anyone can read them. Keep your message short and courteous (even if you disagree with the reviewer), and avoid getting too personal or commercial by offering incentives or advertisements.

If you want to respond to your reviews on Google, you must first create your GMB Google My Business profile. You will then be able to publicly respond to Google reviews.

How To Respond To Negative Reviews on Google

1. Stay calm

How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google (With Examples)

It can be hard not to see the personal insults and bad reviews that are directed at us, but it's important to remember that sometimes people express their frustrations about something else. A good way to respond to negative reviews on Google or other platforms is to thank them for taking the time - even if they didn't like your business or service - and ask what could have been done better to make things right with them.

Before you respond to negative reviews, take a moment and think about it. The best thing to do is to calm your emotions before responding, as it is never good to be angry with a customer.

It can be helpful to have a list of standard responses that you can refer to when responding to a customer who has had a bad experience. When writing a response to the reviewer, you can use these "standard" responses as a starting point. Then tailor your standard responses to each customer review to ensure that people reading your reviews don't see too much repetition.

Taking a moment to think about what you want to say, or what type of response you want to use, can be incredibly helpful, especially if you are angry.

If the emotions had been calmed before responding, the other person might have given a better response, without sarcasm. It would have been better to look at this situation and ask yourself if something could have been done better to make things right with the reviewer.

2. You have to respond to negative reviews

Negative reviews actually have the power to improve conversion rates, so it would be a shame not to take this golden opportunity to respond. Taking the time to respond to negative reviews on Google or other platforms can result in a 19% increase in customer loyalty.

Don't forget that the most effective form of marketing is word of mouth. Companies experience a 35% decrease in customer loyalty simply because they don't respond to negative reviews.

Be empathetic in your review responses. Often, critics just want to be heard. Sometimes all it takes to make a customer happy is to show him that you heard him and want to solve his problem. Customer satisfaction can be doubled by solving his problem in one contact, as you are much more likely to get a new sale.

Over 70% of buying decisions are based on how a customer feels treated, so do your best to make all of your customers feel appreciated, even those who are unhappy.

3. Type of reviewer you are dealing with

There are many types of reviews and reviewers, but most people fall into a few categories. You're guaranteed to make the response process faster and more efficient if you take advantage of the tips below on different types of reviewers, such as first-time reviewers, sharpshooters, and serial complainers.

First-time reviewers: Check to see if the negative reviews are accurate. If so, make internal changes to remedy the problem, and explain how you will prevent the problem from occurring in the future. Similarly, if you disagree with the reviewer's statements, politely and professionally present your point of view.

Sharpshooters: When it comes to a short, confident critique of an expert, keep in mind that brevity is the goal. Condense your response into clear, concise sentences rather than long ones to better reflect the communication style of this type of reviewer.

Serial Complainers: The serial complainer can really hurt your business, so be careful. These reviewers have experience with similar businesses and know how to make them look bad. To avoid this, take note of what other companies did when they responded to them and avoid making the mistakes they did!

Tip: If you have to respond to Google reviews, click on the reviewer's profile and you should be able to see all the reviews they have left for other businesses. By seeing how other businesses have responded to these negative reviews (and how successful they were in changing the reviewer's mind), you'll have a good idea of how you should approach the review they left for your business.

4. Solve the problem

Sometimes customers leave reviews because they are disappointed or unhappy, not because of something you did. If possible, try to contact them privately and respond politely to their message.

Try to solve the problem by going beyond the simple review response. Find out what went wrong and why the reviewer was so upset. Look up their email address or phone number in your database and contact them. Instead of dealing with the problem online, you can talk to them directly and resolve it "in person."

How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google (With Examples)

Your efforts to resolve the issue show the customer (and others) that you are serious. When the customer's trust is broken, it is essential to go the extra mile. By solving the problem, not only will the customer be happier, but other potential customers will see how important your customers are to your business.

5. Get a second opinion

Responding with anger will do more harm than good. Responding in an informative manner, and acknowledging the customer's frustration, will help you avoid compounding unnecessary problems.

To ensure that your response to a negative review is accurate, have it read by an impartial third party before posting it online. Check your message and tone by sending the response to several colleagues to ensure that it can be properly read by a third party. This is important because your response can be interpreted as being too defensive or aggressive, which would not help win over the customer.

Share an example of what you wrote with friends, family, and/or a private professional network. Be transparent and open about the feedback you receive and make adjustments as necessary.

6. Negative reviews can increase sales

See the positive in the negative, a good response to negative reviews can increase sales. Negative reviews will always remain negative if you don't respond, and we all know that nothing is lost on the Internet. How you respond to negative reviews on Google or other platforms can give consumers insight into the credibility of your business.

In addition to resolving the issues raised by negative reviews, there is another benefit. You gain the trust of potential customers. If you fix your mistakes, they'll see that you're thorough and responsible, and that's certainly something to value as a business. 

This is a great time to get a sense of what your business can do wrong. Seeing the hidden potential in a negative review can help you improve your business. Look at the review and carefully consider what the person wrote:

- Did they have a problem with a staff member? 
- What was their experience at your establishment? 
- Did your product or service not meet their expectations? 

By analyzing what the customer says, look for the bigger issues that need to be addressed in your business.

7. Take the conversation offline

On the other hand, negative reviews can provide a wealth of useful information, as what your product or service lacks is sometimes more obvious to your customers than to you.

Have you ever attempted to collect customer surveys to obtain this information? A task of this nature is nearly impossible. Although people sincerely want to answer all the questions, sometimes they forget about it when the daily rush takes them over. So reviews give you valuable feedback in this regard.

Plus, this type of review gives you time to resolve issues before they escalate with other customers. The best remedy is prevention. Your customers know better than anyone what your product is missing, so pay close attention to what they have to say.

According to Harris Interactive, 75% of customers feel it takes too long to reach an agent on the phone. Increasingly, people are using online reviews, social media, and other online methods for customer service and expressing their opinions publicly, as it attracts more attention.

The best way to deal with attention seekers is to take the discussion offline as soon as possible. Simply let the customer know you heard him, and then ask him to call or email you personally so you can resolve the issue.

8. Ask for a review update

Once you have taken steps to resolve the situation with an unhappy customer, you should not hesitate to politely ask him to update/change his negative review to reflect the resolution.

One of the best ways to do this is to send an email describing what happened, what you resolved, and the steps you are taking to improve things in the future, and then politely ask if he would update his review.

9. Reduce negative reviews

Get more positive reviews to reduce negative reviews. The vast majority of people read an average of 10 reviews before deciding to use a company. The review process is usually ordered chronologically, so if you maintain a steady stream of positive reviews, you'll see negative reviews fade away over time.

The best way to counteract negative reviews on Google or other platforms is to get a few more positive reviews to "push down" the negative reviews. Give your customers an easy way to write positive reviews about your business.

10. Respond in a timely manner

How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google (With Examples)

The clock starts ticking once reviews are published. It's important to respond seriously to negative reviews about your business, especially if the customer felt dissatisfied enough to write one.

Responding to negative reviews is a perfect example of the phrase "time is money." Take note of any negative reviews as soon as it appears on your radar, and begin formulating a response immediately. You can start with an explanation like, "We understand your concerns and are reviewing the situation to determine the best way to address them. If you allow us 24 hours, we will get back to you. Follow up your review with an edit and an explanation of what you have discovered and what is next.

11. Respond to fake reviews as well

Identify and respond to fake reviews as well. Handling negative reviews gracefully is one of the keys to online reputation success. It's important to understand what customers think of your business online, but also to know who left a review. Sometimes a review can come from a previous employee or a competitor, or it can be fake.

Negative Review Response Examples

Need some extra inspiration? Let's take a look at some examples of thoughtful responses to negative reviews:

How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google (With Examples)

Responding To A Negative Google Review Summary

Stay aware of how you respond to customer review that helps maintain a great reputation on your Google business profile. This should give you power over how your brand is perceived by potential consumers.

Learning the art of responding to negative reviews can take time, but it's a rewarding process because customers feel more connected to your business and your brand's online reputation. Be mindful of the customer's expectations when they write what they expected and what they received. You need to make sure they keep coming back to your company with new expectations and that you are providing them with what they are looking for. 

Also, don't forget that positive reviews are also important to highlight what you do well. You should praise customers who post positive reviews about your business online and encourage others to do the same. 

Customers are less likely to return if you don't respond to negative reviews. As a result, it hurts your brand image and other potential customers will hesitate to do business with you. But you can always turn to one of the appropriate tips mentioned above and start responding properly.

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