The process of replying to Google reviews is simple and straightforward, but it can be time-consuming.
With the help of an AI Review Response Generator and some clever tips and tricks, you can save yourself hours each week - and make sure that your customers are getting the level of service they deserve.
Process to reply to Google reviews
1. Sign in to Google My Business
If you're managing a local business with a Google My Business (GMB) account, you can respond to customer reviews directly from Google. This is a great way to engage with customers and build trust. Learn more about why you should reply to every Google review in our article How to respond to online reviews? .
In this section, we'll first walk you through the process of responding to Google reviews before showing you how you can use AI to reduce the time it takes to reply to reviews.
Start with signing in to your GMB dashboard at https://www.google.com/business/.
2. Navigate to your reviews page
Google recently shut down the Google My Business dashboard, so all management of your Google business profile is now done directly through Google. After signing in, you'll be redirected to Google Search, where you'll see your business and all the management features for your local business.
This is the original Google article on how to manage your profile from within Google: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7039811?hl=en&ref_topic=11498408.
A pop-up window will open with all your Google reviews. Make sure you enable sorting by "Newest" to respond to your customers in a timely manner. We recommend responding to all your Google reviews at least weekly - this timely feedback increases the likelihood of turning around dissatisfied customers and getting the most out of your ambassadors.
3. Click on the review you want to respond to and click "Reply"
Click “Reply” on the Google Review Screen for each review that you want to respond to.
Another pop-up window will open - type in your reply and hit "Reply" another time to publish the response to the Google review.
How to reply to positive Google reviews
First of all: Congrats to a happy guest or customer! Now is your chance to turn that customer into a loyalist or even an ambassador of your business but a generic template will likely not fulfill this purpose. And this is why crafting responses to positive Google reviews isn't as easy as you might think.
It is very important to let the reviewer feel valued by showing him or her that you genuinely care about the feedback. A good start to respond to positive Google reviews is to thank the customer for their review and mention how much you appreciate their purchase or stay. If you have a personal relationship with the customer, you can also thank them for their support. You should always personalize the response by not only stating the name of the customer but also by including key aspects of the positive review. When responding individually to a lot of positive Google reviews, you likely know the feeling when you need to reply to multiple positive reviews and are lacking ideas of how to formulate the third or fourth response without sounding too repetitive. Well, that is why we developed our AI Review Reply Assistant who generates an individualized response to every review.
You can find a detailed list of DOS and DON'TS when responding to positive Google reviews in our blog How to respond to online reviews?
In addition, you can find examples of good replies to positive reviews in our template collection for hotels here.
How to reply to negative Google reviews
Answering negative Google reviews can be challenging and requires some experience. A big challenge is finding a balance between an apologetic tone and an optimistic one, because the response will not only affect the reviewer's opinion of your company, but also future customers or guests. Here's an example:
Let's say you are the owner of an upscale restaurant and a guest has left a negative review complaining about the heat of the main course.
A very apologetic reply might be as follows:
Dear Frank, Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay at our restaurant. We would like to sincerely apologize for the difficulty we had in getting our main course to the table at an appropriate temperature. We hope that you will give us another chance in the future.
A kind and apologetic response in which you accept responsibility for the failure may convince the reviewer to give you a second chance. Now, let's think about the impact on potential customers who read this review on Google. Some of them may be reluctant to visit your restaurant, as it may seem that serving cold dishes is a common problem in your restaurant.
In contrast, a very optimistic response to a review might look like this:
Dear Frank, Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay at our restaurant. We always prepare our dishes at the last minute on preheated plates so that the food is always warm on the table.
Unsurprisingly, this response is unlikely to have a positive impact on the reviewer, but it does convey (a little too strongly) the restaurant's pursuit of perfection and may leave a more positive impression on potential customers considering a visit.
So how would a good response look like?
There is certainly no one right or wrong and any business need to find a balance that fits their corporate identity but here is a reply snippet that we like:
Dear Frank, Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay at our restaurant. We always strive to provide an upscale dining experience and excellent service, and we are sorry that we fell short in your case. Our plates are typically preheated to the last minute to ensure that each hot dish is at the proper temperature when it arrives at the table. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your menu and would love another chance to show you our best.
We believe that this response is good, because it is empathetic and professional, acknowledges that the customer is upset, takes responsibility, and shows dedication to the own business. All of those aspects should be part of a good reply to a negative Google review and there are more things to keep in mind that we summarized in this article: How to respond to online reviews?
Reply to Google reviews in seconds with an AI review response generator
We want to give all businesses the opportunity to respond individually to each Google review, but we know how difficult that is. Our tool suggests very good answers and addresses the individual points of the ratings, but after that, of course, a human should still review, revise and submit the reply. You can read more about our perspective on this topic in the following article: Why personalization and AI-generated review responses are not a contradiction.
We see our AI Review Reply Generator more as a support tool that should allow to reply individually and without templates to each Google review, in order to show high appreciation to each guest or customer. By already generating a very good and individualized response in seconds, rather than starting with a blank page, businesses can significantly reduce the time it takes to respond to Google reviews individually.
You are welcome to register for free for the first 20 answers to test it yourself.