A step-by-step guide on how to reply to Google reviews that will save you time, reduce the likelihood of a bad review turning into a terrible one and increase your reputation as an awesome business.
How to Respond to Every Google Review in Seconds

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.

How do I respond 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/.

GMB profile login
Login screen Google My 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.

GMB Online Reviews
Google Management within Google Search (Administrator View)

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.

Answer Google My Business Reviews
Google Review Screen

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.

Response to Google review
Google Review Response Screen


Why can’t I reply to a Google review?

In the event that you can’t reply to a Google review using your Business profile, chances are, you are yet to claim and verify your Business profile.

To do this, claim your Business Profile on Google and verify your account through phone, text, email, or video. Once submitted, Google will review your account, which may take up to seven business days. After Google verifies your profile, you can update your business information and respond to reviews.

To learn more about claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile, read our full guide here.

How to respond to a positive Google review?

Here are some of the best ways in responding to Google reviews (examples).

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 respond to a negative Google review?

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?


How to respond to bad Google reviews?

Dealing with really bad Google reviews can indeed be tricky, but the right approach can convert a dissatisfied customer into a loyal patron. Start by thanking the customer for their feedback. Acknowledge their concerns and admit where your service fell short, showing empathy and understanding. Next, reassure them that you're working on improving those areas of concern. End on a positive note, inviting them back to experience your enhanced service. Remember, your response is not just for the dissatisfied customer, but also for potential customers who might read the review and your reply. So, keep it professional, empathetic, and solution-oriented.

Reply to Google reviews Examples

Replying to Google reviews can be challenging, especially if you’re dealing with a wide variety of customer concerns and issues. Here are some examples of good Google review replies generated by an AI review reply assistant:

Negative Google Review response examples

In this example, the response started with expressing gratitude towards the feedback and proceeded to show accountability towards the unsatisfactory experience of the guest. To shift the tone to a positive one, the brand reassured the guest that they were actively improving their services and encouraged the customer to visit their facilities again.

Example of a response to a negative Google review.

Positive Google Review response examples

In this example, the response emphasized the positive feedback from the guest. Aside from showing gratitude, the review maintained an uplifting tone to show other guests that they value every feedback they receive, which may attract other guests to leave reviews, too.

Example of a response to a positive Google review.

Respond to Google Reviews in seconds with MARA

Maintaining a speedy response time for Google Reviews can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant, MARA. This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Streamlined Review Inbox for Google Reviews

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox, which allows you to easily monitor your Google Reviews without missing a beat.

Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA Review Inbox
Easy-to-use and streamlined Review Inbox for all your listings.

Automated Review Analytics

MARA goes beyond merely writing responses for your Google Reviews. To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business.

With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA Review Analytics
Understand your customers better with MARA AI.

Go autopilot with Google Review Response Automation

Automation is now an integral part of online marketing, as automating repetitive tasks allows you to focus on other areas of your business.

After gaining trust in your personal AI Review Assistant, you can even go on autopilot and create automation rules. This way, you can specify which reviews should be replied to by the AI directly with no additional approval. With the configuration below, all Google reviews with no text and a star rating of 4 and above are answered automatically.

MARA review automation
Automated Google Review responses that won't be flagged by Google.

Speedy yet personalized

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback, and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thought

Maintaining a fast response speed for your Google Reviews need not be an overwhelming task. With the appropriate software, not only can you streamline the process, but you can also personalize your responses, and derive valuable insights from the reviews. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

This content is part of our hero content on “Mastering Google Reviews - A Complete Guide".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How to respond to Google Reviews as a business?

Here’s how you can reply to reviews as a business: 1. Login to Your Business Profile on Google. 2. Go to ‘Reviews’. 3. Tap the ‘Reply’ on the review you want to respond to. 4. Click ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete’ on your reply when needed.

Can Google remove a bad review?

Google can remove inappropriate reviews but not bad feedback. Businesses can report a review for removal through Google Maps or Google Search.

Should you respond to old negative Google reviews?

Yes. Replying to old reviews can reignite customer relationships and show potential guests that you attend to every guest. However, it’s best to apologize for the delayed response and show extra diligence in addressing their concerns.

How to respond to a 1-star review on Google?

When responding to a 1-star review on Google, it’s best to provide better context to the issues raised while maintaining an apologetic tone. While reviving your relationship with that particular customer may be hard, you can mitigate its negative effects by showing potential guests that improvements are being made in line with the feedback.

What are the best responses to positive Google reviews?

The best responses to positive Google reviews always highlight the positive notes on the review. Maintaining a lively tone to show appreciation towards the review is also a must, as it may encourage other guests to leave reviews on your profile.

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