Discover how to respond to online reviews effectively with our insightful Dos and Don'ts. Improve customer retention, enhance SEO rankings and build a reputable online presence.
How to Respond to Online Reviews?

Why responding to reviews is important

In general, it is incredibly beneficial for hotels and other businesses to reply to online reviews, no matter if they are positive or negative. Doing so can improve customer retention, raise SEO rankings, and build online reputation. A survey by BrightLocal found that 77% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses 'always' or 'regularly' before making a purchase or visit. Additionally, Google has been known to favor businesses that respond to reviews when determining search rankings. Therefore, responding to online reviews is a good way to show future customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent customer service. This will increase your prospects of attracting new business and will promote continuous happiness for your customers.

How do you respond to a review?

The process of responding to an online review will depending on the platform. Fortunately, most online review websites have user-friendly account dashboard that will let you monitor and respond to customer reviews. To learn more about online review websites, click here.

When writing your response, it’s best to base it on the content of the review. This will give the impression that your business is attentive to the concerns of your customers.


How do I respond to a positive online review?

First and foremost, manifest your dedication to the customer. You should always thank the customer for taking the time to write a review – be it positive or negative. Do not forget that it takes effort to sit down and type out thoughts and feelings, so the least you can do is show appreciation for their feedback. From there, you can move on to addressing the key points the customer mentions.

For positive reviews, highlight the aspects of your business that the customer enjoyed. It’s also a very smart idea to share positive reviews on your website or social media channels. This helps show potential customers that you’re a reputable business with satisfied customers. Just be sure to get permission from the customer before you do so.

Last but not least, remember to include keywords in your response. This will help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and ensure that more people encounter your positive reviews when they are searching for businesses like yours.

Here’s a quick overview of Dos and Don’ts when responding to positive reviews:

DOS of how to reply to positive reviews:

  • Use the magic word “Thank you!” – show gratitude to your customer’s positive feedback
  • Acknowledge the key points they mention – personalize your response, it shows commitment
  • Keep your response short and concise – remember that quality is better than quantity
  • Share the review on your website or social media – make the world see the value behind your service or product
  • Include keywords in positive review responses – boost your SEO and increase your online ranking
  • Always personalize by using the customer’s name – again this is crucial, because it displays actual dedication
  • If a customer mentions a service, place or person, repeat the positive aspects in your response – this is a great example of keyword selection which helps future consumers to access positive reviews
  • Share your company values – acknowledge the positive feedback and relate that to your core business values
  • Avoid repetition – you want to keep it brief and not boring
  • Make responses conversational – use a friendly and chatty language that makes your customers feel connected to you

DON'TS of how to reply to positive reviews:

  • Write a novel – keep it short and sweet
  • Ignore parts in positive reviews – address them head on
  • Only use generic phrases be specific about what you liked about the review

How do I respond to a neutral online review?

Every feedback your customer shares with you should be taken seriously. A neutral review can be just as valuable as a positive or negative one, so it's important to know how to properly respond.

Thank the customer for their review and repeat the positive aspects of it. Thank them for their input and let them know that you're constantly striving to improve your business. If there are any negative aspects mentioned, apologize and explain what you're actively doing to fix the issue. Finally, invite the customer back. Thank them for their time and let them know you value their feedback.

By following these simple steps, you can turn a neutral review into a positive opportunity to elevate your business.

How do I respond to a negative online review?

No matter what business you're in, negative reviews are bound to happen from time to time. And while it's never fun to see somebody unhappy with your products or services, it's important to remember that how you handle a negative review can be just as important as the review itself.

Here are a few tips on how to respond to a negative review in a professional and productive manner:

DOS of how to reply to negative reviews:

  • Be professional – even if the customer is being unreasonable, it's important to maintain a level of professionalism in your response
  • Show dedication to your brand – let the customer know that you're committed to providing the best possible experience for all of your customers
  • Take responsibility – if there was something that went wrong on your end, make sure to take responsibility for it
  • Be empathetic – put yourself in the customer's shoes and try to understand why they're unhappy
  • Say thank you – even if they're dissatisfied, thank them for taking the time to leave a review
  • Offer solutions – if there's anything you can do to help resolve the issue, make sure to do so
  • Acknowledge that the customer is upset – don't try to downplay their frustration, but let them know that you understand
  • Ask for more information – kindly request the customer to provide more details about their experience with you over the phone; the goal here is to move the conversation offline so that you can further investigate and resolve the issue
  • Remain professional throughout the response – it can be easy to get defensive when responding to a negative review, but it's important to keep your cool
  • Apologize for the customer's frustration and provide a productive next step – let them know that you're sorry for their experience and offer a resolution

DON'TS of how to reply to negative reviews:

  • Take it personally – it's important to remember that not every customer is going to be happy 100% of the time
  • Speculate about the cause of the frustration – stick to the facts and avoid making any assumptions
  • Publicly accuse the reviewer of fraud – this will only escalate the situation and damage your reputation

By following these tips, you can confidently handle any negative reviews that come your way.


How do I respond to an online review without comment?

Responding to online reviews without comments can be the most challenging, especially if they leave a neutral rating of 3 stars. When responding to these reviews, it’s best to ask the reviewer to connect with you via email to elaborate on their review. This will show potential customers that you’re dedicated to gathering information on how you can further improve your products and services. To learn more about this, read our complete article here.

Respond to guests efficiently with MARA

Responding to online reviews can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant of 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.

Powerful Review Inbox

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. 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,, 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
Managing online reviews in one convenient dashboard.

Intuitive Review Analytics

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
Easy-to-understand customer data.

The most personal response AI

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 Thoughts

By learning how to respond to your customers’ feedback you can help diffuse negative situations and provide an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one. It will also allow you to leverage reviews as valuable feedback in order to improve your business offerings and monitor customer experience trends over time. As the saying goes, "Conventional wisdom says addressing a problem is better than letting it fester." And in our experience, dealing with a discontent review directly and as quickly as possible will most likely lead to a positive outcome. Your guests come first, so make them feel that way! 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 series on “How to Use Online Reviews to Your Advantage – The Ultimate Guide".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you respond to a good review online?

Make sure to show appreciation towards the reviewer, as it will encourage other customers to post reviews. Gathering a high number of online reviews across online review platforms will help you boost your online credibility and search engine visibility.

How do you thank someone for an online review?

Responding to the online review in a detailed manner can express gratitude to the customer. Furthermore, you can also encourage the customer to revisit your business.

How do you respond to a customer review message?

Responding to a customer review message is as vital as responding to review posts. You should address their concerns and show gratitude per usual. However, when replying to the message, you can ask the customer to post their review on your online review platform, such as Google.

How do you respond to positive feedback in hospitality?

When responding to positive feedback, it’s best to highlight crucial business elements within the hospitality industry. This includes your location, amenities, facilities, and customer service reviews.

How do you respond to a good guest review?

When responding to a good guest review, keep in mind that you’re both boosting your customer loyalty and attracting new guests. Aside from highlighting the positive points on the review, always include a strong call to action of revisiting your business.

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