Reviews from your customers can provide valuable feedback for your business. You can reply to reviews, which can help build customer trust.
When you reply to reviews, you post publicly as your business. Replies may not appear across Google immediately. However, reviewers will get a notification when you reply to their review. After they have a chance to read your reply, they can update their review.
Important: Before you can respond to reviews, you must verify your business. After you verify your business, you can reply to reviews directly from:
- Your Business Profile on Google Search.
- Your Business Profile on Google Maps.
Reviews for home-service businesses
When customers leave a review for a home-service business, they might be asked which job the business performed. Customers choose from a merchant-provided list of services that also includes suggested job types that are typical for similar businesses. If the customer left a written review, their selection will be included in the review.
Reply to reviews from Google Search or Maps
Important: You cannot reply to reviews from third-party sources.
Tips for review replies
Business owner responses help you build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When you reply to your customers, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Be nice and don’t get personal. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. Like reviews, replies must comply with our policies. Learn more about contributed content.
- Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
- Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant info to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers.
- Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Instead, you can tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not have learned from their first visit.
Negative reviews aren't necessarily a sign of bad business practices. For example, the customer may have had mismatched expectations. Reviews can also help identify points on how to improve future customer experiences.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Do not share personal data of the reviewer or attack them personally. This includes on Maps, on other services, or in the real world. Instead, suggest that they contact you personally by email or phone to resolve the issue. A positive post-review interaction and your reply shows prospective shoppers that you really care and often leads the customer to update their original review.
- Investigate the reasons behind the reviewer’s negative impression of the business. Check your records for the reviewer and their experience with your business.
- Be honest. Acknowledge mistakes that were made, but don’t take responsibility for things that are out of your control. Explain what you can and can't do in the situation. Show how you can make uncontrollable issues actionable. For example, bad weather caused you to cancel an event, but you monitor the weather and provide advance cancellation warnings when possible.
- 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. This helps you come across as more authentic.
- Respond in a timely manner. Doing so shows that you pay attention to your customer’s experience.
If you believe that a Google review violates the posting guidelines, you can flag it as inappropriate. Learn more about flagging reviews as inappropriate.