Would you ignore a customer if they asked you a question face-to-face?
How about if they complimented you face-to-face?
What if they complained to you face-to-face?
Okay, that last one would be tempting to ignore, but any auto pro who values their business would answer, “No,” to all of the above questions.
Stop Separating Online and In-Person Conversations
What’s the difference between a conversation that’s online and one that’s in-person?
Just the way it happens. Nothing else.
Whether you’re calling, texting, writing, typing, or talking to a person, you always expect an answer. Even if it’s just a nod or thumbs-up emoji to confirm you received the message.
So if you want to successfully respond to your Google reviews…
...you need to stop thinking of them as something separate from in-person conversations with customers…
...and start thinking of them as face-to-face conversations with customers.
Answer Everything (The Right Way)
Yes, you need to answer every review.
Just like each in-person question, compliment, concern, complaint, or whatever needs to be addressed, each Google review needs to be addressed.
Even if that means some reviews get fourteen paragraphs of responses for their novel-length review, while others get a simple, “thanks,” with a smiley face emoji.
If that seems like a daunting task, just remember…
You don’t need to answer every review right away.
In fact, for some of the more extreme reviews, you might need to take a step back and put some distance between yourself and the review.
You need to be in the right headspace to answer reviews. Especially negative ones. You don’t want to escalate an angry customer’s temper.
And sometimes an issue might require the right legal verbiage to keep you safe.
Every answer you give to a review should be polite and empathetic.
The issue is important to your customer. And the issue might not be the only thing that’s peeving them off.
You don’t know what they’ve been through; you don’t know what they’re going through; and you don’t know what they will go through. (This is a paraphrased quote I can’t remember the source of. Bonus points if you recognize it and tell me so I can cite it!)
But what you do know is they have a problem, and you’re the person who can help solve it.
Of course, sometimes reviews don’t need a problem solved. Sometimes, they’re just praising you or thanking you for a good job.
Those reviews are easier to answer than you think. A simple, “thanks,” or, “come back again,” will do.
Even though it’s tempting, don’t use a copy & paste script.
Sure, maybe you say “you’re welcome” the same way every time. And that’s fine. That’s you. It’s sincere.
Scripts are not you. And they’re not sincere.
Tailor your responses as much as you can, but make sure what you’re saying is what you’d say to that person face-to-face.
Remember, this is a conversation between you and another person.
(Repeating this for good measure: one-word responses are okay. That’s how real people communication. Just make sure the review deserves such a short response.)
How to Reply to a Google Review
1) Sign in to your Google My Business account at business.google.com
2) Open your navigation panel by clicking on the three horizontal bars in the top left corner, then select “Reviews”
3) When you find a review you want to respond to, select “View and reply”
What tips do you have for answering Google reviews? Let us know in the comments below!