How to Respond to Reviews - Free Example Templates

January 21, 2021

Did you know that 95% of consumers will read reviews before deciding to trust a business?

In today’s fast-paced economy, reviews are more important for your business than ever before. Consumers can leave feedback in seconds on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or Amazon for your future customers to see.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through why reviews are critical for your business and how to respond to google reviews, both positive and negative.

Why Reviews Matter

Online reviews give you a window into how your current and potential customers view your business. Without their feedback, you wouldn’t know if your customers view your business positively or negatively.

Let’s go over a few ways that reviews impact your business.

Customers Vet Your Business Through Reviews

Before a customer interacts with your business, they look at reviews to decide whether they feel comfortable doing business with you. Customers will trust reviews almost as much as they trust a personal recommendation.

In combination with individual reviews, customers will also be looking at your star ranking on Google. A majority of consumers will not consider working with a business if it is rated less than four stars. 

In some instances, Google will only show businesses with a 4.0+ rating in search results. This will happen when consumers use search terms such as “best [business type] near me.” 

If a consumer is specific in searching for only the top-rated businesses near them, yours may not appear on the results list if your rating falls short of the 4.0 threshold.

Monitor Your Customer Experience Trends

Reviews not only affect your business rating and provide you with direct consumer feedback, but they can also help you identify trends in your customers’ experiences. 

Are your customers raving about a particular product or service? That gives you an opportunity to expand your business to include products or services similar to the ones your consumers enjoy.

On the flip side, if your customers point out that a particular product or service is lacking and not meeting their expectations, you have the opportunity to improve. 

By keeping an eye on trends, you have the opportunity to expand on the things your business does well and the chance to improve the things your business is not doing well.

Reviews Impact Your Local SEO

As mentioned above, if your business rating falls below a 4.0, it can prevent your business from showing up in local search results. This is because it is in Google’s best interest to show consumers businesses most likely to offer a good experience.

The less information your customers have, the less likely they are to choose to shop with you. By having consumer reviews that you respond to, you’re giving potential clients a reason to shop with you and making sure your business shows up in their search results.

Why You Should Respond to Reviews

Responding to reviews allows you to take control of your business’ public content. This will enable you to craft your business’ voice and create a collaborative relationship with your customers.

Improve Your SEO and Business Rating

When it comes to local search, reviews can have a significant role in your search engine rankings. As of 2020, reviews surpassed proximity to become the second most important ranking factor.

Essentially, this means that the quality of the customer’s experience is more important than physical distance from the business. 

By responding to your business reviews, you also have the opportunity to use keywords to improve your SEO. Sometimes a customer review will already contain keywords, but adding them to your response gives you the chance to make sure that Google knows what your business is about.

Because of how reviews impact your local SEO rankings, you should see responding to reviews as a way to improve your business ranking. Not only do the reviews themselves contribute directly to your ranking, but by responding, you could see a conversion rate increase of 25% or more.

Address and Resolve Problems Efficiently

When consumers leave reviews online, they’re more likely, to be honest about any part of their experience with a business that was not up to their expectations.

This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives you a clear view of what you did well and what you need to improve on. On the other hand, any negative feedback can hurt your ranking and potentially lose you a future customer’s business.

There is a way to mitigate some of the adverse effects, and that is to use your response to these reviews as an opportunity to correct or improve a customer’s experience with your business.

By responding to reviews promptly and seeking to resolve any problems, you show your current and future customers that you will make an effort to address any concerns they may have.

How to Respond to Google Reviews: Four Things to Prioritize

We’ve gone over why responding to reviews is vital for your business, but let’s take a moment to talk about how you should respond to customer feedback.

Here are four things that should be prioritized when responding to reviews, either positive or negative.

Be Approachable and Professional

Whenever you are communicating with your customers, it is crucial to be both professional and approachable.

Whether you’re communicating in-person or online, customers need to feel that their voices are heard and that they are being treated with respect. Active listening is the best way to do both of those things. 

By listening to what your customer is saying, not assuming what they mean, and asking appropriate follow-up questions, your communications will be clearer and more effective.

When responding to reviews online, you do not have the luxury of hearing the customer’s voice or seeing their body language. Still, you can see their word choices and ask for clarification when appropriate.

Thank Your Customer for Their Feedback by Name

Regardless of whether the review is positive, neutral, or negative, you must take the time to thank them for their feedback by name. This builds on the previous point about active listening.

By using the customer’s name, your response will sound more personal and genuine. It will help your customer feel like you are genuinely treating them with respect.

Respond Promptly

On the topic of treating customers with respect, you should prioritize responding to customer feedback within one business day. By doing so, you make it clear that you take all customer feedback seriously.

If reviews are left unanswered indefinitely or for prolonged periods, your customers will think that their feedback does not matter to you. You want to build your online presence and show your potential future customers that they can easily communicate with you by leaving a review.

Offer a Solution

When it is appropriate, offer a solution if the customer has brought a problem to light that you can fix. It simply isn’t possible to please absolutely everyone, but by showing your willingness to address concerns, you indicate to your customers that you care about their experience with your company.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

Seeing a positive review of your company can be a real confidence booster. It can be tempting to leave these reviews unanswered because they did not have an issue during their experience with you.

Resist that temptation. Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to build upon their relationship with you. Let’s go over a few key things to touch on when responding to a positive review.

Restate Why Their Experience Was Positive 

If your customer stated why their experience was positive, be sure to restate that positive experience in your response. This is a crucial part of active listening, showing your customer that you took the time to read their review.

Were they happy with a particular product or service? Name what that product or service was in your response. This provides you an opportunity to recommend another product or service that the client may find useful.

For example, if your customer just purchased a new vehicle, be sure to mention what maintenance services are available at the dealership. While you will have mentioned them during the sale, it never hurts to remind your customer that you can continue to help them after the sale is complete.

Share the Feedback With Your Team

When a customer has a fantastic experience with a member of your team, let your customer know that you’ll pass on that feedback to the team member in question. Customers like to recommend particular staff members to their friends and family if the experience was a positive one.

It’s also a significant morale boost for your team to hear that customers enjoyed their service and called them out by name in a review. Creating an excellent customer service experience takes your whole team, not just you.

Invite Them Back

This one will sound like a no-brainer, but it gets missed more often than you would think. When your customer has a great experience, be sure to invite them back. 

It can be easy to assume that if a customer had a good experience with your company, they would come back. This assumption has no place in the business world today. Always remember to invite your customers back to your business and build that positive customer relationship.

Positive Review Response Example

Even a positive review deserves a personalized response, rather than a generic “thank you.” Here’s an example of how to respond to a positive review that is both professional and personal:

“Hi, [customer name]Thank you so much for sharing your great experience with [company or employee name]. We pride ourselves on [company values] and delivering a fantastic customer experience. Thank you for choosing [company name], and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Sincerely,[Your name and company]”

How to Respond to 3-Star Reviews

Neutral reviews pose an interesting challenge. The customer’s experience may not have been negative, but it was not stellar either. These three-star, middle of the road, reviews can be tricky to respond to but are important nonetheless. 

Reiterate the Positives

If the customer named something about their experience that was positive, be sure to restate this positive in your response, similar to how you would with a positive review. 

Unlike a positive review, a neutral review is not the time to make product or service recommendations. In this case, you’ll want to talk about your company’s values instead and ask how you can improve their next experience with you.

Apologize for the Negatives

When a customer gives a neutral review, they may or may not name something about their experience that was negative. If they do describe a negative, then be sure to apologize for it and offer a solution.

Invite Them to Contact You

To change this customer’s opinion from neutral to positive, you need to keep communication lines open with them. Share your professional contact information with them and invite them to reach out to you to discuss their experience further.

From this point forward, the ball is in the customer’s court. If they want to discuss their experience and resolve the issue, they’ll reach out to you.

Neutral Review Response Example

Writing a response to a neutral review can seem daunting, possibly more than responding to a positive or negative review. As with all of your answers to reviews, you’ll want your response to sound natural and in your voice.

To get you started, here’s an example of how to respond to a neutral review:

“Hi, [customer name]
Thanks for your feedback about your experience with us. I’m glad we exceeded your expectations with [good points].
I’m sorry to hear that [customer’s complaint] did not meet your expectations for us. I want to look into this so that we can improve your experience next time. Can you reach out to me at [phone number or email] to discuss this further?
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your name and company]”

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Even though it is impossible to please everyone, how you respond to negative reviews truly matters. By being willing to address less than stellar customer service experiences, you’re showing your future customers that you take their feedback seriously.

Apologize for Their Poor Experience

After thanking the customer for their feedback, apologize for their negative experience with your company. While it is never a business’ intention to upset their customers, it does happen from time to time.

By being willing to apologize and acknowledge that the customer should have had a better experience with your company, you’re telling the customer that their concerns are significant.

Explain How You’ll Resolve the Issue

Once you’ve apologized for the customer’s poor experience, you need to explain how you will address and resolve the issue they’ve brought to your attention. 

During this explanation, walk your customer through the resolution process and tell them why you’ll be solving the problem in the manner you choose. Open communication is critical when trying to repair a relationship with a customer.

It’s important to note that you won’t be able to solve every problem that your customers bring forward. However, it would be best if you always made an attempt to solve the problem. 

Know When to Take the Conversation Offline

Some customer relations issues can not be solved with an online response. While you can begin the conversation online, it’s essential to know when to take it offline. 

In your initial response to a negative review, be sure to include your business contact information so that if the customer wishes to speak further about their experience, they can reach you directly.

Negative Review Response Example

A response to a negative review needs to be both professional and genuine. Here’s an example that emphasizes both of those points:

“Hi, [customer name]
I want to thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent [visit/purchase/experience] with us. [Company name] holds itself to the highest standards for customer service, and your experience with us should have met those standards. 
I’m genuinely sorry that your experience fell short of your expectations and for the frustration this caused. I want to take the time to look into this issue and make it up to you. Would you mind contacting me at [email or phone number] so that we can talk more about your experience with us? Thank you again.
[Your name and company]”

Removing Negative Reviews

Let us start by reminding you that the First Amendment protects consumer opinions. A differing opinion is not a just cause to have a review removed from your business listing.

Going out of your way to delete negative reviews can also cause consumers to distrust your business. The old saying that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies strongly here. 

Not every customer is going to have a stellar experience with you, and that’s okay. If you handle negative feedback professionally and with empathy, it can go a long way to establishing trust with your current and future customers. 

There are some instances, however, where it is wise to flag a review for removal. These include reviews containing threats, abusive language, hate speech, or off-topic generalizations.

If you do come across reviews that fall into the categories above, here is how you can remove them on public business listings:


To flag reviews for removal on Google, you’ll need to be logged into Google My Business

Once you’re logged in, select the business location where the review was left (if there are multiple locations). Next, select “Reviews” under the menu options and find the review you wish to flag. On the review, click the three-dot menu and then select the “flag as inappropriate” option.


On Yelp, you’ll want to be logged into your business account like with Google. Scroll down your business listing page and find the review you wish to have removed. Once you click on the “flag” icon in the bottom right corner of the review, you’ll need to choose the reason you want Yelp to remove it. 

The moderators will review your request and remove the review in question if there is evidence that it violates Yelp’s Content Guidelines.


Flagging a review on Facebook is, unfortunately, more complicated than it is on Google or Yelp. 

To report a review, it needs to have a comment on it. Your first step will be to respond to this review as you would with any negative review and then proceed with flagging it for removal. Once the review has a comment on it, you can select the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner and flag the review for removal. 

Similar to Google and Yelp, reporting the review will not guarantee its removal. It will be up to the Facebook Support team to decide if the review should be deleted for breaking their Community Guidelines.


For Amazon, the process is once again similar. You’ll log into your Amazon seller account, navigate to the customers and orders menu, and enter the order ID you wish to review.

Once you have the order open, you’ll submit a feedback removal request. Amazon requires more details for this process than Google or Yelp, but whether the request is approved or not is still up to the seller support team.

Streamline Your Customer Feedback

We’ve gone over how to respond to google reviews, both positive and negative, and discussed how responding impacts your business.

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