The Ultimate Guide to Responding to Reviews

Dhiraj Nallapaneni

11 min read Last Updated Sep 9, 2020

Responding to Reviews

A great response can be the difference between an angry customer who tells family and friends to steer clear of your business and a loyal customer. Let’s share some tips and templates for responding to reviews so that you can minimize the damage to your brand’s reputation and show that you’re serious about delighting every customer.

Why Responding to Reviews is Important 

Many business owners don’t respond to reviews. After all, getting a review already feels like a win. This is a mistake. Responding to reviews is a great opportunity to engage with your customers and at times, even help you turn your unhappy customers into advocates

Data shows that responding to reviews has a positive impact on your business. A study by Harvard Business School found that responding to reviews correlated with a higher overall star rating. After, all your customers appreciate engagement. A simple “thank you” can go a long way. 

Responding to reviews also helps you rank higher on search engines. Google has confirmed that when you regularly respond to your customers’ reviews, it also helps with SEO. After all, Google values many of the same factors that your customers do. The more reviews you respond to, the more it shows that you care about engaging with each and every one of your customers. 

How to Respond to Negative Reviews 

No matter how great your services are, you’re going to get some negative reviews. While it can feel disappointing, negative reviews are a great opportunity to show off your customer service. If you manage to resolve the problem that the customer experience, you might just improve your business while also turning around your customer’s opinion. It’s a win-win. 

Here are a few ways that you can start responding to negative reviews today. 

Take a Deep Breath 

It’s easy to be frustrated with a negative review, especially when you make an effort to create a fantastic experience for every single customer. But remember, a bad review isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your business. What could be bad for your business is the negative perception that your business could get if you react to the review angrily. 

Start with a ‘Thank You’ 

The first thing that you should start your review with is with thanks. After all, every piece of customer feedback has the potential to help improve your business. 

Get to the Bottom of the Problem 

Chances are that the customer is frustrated with a specific issue. Find what the problem is that the customer has experienced so that you can fix this issue on your own. 

Move the Discussion Offline 

Don’t let the discussion become a long, drawn-out war between you and the reviewer. It’s much easier to resolve the discussion if you take it out of the public view. Leave a phone number or an email where the customer can reach you so that you can discuss the issue further. 

Negative Review Response Templates 

Not sure how to start responding to negative reviews? Here are some templates that can help you get started. 

negative review response 1

negative review response 2

negative review response 3

Asking a Customer to Delete a Review

If you respond to a negative review to a customers’ satisfaction, you can go ahead and politely ask them to either delete or edit their original review. After all, their view of your business has most likely changed since their initial experience. Here’s a template that you can use to ask your customer to delete a review. 

delete a review

How to Respond to Positive Reviews 

When you get a 5-star review, be sure to thank your happy customer. Here are a few ways you can leave a response to a positive review

Say Thanks

First things first, thank the customer for taking the time to leave feedback for your business.

Encourage the Customer to Come Back 

Tell the customer that they’re always welcome to come back to your business. This is an easy way to help build customer loyalty and show potential customers that you’re running a business that loves serving happy customers. 

Keep it Short and Sweet

Remember, there’s really no need to write a novel here. Keep your response short with no more three sentences at the most.

Positive Review Response Template 

Here’s a couple of templates that you can use to start responding to positive reviews. 

positive review response 1

positive review response 2

positive review response 3

How to Respond to Reviews with No Text

Some websites allow customers to leave reviews with no text. You might get a 5-star review rating with no comment attached. While in these cases, it’s harder to tell what was going through the customer’s head, here are some templates that you can use to respond to no text reviews. In these cases, it’s best to keep your response short and sweet. 

No Text Positive Review Templates

Here are a few templates that you can use to respond to positive reviews with no text.

no text positive response 1

no text positive response 2

no text positive response 3

No Text Negative Review Template

Here are some templates that you can use for negative reviews with no text.

no text negative review response 1

no text negative review response 2

no text negative review response 3

How to Respond to Neutral Reviews 

While responding to a positive or a negative review might be a little bit more clear-cut, responding to neutral reviews can be a little bit trickier. How should you respond to a 3-star review? 

Since a customer who’s leaving a neutral review had elements of both a positive and negative experience, your response should incorporate elements of a positive review response and a negative review response. 

Start with a Thank You 

You might be noticing a common theme here. Say “thank you” for all of the customer feedback that you get. After all, every piece of customer feedback gives your business an opportunity to improve. 

Emphasize the Positive 

If the customer is giving you a neutral review, chances are that there is something they did like in your service. In your response, be sure to reinforce the positive parts of their experience. 

Address the Negative 

Chances are that the customer did have some kind of a complaint. Just like in a negative review, make sure you understand the customer’s complaint and assure the customer that such a service failure will not happen again. 

Move the Discussion Offline 

Again, you do want to make up for the customer’s negative experience. Leave a phone number and/or email address so that the customer can reach out to you and you can make sure that they’re overall experience is a positive one. 

Neutral Review Response Template

Here are some templates that you can use to respond to neutral reviews.

neutral review response 1

neutral review response 2

neutral review response 3

How to Respond to Google Reviews 

Google reviews

Remember, Google is the biggest review site on the Internet. So here’s how you can start responding to your Google reviews

1. Sign in to your Google My Business account at business.google.com.

2. Click the three bars on the left-hand corner. If you’re managing a multi-location account, select the relevant location.

3. Click “Manage reviews”, then find the review you want to respond to.

4. Click “View and reply”, then type out a response.

How to Respond to Facebook Reviews

facebook reviews

While Google is the biggest player in the review ecosystem, Facebook comes in second place. 

Facebook gives you the options to turn off your reviews. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that this is turned on. After all, reviews are a valuable way for your business to get more visibility on the social media giant. 

Here’s how you can turn on your Facebook reviews if they aren’t on already. 

  1. Click on Settings at the top of your Facebook Business page.
  2. Click “Edit Page” on the left-hand side.
  3. Click on the section “Reviews”
  4. You’ll see a slider labeled “Show Reviews”. Turn this from “Off” to “On”
  5. Save your changes.

Once your reviews are turned on, simply leave a comment to the review in order to respond. It’s just like commenting on one of your friend’s Facebook pictures. 

How to Respond to Yelp Reviews 

yelp reviews

Yelp gives you two options to respond to customer reviews: with a public comment or a direct message. Always start off with a public comment. While you can move the discussion to the direct message, you want to make sure that it’s clear to everyone that you’re willing to engage with all of your customers, whether they leave a positive or negative review. 

Here’s how you can respond to a review through public comment. 

  1. Go to the Reviews section of your Yelp business account. 
  2. Choose the review you want to respond to and click “Add Public Comment”.
  3. Enter your text and click “Preview”.
  4. Review the text and click “Post Comment”. 

Yelp also recommends that you add a photo as the business user. This helps to give your review response a more personal touch. 

Here’s how you can send a direct message to a customer on Yelp. 

  1. Go to the Reviews section of your Yelp business account. 
  2. Choose the review you want to respond to and click “Send direct message”.
  3. Enter your message and click “Send”. 

Yelp also gives you the option to send a quick “Thank you” direct message to your customers. To do this, simply hit the “Thank” button underneath the review. 

How to Respond to TripAdvisor Reviews 

tripadvisor reviews

Google, Facebook, and Yelp aren’t the only review sites on the Internet. While we don’t have the time, space, or energy to talk about every review site on the Internet, there is one more site that we’d like to mention: TripAdvisor. In 2018, around 66 million reviews were submitted to TripAdvisor. 

  1. Click the “Reviews” tab in the top menu. Select “Respond to Reviews.”
  2. Choose the TripAdvisor review you want to respond to by clicking the review in the left-hand sidebar. 
  3. Enter your review response into the box provided. 
  4. Click submit. 

Responding to Reviews with Review Software 

It’s tough enough to keep track of reviews on Google and Facebook. But there are hundreds of review sites on the Internet. It’s tough for a business to keep track of this customer feedback from all of these different sites. That’s where a review software like Birdeye can help you. 

Manage Reviews on 150+ Sites 

In the Birdeye dashboard, you’ll be able to see reviews on over 150+ sites in a single place. There’s no need to switch between dozens of sites to see what your customers are saying about you. If you need to leave a response, just type out a message on the dashboard. It will show up on the site where the review originally appeared. 

Respond to Reviews Automatically 

You don’t need to manually respond to every one of your customer reviews. Birdeye gives you automatic review response templates so that you can focus on the reviews that really need your attention. You can create your own templates. Birdeye gives you several templates so that you’ll never have the same response twice in a row. 

Assign Tickets to Your Employees

Maybe you see a review that needs a response, but you don’t have the time to do it yourself. With Birdeye, you can assign a ticket to one of your employees so that they can take the time to leave a measured response. The Birdeye dashboard gives you the ability to track all of your tickets, so you can make sure that all your reviews are being responded to in a timely manner. 

How Birdeye Can Help Your Business Grow 

Birdeye doesn’t just help you with responding to customer reviews. Whether it’s collecting reviews, sharing your reviews on your business website and social media, or analyzing insights from your online reviews, Birdeye has got you covered. There’s a reason why 60,000 businesses use Birdeye to get new customers and drive revenue. 

More templates and strategies

Want to see more tips and tricks on responding to reviews? Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit anything into this article. But this free eBook compiles tips, strategies, and templates that we’ve discovered from years of serving businesses across the country.

Birdeye doesn’t just help you with responding to customer reviews. Whether it’s collecting reviews, sharing your reviews on your business website and social media, or analyzing insights from your online reviews, Birdeye has got you covered. There’s a reason why 60,000 businesses use Birdeye to get new customers and drive revenue.