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How to Respond to Google Reviews: A Full Guide for Blue Collar Business Owners

Learn how to respond to Google reviews with our complete guide, offering practical scripts & real-life examples in home, pro & auto services.

GoSite Team

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The Impact of Google Reviews for Your Business | Reasons Why You Should Respond to Your Google Reviews | How to Respond to Positive Reviews on Google (with Scripts) | Scripting for Replying to Positive Reviews | How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Google (with Scripts) | Scripting for Replying to Negative Reviews | Great Examples of Responses to Positive Reviews | Great Examples of Responses to Negative Reviews | What To Do If You Suspect Fake or Scammed Reviews | In Conclusion

In today's world, the internet is where people go to find and buy things - and the higher the price tag, the more investigating they’re likely to do. As a blue-collar business, it's not enough to just have a website or social media accounts. You also need to make sure your online reputation is strong. 

“Almost all consumers, 94%, have read a review in the last year, and almost a quarter of them, 25%, have done so within the last 24 hours.”

One important part of this is your Google Reviews. This article will help you understand how to manage and respond to your Google Reviews, which can help your business grow.

The Impact of Google Reviews for Your Business

The Impact of Google Reviews for Your Business

Source: Podium

How Good Reviews Affect Your Business

1. You’ll Rank Higher in Search Results on Google and Google Maps.

Google's local search algorithm considers many things when it ranks businesses, and one important factor is your online reviews. Here's how having good reviews can help your business show up higher in Google search results:

  • Number of Reviews: Having more reviews shows Google that your business is active and has happy customers, which can help you show up higher in search results.
  • Quality of Reviews: Good reviews show that your business provides good service, which Google wants to promote to its users. This can help you rank higher than businesses with mixed or negative reviews.
  • Recent Reviews: Getting new reviews regularly shows that your business is still active and relevant, which can help you show up higher in search results.
  • Responding to Reviews: Engaging with your customers by responding to their reviews, both good and bad, shows Google that you care about your customers and can improve your search rankings.
  • Keywords in Reviews: When customers mention specific services or products in their reviews, it can help Google understand what your business is about and show your business to more people who are searching for those keywords.

Remember, getting good reviews takes time and effort, but it's worth it. It shows potential customers that you provide good service and can help you show up higher in Google search results, which can lead to more business.

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2. You’ll Build an Amazing Reputation for Great Work and Customer Service.

Positive reviews speak for themselves. A large number of great reviews simply makes people think highly of you. Even if they’ve never heard of you before, seeing your positive reviews will instantly make them trust you to handle the problems you solve.

3. More of Your Google and Web Visitors Will Convert into Customers.

When people are thinking about buying something from your business, they may have some doubts or worries. Positive reviews from other customers can help to ease those worries and make them feel more confident about buying from you. Reviews can give them the reassurance they need to make a purchase.

Businesses with more reviews receive more clicks on their Google My Business listing, according to research by Brightlocal, Google, and Yelp.

Also, when people see many positive reviews, they may feel like they need to act quickly so they don't miss out on the good service that others have experienced.

4. You’ll Get Helpful Feedback on Your Business’s Strengths.

Positive reviews do more than just attract new customers; they can also provide crucial insights that can help your business grow. Here's how:

  • Revealing Strengths: Positive reviews often highlight what your business is doing right. Whether it's excellent customer service, high-quality products, or efficient processes, these reviews can help you understand your business's strengths so you can continue to build upon them.
  • Knowing How to Grow Your Business: Positive feedback can serve as a guide for future business decisions. For example, if customers frequently praise a particular service, you might decide to offer more of that service or use it as a model for other services.
  • Boosting Staff Morale: Positive reviews can boost employee morale and motivation. Sharing these reviews with your team can show them that their hard work is appreciated by customers, encouraging them to continue providing excellent service.
  • Social Proof Marketing: Positive reviews can serve as testimonials for your business. With the reviewers' permission, you can share these reviews on your website, social media, or in other marketing materials to attract more customers.

Remember, positive reviews are much more than just good ratings; they're a gold mine of insights that can help your business grow. So, don't just appreciate them; analyze them and leverage them to propel your business forward.

How Bad Reviews Affect Your Business

1. You Develop a Bad Reputation Online.

Bad reviews can make it difficult to attract new customers. People are more likely to trust the experiences of others, and if those experiences are negative, it can be challenging to convince potential customers to give your business a try.

2. You’ll Likely Drop in Google Rankings.

Negative reviews can have a bad effect on how your business appears on Google search results. This can happen when you have a lot of negative reviews. Here's how it works:

  • Poor Review Quality: Google looks at the quality of reviews. If your business gets many negative reviews, Google may think your business is not good and may lower your ranking in search results.
  • Fewer Clicks: Negative reviews may make people less likely to click on your business in search results. This can lead to fewer clicks, which Google may see as a sign of low interest in your business and lower your ranking.
  • Less Interaction: If people see many negative reviews, they may not want to interact with your business by asking questions or leaving their own reviews. This can lower your ranking on Google.
  • Bad SEO: Negative reviews often have negative words like "bad service" or "poor quality." These words can make Google think your business is not good and lower your SEO

But don't worry! Negative reviews don't have to ruin your business. If you respond to negative reviews and fix the problems, you can turn them into opportunities for growth. The key is to manage your reviews well, which we'll talk about next.

3. Customers Will Favor Your Competitors with Positive Reviews.

Bad reviews can make potential customers lose trust in your business. They may see a pattern of negative feedback and decide to go with a competitor instead.

4. Twist: If You Respond Well to Negative Reviews, You Could Actually Improve Trust with Your Audience.

As a quick disclaimer, this approach only works if you have a solid base of good reviews. But if most (or all) of your reviews are poor, then the problem lies deeper, and you may need to perform some major overhauls on the way you do business.

But assuming that you do have those positive reviews also, having a gracious and proactive response to negative reviews can actually demonstrate to everyone that you care about customer satisfaction. More importantly, it shows that you know how to handle conflict well and will go to great lengths to resolve that conflict.

Reasons Why You Should Respond to Your Google Reviews

Businesses with more reviews and a higher star rating generate more sales, according to studies by McKinsey, Brightlocal, and Yelp.

It's important to respond to all Google Reviews, whether they are positive or negative, to manage your online reputation. Here's why:

  • Thank Your Customers: Responding to reviews shows customers that you value their feedback and appreciate their business. This can build customer loyalty and encourage them to come back.
  • Get Found More Easily (Rise Higher in Google Rankings): Google likes when businesses engage with their customers. Responding to reviews can help improve your search rankings.
  • Build Your Business's Good Name: Responding to reviews, especially negative ones, shows potential customers that you care about providing good customer service. This can improve your online reputation and attract more customers.
  • Learn From Your Customers: Reviews can give you important information on what you're doing well and where you need to improve. Engaging with reviews can help you understand this feedback and show customers that you're working to improve.
  • Hear From More Customers: Responding to reviews can encourage other customers to leave their own feedback. This can lead to more reviews, which can improve your visibility and attract more customers.
Remember, every review is an opportunity to interact with your customers, improve your business's reputation, and gain valuable insights. So, make sure to respond to all of them. In the next sections, we'll show you how to respond effectively to both positive and negative reviews.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews on Google (with Scripts)

Respond Quickly

Blue collar businesses often rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews to attract new customers.

When you respond to reviews promptly, it shows that you take your customers' feedback seriously and value their opinions. This can help build trust and loyalty with your customers, and encourage them to recommend your business to others.

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To ensure timely responses, it's a good idea to set up notifications for new reviews and designate someone on your team to monitor and respond to them. This can help ensure that all reviews are addressed in a timely manner, and that your customers feel heard and appreciated.

Always Thank the Reviewer

As a local service professional, it's important to thank your customers for taking the time to leave a review. This simple act of gratitude can go a long way in strengthening your relationship with them and encouraging them to continue using your services.

By thanking your customers for their feedback, you show that you value their opinion and appreciate their effort in leaving a review. This can help build trust and loyalty with your customers, and encourage them to leave more reviews in the future.

Make Responses Personal

Avoid using generic responses when responding to reviews. Instead, use the reviewer's name and reference specific details from their review to show that you've taken the time to read and understand their feedback.

Referencing specific details from their review shows that you've taken the time to read and understand their feedback. This demonstrates that you're committed to building your business around them as valuable customers, and can help build trust and loyalty.

Using generic responses, on the other hand, can come across as insincere and may even turn customers away. It's important to take the time to craft a thoughtful response that addresses the specific concerns or compliments mentioned in the review.

Share the Review as a Testimonial

Since a Google review is public, you already have the customer’s permission to share that review elsewhere.

You can use a tool like GoSite to automatically push your top reviews onto your website. Also, you can build social posts around positive reviews from Google.

These promotions spread your social proof across all the online channels you own and can increase your word-of-mouth business.

Scripting for Replying to Positive Reviews

If you’re not sure what to say when someone gives you a positive review, these scripts will work as a starting point. To give more meaningful replies, consider adding the person’s name, mentioning something specific they said, and putting it in your own words.

Review Praises a Specific Service Hi [Customer's Name], thank you for your wonderful review! We're delighted to hear that you enjoyed our [specific service] and found it valuable. We strive to provide the best services for our customers. If you enjoyed [home/auto service], you might also find [another service] beneficial. Thanks again for choosing us, and we look forward to serving you in the future.
Review Compliments Customer Service Review Compliments Customer Service
Hello [Customer's Name], thank you so much for your kind words! Our team was thrilled to hear about your positive experience with our customer service. We always aim to provide the kind of service that leaves a smile on our customers' faces. Your support means a lot to us, and we're here for you anytime.
Review Mentions a Team Member by Name Dear [Customer's Name], thank you for your fantastic review! We are pleased to hear that [Employee's Name] could assist you in such a satisfactory manner. Your appreciation will be passed on to them – it's sure to make their day! We're grateful for your support and hope to serve you again soon.
Review from a Loyal Customer Hello [Customer's Name], thank you for your continued support and your lovely review! It's customers like you who make our job wonderful. We appreciate your loyalty and your recognition of the efforts we put into our service. We're excited to keep providing you with the same quality service you've come to expect from us.
Review Praises Quick and Efficient Service Hi [Customer's Name], we're so glad to hear that you were pleased with our efficient service. Our team strives to deliver quality work while respecting our clients' time, and it's wonderful to know we hit the mark with you. Thank you for your positive feedback and for choosing our [home/auto service] for your needs. We're ready to assist you anytime in the future!


How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Google (with Scripts)

Always Be Professional

As a local service-based business owner, it's important to always be professional when responding to negative reviews. This means responding in a calm and respectful manner, even if the review is unfair or inaccurate.

It's also important to avoid getting defensive or confrontational when responding to negative reviews. This can escalate the situation and potentially turn off other customers who may be reading the review.

In addition, always be professional in your language and tone when responding to negative reviews. Avoid using profanity or negative language, and make sure to proofread your response before posting it.

Show Lots of Empathy (Apologize If Necessary)

Showing empathy means acknowledging the customer's feelings and being willing always to take responsibility with a sincere apology.

When responding to negative reviews, it's important to put yourself in the customer's shoes and understand their perspective. This can help you respond in a more empathetic and understanding manner.

Avoid making excuses or blaming the customer for the negative experience. Even a simple miscommunication can feel like a major breach of trust with your customer. The more willing you are to take ownership, the more likely they are to work with you toward a win-win solution.

Get to the Real Issue Fast

When a customer comes at you with a lot of anger in a public manner, it’s very easy to get distracted from the issue that started the conflict. Do your best to stay focused on the customer’s complaints.

This approach will help you stay calm, helping you think better so that you can quickly identify what happened and how you can resolve the issue.

Encourage the Customer to Take the Conversation Offline

Public anger isn’t just embarrassing for you, it’s also embarrassing for the customer (even if they’re too upset to realize it). After you’ve shown empathy and a commitment to helping them resolve the issue, ask them to talk outside of Google reviews.

Give them a phone number they can call, or let them know your business location and office hours (if applicable). Then follow up with that customer.

Make Necessary Improvements to Your Business

Negative reviews are in vain if they don’t help you grow your business the right way. Be sure to implement constructive criticism quickly so ensure that you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Offer Them an Incentive to Try Your Services Again

If you value the customer’s business, it never hurts to offer them something special, such as a discount on their next service or a free gift. By handling negative reviews professionally, you could earn a customer for life.

Scripting for Replying to Negative Reviews

If you’re not experienced in handling negative Google reviews, these scripts below can help you.

Review Mentions Poor Service Hi [Customer's Name], we're truly sorry to hear about your negative experience with our service. We aim to provide the highest standard of service and it seems we fell short this time. We'd appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further and address your concerns. Please reach out to us at [your contact information]. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Review Mentions a Delay or Tardiness Hello [Customer's Name], we apologize for the delay you experienced. We understand how valuable your time is, and we're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Your feedback helps us improve and we'll address this issue to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future. We'd like to make it up to you, so please contact us at [your contact information].
Review Mentions High Prices Dear [Customer's Name], we're sorry to hear that you felt our prices were too high. We try to balance offering the best quality service while keeping our prices competitive. We value your feedback and we're committed to ensuring our customers feel they're getting excellent value for their money. Please feel free to contact us at [your contact information] to discuss this further.
Review from a Disgruntled Customer Hi [Customer's Name], we're very sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction. It's important to us that our customers are more than satisfied and we would like the opportunity to resolve this issue immediately. If you could email/call us at [your contact information], we will strive to make things right.
Review Mentions Unprofessional Behavior Hello [Customer's Name], we're sincerely sorry for the experience you had. We hold ourselves to a high standard of professional conduct and it seems we fell short in your case. Please reach out to us at [your contact information] so we can understand the issue better and make necessary improvements.
Review Reports a Mistake or Issue Dear [Customer's Name], we're sorry to hear about the issue you've reported. Mistakes can happen, but we're committed to making things right. We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you. Please reach out to us at [your contact information]. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Review Involves a Safety Concern Hi [Customer's Name], we take your concerns very seriously, and we apologize if you felt unsafe at any point during our service. Safety is our top priority and we want to address this issue immediately. Could you please contact us at [your contact information] at your earliest convenience?
Review Mentions an Employee by Name Dear [Customer's Name], we're very sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience with [Employee's Name]. We strive to provide excellent service and it's clear we missed the mark in this instance. Please know we take your feedback seriously and will address this with our team to ensure it does not happen in the future. We would like to learn more about your experience to help us make things right. Could you please contact us directly at [your contact information]? Your satisfaction is important to us and we hope we can restore your faith in our business. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Great Examples of Responses to Positive Reviews

Sometimes the best place to get ideas of who to respond to positive reviews is to see how other businesses in your industry have responded in the past. Here are some live examples from blue collar businesses across the United States.

The Boardwalk Cleaning Co. (Austin, TX)

This home cleaning business averages a 4.8 star rating with well over 500 reviews.

The Boardwalk Cleaning Co

Source: The Boardwalk Cleaning Co. on Google

Marsh View Home Inspections LLC (Wilmington, NC)

This company has a perfect customer rating of 5.0 on Google, with over 125 5-star reviews. Check out this specific, warm reply to a happy customer.

Marsh View Home Inspections LLC
Source: Marsh View Home Inspections LLC on Google

Diamond Window Cleaning (Findlay, OH)

By this business owner’s response, you can tell they have close relationships with their customers. This undoubtedly helps them nurture local word-of-mouth. See below.

Diamond Window Cleaning
Source: Diamond Window Cleaning on Google

Great Examples of Responses to Negative Reviews

Responding well to negative reviews is much harder than responding to positive reviews. But these businesses knocked it out of the park in their replies.

Precision Landscape Management (Greenville, SC)

This company is well-loved by their local customers with an average star rating of 4.3. But just like any business, they got a scathing review. And the business reply is a great example of how to respond with top-notch customer service.
Precision Landscape Management

Source: Precision Landscape Management on Google

Legacy Termite and Pest Control (Little Rock, AR)

Here’s another example of a highly-rated service professional (average star rating of 4.6) with a negative review. It’s empathetic and doesn’t make excuses. Take a look.

Legacy Termite and Pest Control
Source: Legacy Termite and Pest Control on Google

Mr. 25/8 Handyman Services (San Antonio, TX)

Once again, a great professional with the occasional negative review knows exactly how to relate to their customers and get straight to resolving the issue. It’s clear they deserve their average star rating of 4.7.

Mr 258 Handyman Services
Source: Mr. 25/8 Handyman Services on Google

EHC Inc Electrical Heating Cooling (Boston, MA)

After over 250 local reviews, this company still averages a star rating of 4.9. See below how much they care about each and every customer. This is a great approach when seeking to earn back unsatisfied customers.

EHC Inc Electrical Heating Cooling
Source: EHC Inc Electrical Heating Cooling on Google

Bellhop Moving (Las Vegas, NV)

Even the best business owners have to deal with fluke accidents, poor employees, and more. Bellhop Moving is loved by their customers, demonstrated by the fact that at the time this blog was written, they had only one negative review and an average star rating of 4.7. Their response to that one bad review is excellent. See below.

Bellhop Moving
Source: Bellhop Moving on Google

LA Best Locksmith (Los Angeles, CA)

This locksmith company has over 250 positive reviews, with an average rating of 4.8. Despite clearly knowing how to do good work and take care of their customers, they apparently had an issue with one of their managers. To their credit, they dismissed the manager and immediately reached out to unhappy customers. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, LA Best Locksmith is a great example to follow.

LA Best Locksmith
Source: LA Best Locksmith on Google

What To Do If You Suspect Fake or Scammed Reviews

It’s unfortunate that sometimes scammers or competing businesses are documented to have posted false reviews on local business profiles. In general, this is unusual, so it’s always best to assume the negative review comes from a real customer with a valid concern.

If you suspect a fake or mistaken review (maybe the individual meant to post their review on another profile - it happens), it’s okay to do a little digging and point it out in your reply. See how Behmer Roofing & Sheet Metal (Flagstaff, AZ) did it below: they were kind and professional but pointed out what made the review suspicious.

What To Do If You Suspect Fake or Scammed Reviews

The next thing you need to do is report the review to Google. You can also ask loyal customers to flag the review if you’re certain it is fake, mistaken, or purposely misleading.

Simply follow these instructions from Google Support to address these reviews.

At the end of the day, your positive reviews outnumbering your negative reviews will be what wins the day, so try not to sweat these rare incidents. 

In Conclusion

The world of online reviews can be intimidating for blue-collar businesses that typically focus on offline interactions. However, Google reviews play a significant role in a business's online presence and growth. 

It is crucial to know how to respond to both positive and negative reviews. This guide has provided practical scripts and emphasized the importance of treating each review as an opportunity for connection and improvement. 

Positive reviews can be used to showcase strengths and reinforce good practices, while negative reviews can be viewed as constructive feedback to address issues and turn unhappy customers into satisfied ones. 

In today's digital age, potential customers will hear about a business from others before they interact with it. Therefore, it is essential to manage Google reviews and maintain a commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction. With this guide, businesses can be well-prepared to manage their Google reviews and boost their online presence for continued growth.

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