Receiving and managing customer reviews is now essential for a business’s success.
Part of review management involves responding to reviews which, as all businesses owners know, can be time-consuming.
So just how quickly should you be responding?
The short answer is that you should aim to respond to Google reviews as quickly as possible.
Replying within 48 hours is acceptable, but replying within 24 hours is the most ideal time frame.
It’s worth remembering that all online reviews are valuable business feedback that customers have put in their time and effort to post.
When looked at in that regard, it’s simply good courtesy to reply to your customers’ reviews where you can.
Still, there are other factors worth considering, such as the urgency of negative reviews and how your business responds to all its reviews.
Responding To Negative Google Reviews
Here's a question that might have crossed your mind: Is responding to negative reviews more urgent than responding to positive reviews?
As mentioned, you should try to reply to Google reviews, good or bad, as soon as possible.
Whether you reply to every review you receive is up to you, but what your business should never do is leave negative reviews unacknowledged.
A negative review means your business hasn’t delivered, which also means that your job to satisfy a paying customer isn’t done.
As a result, it can be argued that responding to negative reviews should be prioritized with more urgency.
In any case, negative reviews should ideally be responded to within 24 hours at the latest.
Responding To Positive Google Reviews
While it doesn’t have to be said that a positive Google review means a happy customer who is satisfied with the product/service you provided, there is an important question to be asked here:
Since my business has fulfilled its side of the bargain, do I need to respond to positive reviews?
It’s not uncommon for businesses to not respond to positive reviews.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with that—and not all customers are expecting a response—but there are several benefits that come with replying to positive reviews.
Put simply, responding to positive reviews shows appreciation. For the customer who posted the review, it can lead to loyalty.
For other customers reading your responses, it shows customer care that can persuade them to trust and choose your business.
Whether you prioritize negative reviews or not, you should try to aim to respond to positive reviews within at least 48 hours.
It’s Not Just About Responding Quickly, But How You Respond
A business can respond to all its reviews in record time, but if those responses appear rushed, insincere, or robotic, it can actually work against a business.
Studies show that 89% of customers read replies to reviews. So, responses should not only be timely, but sincere.
This also means that copying and pasting your replies should be avoided - at least if you want your business to stand out from competitors.
How you respond matters, so tone of voice is important to take into account whenever you reply to a customer review.
When your responses are read by reviewers and prospective customers, your business should always come across as friendly yet professional.
Review responses do not have to be long or elaborate.
Responding, no matter whether the review is positive or negative, should ultimately be sincere to showcase that your business values both its customers and the feedback it receives.
How To Respond To A Negative Review
Since most customers read responses, it’s worth taking a look at how to respond to negative customer reviews.
It’s natural to see a negative review and feel disappointed and frustrated, so responding should always be carried out with a level head.
As a golden rule, your responses to negative reviews should never be defensive or disapproving of a customer’s opinion. In fact, responding in this manner is the fast route to ruining your reputation.
No matter how potentially damaging the review might be, your response needs to be polite and apologetic.
And like all review responses, you should still express appreciation for the feedback the customer took their time to provide.
It’s also important that your response includes a solution to the customer’s problem (if possible) and/or the assurance that your business has taken the feedback on board and aims to improve.
Does Replying To Google Reviews Help SEO?
Last but not least, if you have ever wondered whether replying to Google reviews helps SEO, the simple answer is yes.
In fact, Google states on Google Business Profile Help that responding to customer reviews will improve a business’s local search rankings.
This, in turn, means that you should actively respond to as many of your Google reviews as possible - both negative and positive.
By doing so, Google will recognize your efforts and increase your business’s visibility on search engine results pages.
This will make your business more discoverable, with the added potential to outrank your competitors.
Needless to say, the more Google reviews you receive, the more you can respond to take advantage of these benefits - not only when it comes to SEO, but in significantly improving your online reputation and increasing customer trust.
Reap The Benefits By Getting More Google Reviews
Ultimately, your business should aim to respond to Google reviews as quickly as possible.
Negative reviews especially should be responded to within 24 hours as the most ideal time frame.
Moreover, you should be actively responding to all the customer reviews you receive on Google since responding will not only improve your online reputation, but boost your business’s local search rankings on Google.
The problem is, how do you get more Google reviews?
Running a business is already hard work without throwing review management into the mix.
And what can be harder than responding to reviews is requesting reviews from your customers - which you need to do to get more reviews.
Ideally, this would be done for you so you can focus on running your business. But that’s exactly why ReputationStacker was created.
It’s the only tool you’ll ever need to help your business get more reviews, on every major review site, without you having to lift a finger.
How does it work? It’s simple - so simple that it only takes a few minutes to discover how your business can get more Google reviews.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.