411 Blog

How to Respond to Online Reviews The Right Way

Girl responds to online reviews on cell phone

It’s always nice when a business owner responds to online reviews, positive or negative. It shows that the business cares about what you have to say and acknowledges an opinion. Of course, responding to online reviews is not always easy. How do you get positive reviewers to also recommend to friends? How do you get a negative reviewer to give your business a second chance? Here are our suggestions for responding to online reviews:

Positive Online Reviews

It’s very important that you start your review off by thanking your customer for their business and feedback. You can also personalize it by commenting on a specific detail in the review, and invite the reviewer to be a customer again.

Example review: “The food here is amazing. Had the Hawaii-Five-O, and it was the thickest, juiciest burger I’ve ever had. The combo of charbroiled meat and tangy pineapple sent me to burger Nirvana. If I could, I’d eat here all the time!”

Example response: “Aloha Mike! Thanks for dropping into Big Kahuna. And thanks for your comments. We’re happy you liked the Hawaii-Five-O. It’s one of our favourites, too. Though we wouldn’t recommend eating ALL of your meals here, you’re welcome anytime. Hope to see you again soon. Mahalo!”


Negative Online Reviews

Although negative reviews can seem much more threatening to your business, negative reviews are actually good for your business. It’s not difficult to turn a reviewer’s negative experience into a positive one and get them to try your product or service again. Here’s how: Thank the reviewer for their feedback and express your disappointment in the negative experience. The key to a great response is to empathize with the person and clear up any misconceptions that might have led to their negative experience. It also helps to highlight any positive element of the review, and explain how you will use their feedback to improve.

Example review: “Big Kahuna should call itself big disappointment. The fries were as good as people say, but my Hawaiian burger had zero taste. I heard they stopped using 100% beef in their patties. Maybe that’s why. Next time, I’m going to Burger Shack instead.”

Example response: “Aloha Stan! Thanks for the feedback. We’re happy you dug our fries. But we’re disappointed you didn’t enjoy the burger because who likes a burger with no taste? We’d like to assure you Big Kahuna only uses 100% Canadian grade “AAA” beef patties. Always have, always will. We think your burger was overcooked. We’ve reminded our cooks the proper cooking temperature and time and will be paying close attention. We appreciate your business, Stan. We hope you’ll try us again soon!”


Final Tips on Responding to Online Reviews

  • Try to respond within one business day
  • Do not respond to negative reviews right away, as a natural response will be defensive. Sit on it and respond with a clear mind.
  • You don’t need to respond to everything, especially abusive/offensive reviews. We strongly suggest you flag those and have them removed.
  • Don’t be a salesperson. Try not to use positive reviews as a way to market your products/services.


Responding to Reviews on 411.ca

One of the awesome features of 411.ca is how fast and easy it is to respond to reviews. Here’s how:

  1. Login to 411.ca and click “Go to Advertiser Centre” at the top left-hand corner of the page.
  2. Click “Manage Reviews” under the Review Management section located on the left-hand side of the page
  3. Type a response to your customer in the Reply box underneath the review. Then click Reply to post.


Responding to Reviews on Google My Business

  1. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage.
  2. Click Reviews from the menu. (Note that your business needs to be verified in order to respond to reviews.)
  3. Click View and reply to respond to a customer review.
  4. Write a response and click Submit.

We hope that this helps you with responding to online reviews. Remember both positive and negative reviews help your business if you respond the right way.


411.ca and Google My Business are great places to field customer reviews and grow your presence online – Add your business to 411.ca and we can set you up with a Google My Business Account!