One of the social media services that the Pipeline team offers is reputation management. Are you responding to Google+ reviews, business owner? We probably don’t have to tell you that Google is pretty important. The best case scenario is that all of your social media efforts result in higher Google search rankings. Billions of searches are happening every day.

When someone searches your business on Google, they should find a knowledge card with general information about your services. Open a new tab, google your business, and look at your business’s info, which should appear on the right side of the webpage on desktop and in the center on mobile. How do your customer reviews look? Good? Bad?

If you are a small or new business and you don’t see a knowledge card when you do a Google search of your business, this blog post is still for you! We will give you some helpful tips on how to avoid common mistakes and get ahead. We also recommend that you check out How to Verify Your Google Listing: A Complete Guide.

Now, let’s talk about Google+ reviews! 

How to get to the Review Section-

Your business’s Google+ Home feed should look like this. Click on your top right avatar and then select the page you want to manage from the dropdown that appears.

One you are on the page of the business you want to manage, click the Google Apps area and select the orange Reviews button.


Your business’s Google+ review management section should look something like this. Here you can find and respond to reviews about your services.

Responding to Reviews-

If you select “View and edit response,” a single review will open. You’ll also see “Best practices for responding to reviews” above the response box. There you’ll find Google’s tips on responding to reviews.

Here are a few more tips from us!
  1. You’ll have to get creative with your responses. The one downside to responding to G+ reviews is there won’t be too much back and forth between you and the reviewer. On Facebook, you can respond to a review, address the concern briefly, and ask the customer to continue the conversation in a private message. It’s a bit easier to do damage control when you can just move the discussion to a private place. That’s not really an option on G+.

However, this is also an upside. You won’t experience much back and forth when responding to reviews, therefore page visitors won’t see any of that either. If you respond well, they will just see a kind business owner offering constructive feedback and trying to make things right.

When creating your response, keep it short and don’t advertise yourself but find a way to address the concern in a way that can help answer questions or concerns that page visitors may have. For example, here is a sample customer review—

“My overall experience at Sandy’s Boutique was good. I tried to call someone on Monday to ask a few questions before stopping by, but I could not get anyone on the phone. I went in the next day anyway and I was greeted right away by a very nice employee. She helped me with my purchase and was very attentive. However, when I was ready to checkout, I had to wait kind of a long time for someone to assist me. I wasn’t in too much of a hurry and it is a fairly new business, but it seemed unprofessional. I will most likely shop here again, but maybe after they’ve had some time to work on their customer service.” -Recent shopper, Susan Brown.

As a reply to this customer review, you could simply thank the customer and apologize, but you can also say something like this-

“Hello, Susan. First, we want to say thank you for shopping at our store. We are actually not open on Mondays. Our store hours are currently Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-6pm. We apologize for the inconvenience! We are planning on updating our store hours later in the year to include Monday. You can always visit our website to receive updates from us. We also want to apologize for the wait during checkout. We are still working out the kinks of running a new business and appreciate your patience. We will let the employee who greeted you, Candice, about your kind comment on her service. We hope you decide to give us another try soon! If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach us at (###) ###-#### or

If potential customer saw this review, they would learn about your business hours, where to learn more about your services, and that you are very kind business owner.

2. Keep track of repeat complaints and praises! Get the most of the review section by recording reoccurring complaints and things that people really like about your business. Resolving customer issues is the main priority when it comes to reviews, but you can find ways to prevent future negative reviews if you turn that feedback into goals for your business. On the flip side, keep an eye on the positive feedback you are receiving as well. You’ll learn what people like most about your service which you can use to your advantage when marketing yourself or making decisions for your business. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to reward employees who receive praise in reviews!

3. When necessary, try to move the conversation to a private place. At the end of a negative review response, prompt the customer to reach out to you and provide contact information. This allows you to talk about the issue in detail without risking more negative feedback being out in the open for page visitors to see. It also shows that you aren’t only offering empty apologies but intend to solve problems. Even if the customer does not reach out, you at least gave them the opportunity to continue the conversation.

That being said, let’s get into some planning & response ideas! 

Creating a Response System-

Remove the worry in responding to reviews by having a system in place. You’ll have to adjust it from time to time, but it is much better than having nothing to work with. Here’s how to create a simple review system:

  1. Decide how often you will check your reviews. You should check them frequently, but it’s good to have a set time based on how often you receive reviews. Maybe you get a good amount of reviews daily, so you should plan to review them every day at a certain time. If you aren’t receiving a ton of reviews at the moment, maybe check them every other day at the same time. Whatever works for you. Make sure you are getting emails when you get a review, so you can respond to urgent ones right away.
  2. Create a list of responses that can apply to several reviews. Be sure to tweak them according to the review when you are using your pre-made responses. Creating this list will save you a lot of time and remove the guess work.
  3. Create a list of factors to consider before responding. For example,
  • Do I need to look into the situation before responding?
  • Is this a returning guest or customer?
  • Is the review discriminatory or does it involve criminal activity?
  • Does the review involve refunds or issues with the bank

This will help you craft more pre-made responses for different situations.

That should get you to a good starting place! The idea is to get ahead of problems before they end up on your review page for everyone to see.

Social Media Tools: Free Response Examples!

5-star review response-

“Thank you for taking the time to leave us a 5-star review, [reviewer’s name]! We were happy to provide you with an exceptional experience and hope you decide to visit us again soon.”

If a guest loved your service, leave them a short reply thanking them for their review. It’s also good to mention the things that they brought up. If they said they loved a certain dish for example, say something like “We are glad you liked [dish name] . . . it is one of our favorites!” Just personalize your response a bit, so you don’t sound like a robot.

3-star review response-

“Hello, [reviewer’s name]. We apologize for X and appreciate you bringing these concerns to our attention. If you wish, please give us a call or email us at [your business contact info]. We would be happy to answer your questions and discuss your experience further. Thank you.”

3-star reviews are usually a mix of good stuff and critiques. Or sometimes it is unclear on how the guest felt about their experience since 3 stars isn’t the worst . . . especially if they just leave 3 stars with no comment. You don’t have to be overly apologetic for minor issues. Just do your best to answer concerns and fix the issue. Always leave contact information for 3-star reviews and give the reviewer a chance to discuss the experience further. This gives you the opportunity to learn how to earn 5 stars from them in the future and clear up any minor concerns.

1-star review response-

“We sincerely apologize for this incident. Your experience does not reflect how we want guests to be treated. We have alerted management and are looking into why this happened. Would you be open to giving us an opportunity to fix the problem? Please reach out to us at [business contact info]. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review and share your concerns.”

For bad reviews, address the concern, apologize, and try to resolve the issue ASAP. You’ll find that in many cases, if you respond promptly, the reviewer will be understanding. Don’t be overly defensive if they were in the wrong. It’s fine to correct certain things in your response, but not if it will just add fuel to the fire. Feel it out based on how angry their review is and save your more detailed response for when you can talk to the customer privately.

And, sometimes, you may need to craft a response like this:

“The views and opinions of this guest does not reflect those of [your business name]. We tried to resolve the issue with the guest but he responded in a discriminatory way to our employees. We’ve asked the guest not to return . . .”

Hopefully, you won’t have to write too many of those. There will be times when you are writing explanations for page visitors to read when a review is untrue or discriminatory. It’s less of a response to the reviewer and more of a defense of your business. It happens. Just be sure to stay civil. If a reviewer is being overly rude or abusive, you are not obligated to continue the conversation. It doesn’t look good on your feed and it will just lead to more problems.

Last thing about Google+. There is a message feature that could work for you. Find it through your Google+ Business Home page. It’s a chat system, so customers will expect a quick response if you decide to turn on this feature. If you are able to commit to responding to questions right away, it could be useful and help your review ratings through simply clearing up issues before they end up in the review section.

We have lots of tips on how to respond to reviews! You can find more insight here: How to Respond to Negative Facebook Reviews: A Complete Guide. And when in doubt, remember to be respectful, not reactive, when responding to reviews! In most cases, if you are kind and understanding, customers will be kind and understanding in the review section. Good luck, business owner! For more social media tools & tips, keep scrolling through our blog posts. Thank you for reading!

Pipeline Social Media is a digital marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor/coach your team along the way and report back to you. Ask us about our Google AdWords management, web design, and SEO website packages.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

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