Businesses Can Respond to Google Place Reviews

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conversationADOTAS – There’s always that guy… When my old band The Alphabetical Order got reviews here and there, there’d always be that one jerk in the comment section who would write “I saw you guys and you sucked!”

Unfortunately, my bandmates had a tendency to get all hot and bothered and snap back on the comment feed — “I saw your face and it sucked!” — which might have been OK if they hadn’t identified themselves as members of the band. In effect, our skin appeared to be thinner than a balloon.

Internet commenters can be a fledgling operation’s dream or a horrifying nightmare. Especially when it comes to retail and dining, whining commenters run rampant on Yelp and Google’s Place Pages — businesses would be wrong to ignore them, no matter how paltry their complaints are.

But hey, that’s why Google has introduced a new customer relationship management tool for Google Maps that lets business respond to their commenting critics. Verified Google Places business owners can reply to reviews written on Place Pages. Below is a good example of responding to an unsatisfied customer.

However, the tool can also be used to foster relationships with supporters and generally engage with customers. Google actually offers a tutorial in responding to reviewers — tip #1: leave their mothers out of it.

“Ultimately, business owner responses give you the opportunity to learn what you do well, what you can do better, and show your customers that you’re listening,” says John Maguire of the Google Place Page team on the Google Lat Long Blog.

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