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Car Dealers Can Now Respond To Negative Review on Google Maps

Google Maps ReviewsAmen! Car dealers can now respond to negative reviews on Google Maps!

The feature that many dealers have been waiting for is finally here. If you have verified your Google Maps listing proving that you are the owner, you can now respond to any comments, positive or negative, when you are logged in to your account.

This is great news for dealers who have an Automotive Internet Reputation Management (IRM) process setup and who have been monitoring reviews on sites like Google Maps, Yelp, CitySearch, InsiderPages and Dealerrater. I also like the strategy of thanking people who place positive comments!

Here is the official notice from Google:

Whether you’re looking for a great lounge to hang out with your friends or a trusty shop to repair your bicycle, the web is a great place to discover and learn about local businesses and services. Some of the listings on Google Maps showcase reviews to help prospective customers make informed decisions and find the places that are just right for them. Reviews on Google Maps are assembled from a variety of sources on the web to give you the best possible overview of what people are saying about a specific place. We also encourage users to share their opinions by writing reviews directly on the Place Page of any place they’ve visited, be it a local business, tourist attraction or the like.

Starting today, if you’re a verified Google Places business owner, you can publicly respond to reviews written by Google Maps users on the Place Page for your business. Engaging with the people who have shared their thoughts about your business is a great way to get to know your customers and find out more. Both positive and negative feedback can be good for your business and help it grow (even though it’s sometimes hard to hear).

By responding, you can build stronger relationships with existing and prospective customers. For example, a thoughtful response acknowledging a problem and offering a solution can often turn a customer who had an initially negative experience into a raving supporter. A simple thank you or a personal message can further reinforce a positive experience. 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.

This new feature will make some serious competition for Yelp...but for now, it's time for car dealers to take charge and come up with an review response policy and be careful how your comment on a negative review.

Example Of A Business Owner Comment

Here is an example of how it would look:

google maps reviews

Views: 1180

Tags: google, irm, management, maps, places, reputation


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Comment by Brian Pasch on August 5, 2010 at 11:17am
I like that suggestion and it will be visible for a very long time so it can drive more fans to a dealer's fan page.
Comment by Nannette Staropoli on August 5, 2010 at 10:21am
Another tip to add to this discussion - When you respond to a positive post, it's a good time to recommend they become a "fan" of the dealership (if they aren't already - and assuming you have a Dealer fan page). This ties your various marketing programs together, keeps things genuine, thanks the customer/prospect and gives them a reason to become a fan. As a bonus, when others read these comments they are now exposed to additional info about the Dealer and gives them the oppty. to become a fan too.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 5, 2010 at 3:42am
@ Ryan - If it has any value, and nobody in the dealership is willing to do it... I know a bunch of hard working social marketers that do it for their dealer clients.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 5, 2010 at 3:41am
Our Friends in Mountainview say:

Google Places lets you respond to users who post reviews and comments about your business. Engaging with the people who give you feedback can be a good way to get to know your customers and what they think about your business.

Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following in mind:

1. Be nice. This isn’t just a guideline -- it’s also a good idea. You aren’t going to win an argument with a frustrated customer. And you don’t want to burn any bridges. Even customers who initially had a bad experience might come back.

2. Don’t get personal. Remember that you’re replying to feedback about an experience, not about you as a person. Reply in a way that addresses the overall experience, and remember that there’s a real person on the other end. If you believe the review violates the posting guidelines, please use the Flag as inappropriate link.

3. Feedback is helpful. Both positive and negative feedback can be good for your business and help it grow (even though it’s sometimes hard to hear). Think of all feedback as an opportunity to improve.

One Reputation Management practice my team has learned, is that responding to positive reviews is VERY important if you want to keep getting them. Shown above is an example that Google provided.
Comment by Ryan Thompson on August 4, 2010 at 1:39pm
This is a god send.. there are always two sides to the story. Now lets see if the majority of dealers will bother to monior their Google Place. Nice work Brian

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