I have some good news for you today. Car dealers can now respond positive and 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:
I'm very excited to see that negative comments or characterizations can be challenged by car dealers who have been unfairly judged. This of course reminds me to say that dealers must have an IRM policy in place with guidelines on who should respond, if at all. Responding the wrong way to an angry customer or a negative review could compound the problem.