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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Brian Pasch

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Google Business Owner Reviews

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: 

google maps reviews

What is your reaction to this news?

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.

Eric Miltsch
Great news - thanks for sharing Brian!
Bart Wilson
I think now the issue becomes when to respond and how. This shouldn't be a place for a defensive retort documenting the position of the dealership. Also, I would like to know everyone's thoughts on frequency. How often should a dealer respond?
Richard Valenta
Responding to a review can be risky. Not responding can be even riskier if you have already responded to others. Once you have responded to one, you should be prepared to respond to all.
Eric Miltsch
@Bart - I've always felt they should be dealt with as soon as possible; now may be a good time for people to consider monitoring software for those times when your brand is mentioned. Google makes a good point by pointing out the fact you can respond to the positive comments as well - great opportunity to thank someone!
Daniel Boismier
Brian, Any word on the time we have to respond? Can we respond to past posts? Not just good news for responding to negative, but also positive.

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