Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 7:15 AM
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.
Before writing your first response, we recommend reading our handy tips on how to respond to reviewers. Then take a stab at responding by following these instructions. If you have not yet verified ownership for your business on Google, please visit Google Places to claim your listing.