Webconsuls Blog

Friday, September 3, 2010

Google Places Finally a Two-Way Street

One-way street in New York City.                   Image via Wikipedia
Don't you hate one-way streets? Up until a month ago Google Places' review feature was a one-way street. Clients/customers/guests/patients/vendors could find a business' listing in Google Places and write a review; however, the business owner had no way to effectively respond to the review.  That all changed on August 4, 2010.

Old news? No. This is important news that warrants repeating, because in the scheme of things your business lifeline is your reputation. I don't care what kind of business you own and/or operate; repeat customers and customer referrals provide the most effective return on investment (ROI).

I have written about Google Places. Dick Fay has written about reviews and how to work with them. At least once per day I read a blog post about reviews, like Mack Collier's most recent post Think negative comments/reviews online hurt your company? Guess again.

Today I want to assist you in learning more about how to use this new review response feature to your advantage (HINT: all you need to know is at your fingertips in this link). And I am not just talking about negative reviews. Take the time to thank your clients who take the time to write a positive review.

Going forward:
  • If you are a Webconsuls' client and you need help claiming and verifying your business listing on Google Places please contact me. It is important that YOU claim and verify your listing.
  • If you are not a Webconsuls' client and want to learn more about our services, we make it easy for you to contact us. We look forward to meeting you.

Google is now letting us drive on a two-way street, let's see if we can convert every reviewer into an advocate or at least clear the bottleneck. Can we do it?
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  1. Conversation is always the better choice. I feel like online reviews are almost always biased because people are most likely to feel inspired to post something when they're upset. Hopefully, this won't create a "nuh uh!" "ya huh!" situation between customers and businesses. Instead, I hope businesses will be able to respond to criticism and fix problems, kind of like Domino's big campaign to make their pizza better.

  2. Allison,
    I'm glad you weighed in on this topic. Over the years I have written a lot of snail mail to companies, both complimentary and suggestions for improvement. My snail mail was not instant obviously, but I did get interesting results.

    What I am most happy about with this Places change is that now the business owner can acknowledge and "own" both the good and bad.

    It will be interesting to see how this new feature matures.

  3. I think this is great that they are doing this. I've noticed on other review based websites that already do this and for Google to finally pick up on this is great. It will benefit businesses tremendously especially if it's under new ownership and they can specify that in the reviewers response to ensure new potential business that they are worth considering.

    Allison, I was thinking of the Domino's commercial myself (kind of got me hungry too).

  4. Malik,
    Just the other day I read a Google review. It was extraordinarily BAD. But then I read the other reviews and felt that given the location of the business (convenient) I wanted to try it out. So I did.
    When I get the shoes back from the shoe repair business, I will write a review!!! I will also let the owner know that she can now respond to the bad review.


  5. Hey,

    This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at www.blogger.com.

    May I use part of the information from your blog post above if I give a link back to this site?


  6. Peter,
    Feel free to use part of my information. I look forward to the link.


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