Up until now, if you’ve received a complaint in a Google review (legitimate or not) there hasn’t been any way to respond to that review.
Today Google announced via their Lat Long Blog in their post Respond to reviews for your business on Google Place Page that those days are over. As long as you have claimed your Google Place Page you can now log in and reply to the bad review.
At times, responding to a customer through a review is the only way to reach them if you don’t have their contact information. Perhaps just as importantly, it gives you the opportunity to let potential customers who are reading your reviews know your side of the story. While bad reviews are often earned, there are those that are inaccurate.
There’s another opportunity here that I want to call your attention too.
While most business owners will take the opportunity to respond to negative reviews, very few will take the time to respond to the positive reviews. But why not? We appreciate it when people acknowledge us, even if it’s a small thing. Showing readers of the review that you’re actively paying attention to your customers (good or bad) will go a long way to demonstrating your dedication to great customer service. Plus, the person that you acknowledge will feel even better about having done business with you, paving the way for repeat business and even more referrals. You may even consider going a step further and offering your customer a small thank you offer (like a free dessert on a future visit if you’re a restaurant). Nothing that someone would consider coercive, just a small gesture of your appreciation for their business.
Take advantage of the opportunity that two-way reviews give you and make it a part of your overall social media strategy today.