We all know that the use of mobile devices to access the web is growing. Therefore the importance of creating and maintaining a Google Places listing is now more important than ever for local businesses, as your Place Page is fast becoming the foundation to your online presence.
Google have recognised the growing importance of the Place Pages and have now addressed one of their most contentious issues – customer reviews. If a Place Page is the first portal for your prospective customers, then having a host of negative reviews could do a lot of harm to your business. Although the point is to promote a healthy and honest discussion regarding your services, the feature has always been open to abuse.
Now Google have introduced a new feature that allows business owners to respond to reviews posted on their page. The Google Lat Long Blog announced the new feature this week:
“…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.”
This is a great addition to the tools available in Google Places, as it allows businesses to interact with their customers on the same level and in the same, ‘neutral’, online space. Positive and negative reviews can be responded to and, if done well, they can help grow your Places Page to a mini-social network rather than a dry and static business listing.
So make sure you keep in touch with your Place Page regularly, respond to as many comments and reviews as possible and begin to cultivate relationships with your customers.
Posted by Luke Glassford