Amid the excitement about local search sites and user reviews (and the two combined), there’s been one lingering question — what if you’re the merchant and the review is bad. As a media company, you’ve got to preserve the integrity of the community, but isn’t it only fair to let merchants respond to a slam?
That’s the idea behind a new Judy’s Book feature being unveiled today. Local merchants can sign up to receive alerts whenever their business is reviewed — whether positively or negatively — and can weigh-in with a one-time response to a review, if they so desire.
So far, so good, says Chris DeVore, COO of Judy’s Book. In the two week trial period, “with really no coaching, they’ve been really smart and savvy about how they use the feature,” he said.
The idea is similar to what companies like eBay and Amazon allow sellers. The service is free to merchants but to participate they’ll have to register with Judy’s Book. What do you want to bet they’ll be offered the opportunity to buy advertising?