Getting Back On Track: 4 Tips to Readjust to the Return of Google Reviews

The world is experiencing a historical moment that will be remembered for years. 2020 will be marked as a time of social and physical distancing, championing our front-line workers, businesses having to majorly change their practices and more. Currently, there is a massive audience of people who are hungry for resources they can find online while staying safe at home. If there was ever an opportunity to be more diligent with optimizing your customer’s online experience, now would be that time.

You may have been aware of the impacts the on-going crisis has had on marketing channels like GoogleMyBusiness. On March 20th, 2020, Google My Business announced there would be “temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services”. The purpose of this was to deaden any negative and unfair consequences that this continuing crisis would have had on online reviews. It is our great pleasure to share the announcement that Google reviews and Q&As are back.

According to GoogleMyBusiness, “Review replies are now available. New user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category.” (Source)

It is of vital importance that business owners and marketing leaders respond to any reviews and potential Q&As that might come during this pandemic. Business posts that were temporarily disabled for some businesses are now back as well. Some businesses may encounter delays in receiving new reviews but Google has placed a notice that highlights if reviews made may be delayed. Currently, we are seeing new reviews consistently posting for restaurants and major brands. None of the reviews that were furloughed during the hiatus have yet to return.

Based on this recent update, here are our 4 recommendations to implement now that Google reviews are back:

1. Actively Stay on Top of Responding to New Reviews

If you do not have new review notifications set up for your business, we recommend implementing those so that you can maintain consistent communication with your customers. A beneficial feature ReviewPush offers is email and push notifications through our mobile app. It is important to note that online culture has shifted to promote community over competition during this on-going crisis. Staying on top of your reviews while maintaining professional responses advocates being #BetterTogether.

2. Maintain Positivity on Your Company Channels

A lot of the recent changes in company practices have negatively impacted a lot of business owners. We can all acknowledge that times are tough, but that’s why it is important to continue promoting good news and helping out your community. Being positive, clear, and professional on your various company channels is beneficial for your business because it shines a favorable light on your company’s online reputation. False reporting and negativity are overly abundant on the internet. Your company can be a part of the positive movement that stands out in comparison to the negative internet sludge.

3. Update All Of Your Channels With Your Current Business Practices

Clear communication should be of the utmost importance. Keeping your customers informed on the following two things is vital:

  • The changes that have been made in your business operations in response to the virus.
  • How your customers and clients can continue to support your company at this time.

Once you’ve updated these details on your GoogleMyBusiness Q&A, we recommend you share these updates on all your other channels including your website, social media, and other review sites. It’s essential to maintain consistency throughout your channels in order to avoid confusion.

4. Keep Communication Central with Feedback Requests

In our previous blog post, we mentioned the benefits of utilizing feedback requests. It is still highly beneficial to continue utilizing feedback regardless of Google reviews coming back. A lot of your customers are already socially isolated because of the impacts of the virus. Whether you recognize it or not, reaching out to your customers can help them feel seen and heard. It’s crucial during these times to maintain virtual connection even when physical distances have to be enforced.

It’s important to note that all these recommendations outline how to maintain building positive correspondence with your customers during this critical period. We need to remind ourselves that things will return to what they once were, but until then the current state of things is our new “normal”. Unexpected transitions and changes can be hard to navigate, but we can get through these things together. 

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