All businesses are having to react to the latest guidelines and legislation relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Whether that’s reducing or increasing business operations, businesses need to be able to inform their customers of their working schedules and procedures during this period. In the last couple of days, Google has made some significant updates to their Google My Business platform that will assist businesses during this period. You can find the full Google update on their support page.
Google has said that you won’t be able to leave new reviews or respond to any existing ones during this period. We have done a little bit of testing around this and from what we can see, the review responses are definitely suspended but at present, you can still leave a review. Hopefully, the reviews are suspended this week as there is a fear that people may be leaving reviews if they can’t get hold of businesses or if deliveries take slightly longer than normal. During this period of uncertainty, businesses shouldn’t have to worry about reputation management as well. If your business is continuing to do exceptional work at this time, keep a log of the work you have conducted and reach out to your customers once the reviews can be added again.
You can still update your business information and create posts to inform your customers of the latest news from your business. Within this, you have the ability to set temporary opening hours and to provide specific updates relating to the Coronavirus. It may not seem like a priority with everything else that’s going on, but these small updates help to increase the trust customers have in your business. It also allows you to prepare your customers and people searching for your business of when you will be resuming everyday operations.
If people are presuming your business is closed and you are still open or providing limited services and products, you could be losing out on their custom. Regular updates and correct business information could be the difference between continuing sales and a major drop. The use of Q & As on Google has also been suspended so customers can’t ask you questions through Google at the moment. Ask yourself, what do my customers need to know? From there, you can create relevant posts.
Critical Service Prioritisation
If you haven’t got a digital marketing agency to do it for you, you might be struggling to claim, verify and edit your business profile. For some of you, the time for getting round to doing your website, updating your Google or setting up your Facebook is now. However, Google will be prioritising any updates, verifications (that say you are the correct business owner) of essential services to ensure they have the ability to provide updates as quickly as possible. If you’re not a critical service or product provider then expect any update to your information or verifications to take a little longer than usual.
For more information on how Google is updating the Google My Business platform, visit their support page.