Back in April, Google’s Review Policy update surprised business owners and marketing companies alike. Google included a new line item, “Don’t discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers”. Also known as Review Gating, Google no longer allows businesses to only direct customers with a positive experience to leave a review while directing customers who had a negative experience to an in-house survey or review site.
So what do you do? Like most business owners who are proactive with their online reviews, you probably have some sort of survey in place to collect reviews and get feedback from your customers. It’s hard to imagine that wanting to collect negative feedback privately to resolve the issue directly with the customer rather than the experience ending up on a third party review site could be so wrong in Google’s eyes.
At Consumer Fusion, this was something we recommended to our clients and we supplied them with our Review Tool that allowed them to filter customer experiences. Since Google’s Review Policy Update, we’ve had to make modifications to the workflow of our client’s surveys. Now when the customer receives the initial survey message, clicking both yes and no will display the Google review button. We have, however, made some slight adjustments to motivate customers to message the business rather than posting a negative review on Google.
Although it may be tempting to ignore Google’s Review Policy Update, businesses that don’t abide by Google’s policies have been in situations where Google removes all of their reviews. What’s worse than having a business with some negative reviews? A business with no reviews. Don’t let Google’s Review Policy Update scare you away from being proactive with your business’ online reputation. Having a strong online presence is vital in today’s market and you want to stay above your competition. If you have questions or want to learn more about a proactive review approach, reach out to the Consumer Fusion team and we’ll be happy to assist you.