In late March, Google suddenly decided to stop posting reviews for local businesses in response to the Coronavirus. While I have never figured out what the pandemic had to do with reviews, many small businesses that were already hurting got slapped even further by Google no longer allowing reviews of their businesses. One of the “reasons” I heard was that they asked employees to stay home and didn’t have enough staff to review the reviews (even though this entire process is automated!) Here was Google’s official position on this. Another “reason” that was suggested was that they were trying to help small businesses by not allowing negative reviews to be posted during this time of crisis.
Good news! You can once again post reviews on Google and as a business owner, you can respond to reviews. If you had any reviews that were being held in quarantine, they should now start to appear in your Google My Business profile.
Here is a method you can use to get more positive reviews and mitigate negative reviews.
Start by creating a form that includes the basic elements of a review, including a star rating and the person’s email address as shown. Embed this form on a page or post. You can actually review this article using this method at the end of the post.
You will want to grab your review link from Google, and then shorten it with a URL shortner like this:
Nobody wants to click on a long ugly URL string like this:
So, shorten it to look like this: https://webstoresltd.com.review.
Next go the the form settings and put in some conditional logic. Basically, if someone leaves you a 4 or 5 star (positive) review, you want to ask them to upload this to Google (or Yelp / Facebook / Trip Advisor etc.). On the other hand, if they leave you a negative review, you send them a message seeing if there is anything you can do to improve your service to them. This gives them a chance to vent their frustrations without sharing it on a public review site, and perhaps give you an opportunity to fix the problem. Here is the email and the logic if they left you a positive review:
And here it is for a negative review:
Notice in this case I did not give them the opportunity to post this up to a public website, but instead, just try to handle the situation. Go ahead and give it a try and see if this is something that you could fine useful for your business. Here is the form:
And of course, I’d love if if you enjoy this type of information and could leave me a positive review on Google!