GOOGLE TIPS & TRICKS
Google Response Notification & Google I/O News
Alexander Zaugg, Founder
13 May 2018 (updated 21 November 2018)
G oogle is investing a lot in their B2B channels (mainly Google My Business) to strengthen their position as the most relevant business entry for businesses and customers, naturally highly relevant to hotels and restaurants too. In the last year, we’ve seen new features in the knowledge panel like posts, Q&A, and description.
The next major development is the owner review response notification. Google sends out an email notification to the reviewer as soon as the business has posted their response. We are going to show you the new opportunities and what it means for your business.
Furthermore, we introduce you to the latest announcements on Google Maps, which were presented at last week’s developer conference Google I/O.
On May, 11 Google started to roll out their new response notification feature. As from now, each author of a review will be notified by email as soon the business owner has posted a response. Until now there wasn’t any kind of notification at all, and a reviewer had to check proactively whether his/her review got a response or not.
So far, we’ve seen such a notification mainly on Facebook. With this new feature, Google starts to act as an intermediate in your B2C communication, big time.
What You Need to Know
According to Google’s announcement, the new function is up and running with immediate effect and for all customer reviews. Google also sends out a notification when a response has been updated.
Although the response is posted immediately, Google built in a 5 minute delay before sending out the notification. Like that, business owners have the chance to make corrections.
“Customer expectation of owner responses is about to go up”
Which Opportunites and Watchouts Come With the New Feature
Advantages for all businesses which already respond to customer reviews or plan to:
- Google’s email notification is another touchpoint in your guest-communication
- The chances that your response is read by the review author raised significantly, maybe you need to adapt your communication (no copy-paste-responses!)
- Individual responses are now more important than ever
- You can promote news
- If you build in a call-to-action (e.g. your email address), be aware that this action is from now on much more used and you need to deliver on your end – a great chance to start a dialogue with your customer
Watchouts for businesses which don’t respond to their reviews
- The expectation to receive an answer to a review is about to go up, particularly for frequent reviewers
- You miss a chance to communicate with your guests!
- The way a business deals with their customers will be much more transparent
We advise taking all customer feedback very seriously and using responses as a marketing tool in the digital world.
Use responses as a marketing tool
New Features for Google Maps Relevant to All Restaurants and Hotels
Google introduced lots of new features for Google Maps at last week’s developer conference Google I/O. All the new functions are going to be rolled out in 2018 on Android and iOS.
Find here the most relevant ones to restaurants and hotels:
The “Explore” function/tab will be completely revised and enhanced with lots of new features.
Based on your location you’ll receive more dynamic and relevant tips on a way more individual level. No more excuses to miss a restaurant opening.
You can easily share places with your friends and family in order to plan, for example, the next get together. You can make the planning process much easier without forth and back communication. All members of the group can vote for a place or add new ones.
There will be a new “For You” tab.
Google’s AI takes into consideration your preferences, your location, visited and reviewed places to make suggestions for you.
Most likely the most important new feature that is only available for eating and drinking places.
The match score shows you in percentage how likely you are to enjoy a place. It is calculated based on your preferences, visited and reviewed places and, of course, customer reviews.
As soon as the new feature is rolled out, we certainly will share more insights with you. In our opinion, the owner review response notification and the match score have “gamechanger potential”.
Users can now follow Google Maps listings right from the app and see Google My Business Posts in the “For you” tab.
Google Maps is going social. After closing Google+, this is a new step towards the business social media space. The new “Follow” feature revolutionizes the role of Google My Business Posts. Users can see all posts from followed places in their “For you” tab designed for personal recommendations.
The feature is only available for Android in certain countries at the moment but will be rolled out to more countries (and probably iOS) soon. More than ever before, it’s important to use Google My Business Posts to communicate with your potential guests.
We not only manage customer reviews for hotels and restaurants but also take care of the whole online reputation.
Naturally, Google plays a very important role and we are happy to answer any questions you have on this topic.
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About the Author
Alex takes care of our customers as their problem-solver and trouble-shooter. Of course, writing compelling responses is a big part of his work as well and he strives for the best customer experience in every field he works. Therefore he tries always to discover new tactics how to improve our service and the one of our customers.