Adapting Your Reputation Strategy During Challenging Times

This is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone, and the situation continues to evolve day-to-day. Many businesses are working harder than ever to adjust to this dynamic situation.

Amidst the COVID-19 upheaval, there is still a place for customer feedback and reputation management, but we believe it’s important to tread lightly and be thoughtful of your customers. Now more than ever is a time when listening to your customers is critical.

Changes to Review Sites You Need to Know About

Google Review Functionality Temporarily Paused
Like many businesses, Google has a reduced workforce due to COVID-19 and made the decision to pause new reviews, and owner responses. This is a temporary measure and reviews from GMB are still critical when operating under regular business conditions.

Yelp Increasing Moderation & Adding Special Content Guidelines
Yelp announced that they’ve implemented new special content guidelines to protect local businesses from potentially harmful reviews related to these exceptional circumstances:

“We’ve also implemented special review content guidelines to protect local businesses from reputational harm related to these extraordinary circumstances. For example, we have zero tolerance for any claims in reviews of contracting COVID-19 from a business or its employees, or negative reviews about a business being closed during what would be their regular open hours in normal circumstances. Reviews flagged by the community will be evaluated by our human content moderators to ensure they comply with our content guidelines, including reflecting a first-hand experience. Content that does not meet these standards will be removed and not count toward a business’s star rating.”

Where to Focus Your Reputation Efforts Right Now

Listen to Your Customer

Customer feedback and 1st-party reviews direct to your business are the best way to know how your customers are feeling and get the finer details of their experience. Include both proactive and passive methods for customers to share their ideas, needs, praise, and criticism.

  • Make feedback buttons and links visible, and easy to find on your website.
  • Enable the “Give Feedback” button on your Review Widget.
  • Share your feedback options on all your social media channels.
  • If you still can accept customers in-store, post your TextBack number.

 

Prioritize Facebook Recommendations and Industry Review Sites

With social distancing, many people are taking to social media sites to interact, connect, and support each other. Customers posting about your business, sharing an item they purchased from you, commenting or leaving a recommendation could be the best marketing right now.

Beyond Facebook there are many sites that you can shift your focus to, start by looking at your top industry sites or sites you’ve put on the back burner. You can also target your feedback efforts on review sites that show up on page 1 and 2 of a Google search for “your business name + reviews”.

Request Ideas and Insight Over Reviews

The best way to find out how to better serve your customers right now is to ask them. Take advantage of the Ultimate Mode in Reputation Builder to send out survey questions to gauge interest in various changes to your business.

  • Map out how to shift in-person store visits to other options like appointments only, curb-side pickup, or modified hours.
  • Discover if consumers would do virtual consultations, FaceTime, or private appointments.
  • Find out what customers need to feel comfortable and safe coming to your location.
  • See if your customers would be interested in curbside pick up or delivery.

 

Be the Best Source of Your Reviews

Your business likely has reviews published across a dozen sites. Bring them all together in one place using the Review Widget and market your reputation on your website. Take an extra step and include a Review Badge on your site, to make finding your reviews even easier.

  • Win over prospects with trusted content from your happy customers.
  • Enhance your landing pages with keyword rich and topically relevant content.
  • Display your review responses to show you listen, care, and actively resolve issues.
  • Group reviews by brand, location or services/products/keywords.

Stay Connected

All of these outline ways you can stay connected with your customers during this time. We will all, if you are not already, be facing change and the call to adapt in the coming weeks. Our team will do our best to continue to keep you informed, share ideas, and tips.

Please connect with our support team with any questions or for help with how to adjust your using Reputation Builder account to take advantage of our suggestions outlined above.

AUTHOR

Jessie Low

Jessie wears many hats here at Whitespark. From curating the monthly newsletter to managing marketing initiatives, and everything in between. She is the go-to helper for all things Whitespark.

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