Those who have left reviews on businesses via Google will now be notified, as the search giant is pushing out a new update that will allow customers (reviewers) to receive alerts once business owners respond to their online reviews. Considering the ability to submit reviews to Google has been here for quite some time, the ability to be informed about the developments of one’s review on Google has been long overdue.
Marissa Nordahl, the community manager at Google My Business, says business’ response will be published immediately on Search and Maps, and the notification email containing a link to the response will be sent 5 minutes later. The 5-minute delay gives the merchant enough time to make any corrections to its replies after submitting. Google is also planning to include mobile push notifications later down the road. Business owners’ replies are shown right underneath a customer’s review on Google Search and Maps under the label “Response from the owner”. The Mountain View, California-based company reminds business owners to “be nice and don’t get personal” as people on Google will see their responses on reviews. Google urges all business owners to avoid being “salesy” when responding as it will most likely put customers off, and to make every response concise and straight to the point. Google’s announcement on Saturday via Twitter was met by mixed reactions from its followers, some were receptive to the update, while some others had qualms with regards to spam. In any case, Google thinks that customer reviews are extremely valuable for anyone’s business, in the same way, that responding to reviews “can help build your customers’ trust”.
As one of the go-to platforms for customers to share experience or voice out concerns about a specific business, Google My Business Reviews has become a powerful tool to make or break businesses. In December last year, Google released a major content policy update, prohibiting former employees from leaving negative reviews of their previous companies. Part of the said update gave business owners the ability to report negative feedback and ratings from frustrated former employers, a chance to challenge it for removal.