Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was in the middle of writing a post about the importance of turning your clients into zealots of your business and leveraging that into a 5-star review profile and a successful referral program. Unfortunately, until everything returns to normal that post will have to sit in the purgatory of my drafts folder.
If you haven’t already, stop asking clients to leave reviews!
As of last week, Google has suspended “new reviews, new review replies, new short names, all videos, and all Q&A” on Google My Business. This was in response to many businesses getting flooded with 1-star reviews for issues concerning the outbreak. While Google’s response may seem extreme, its aim is to protect the digital reputation of businesses during this unprecedented time. You can read Google’s response here.
Yelp’s response is more conservative, but still is attempting to protect businesses’ reputation from unfair reviews. The important points of Yelp’s response are below.
- 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.
- Content that does not meet these standards will be removed and not count toward a business’s star rating.
This is a situation we are continuing to monitor. We will update you as soon as reviews have opened back up. In the meantime, continue to do great work for all of your clients and keep a list of happy clients to reach out to in the future.