Tuesday 22 October 2019

Google's going to invite your customers to review your business - are you ready?

Many of you will have noticed this invitation popping up after you have visited a restaurant or hotel...

...and it is a very short step for Google to begin inviting your customers to write reviews of your business. The technology - location finding - already exists, and if Google can spot that someone has visited the King John Inn, they can do the same for any business with a physical address.

Action you should be taking

These reviews, by their very nature, will be unmoderated. So you should be proactively inviting reviews yourselves - to Google. Through a (legal) moderated system. Why moderated? Because unmoderated reviews often contain factual inaccuracies or misleading statements that would be picked up and addressed in the moderation process, making your reviews more helpful for you and more helpful for your potential customers.

Why the word 'legal' in brackets in the paragraph above? Because most businesses' first reaction is to invite carefully handpicked happy customers to write reviews, and that is illegal under UK law. The CMA rules - bear with us regular readers - specifically forbid this; they call it 'cherry-picking'. For more information on the regulations read this article.

Further reading...

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