Things have changed

For all local businesses, things have certainly changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You’ve had to figure out how to manage your team AND continue to serve your customers remotely.

You have to overcome working from home, communicating effectively, updating or changing software, and of course Zoom Meetings.

For most businesses, this hasn’t been easy. Running a small business isn’t easy without these extra hurdles so props to you for making it happen. 

What’s up with Google?

Even if your internal processes have been tossed out the window and systems are in an uproar, your customers need the same level of consistency and service you provided when things were normal.

One of the tools local businesses rely on to generate new customers is Google My Business.

Surveying your customers and asking for reviews is one way to set yourself apart from the competition, especially in crazy times like these. But Google has limited the functionality of Google My Business and managing your listings.

It may come as a surprise but Google positions a decent amount of manpower to this service, making sure business listings are legit. That manpower is being limited at this time.

Here’s a quick list of things Google has done and how they affect your business. You can see more and get the most recent COVID-19 updates here.

  • Business information edits are delayed – This means if you need to update your address or other info listed, it might take a little longer than normal for those updates to publish
  • New listings, claims, and verifications are delayed – This means if you need to create a new listing, it will definitely take longer than the normal 2 weeks to get verified. The same goes for claiming a listing.
  • Reviews, replies, and Q&A are limited – If you’ve noticed recent reviews aren’t showing up, you’re not alone. Google has stopped or in some cases, severely delayed publishing new reviews. They’ve also removed some features from Google My Business that make it easy to get reviews. Q&A is also temporarily suspended.

What should you do?

There’s nothing you can do to control when Google will get Google My Business back to normal but that doesn’t mean you should wait to use the service.

If you need to edit your business information, do it now. Some edits will likely update quickly like hours of operation and contact info.

If you’re going to use this time to create a new listing or claim a location, go ahead and get started. It definitely won’t hurt.

And most importantly, don’t stop asking for reviews!

You can still get Google Reviews during the quarantine.

Even though COVID-19 has halted many aspects of Google My Business, asking for reviews is still critical for local small businesses. They’ve already announced that these services are on the way back. Even though Google isn’t publishing reviews, they are storing them and will eventually publish them. It’s as important as ever to take great care of your customers and continue to ask for feedback. When that feedback is positive, your customers can still leave a Five Star Review for your business on Google.

Automate Your Google Reviews

If you’re looking for help generating reviews and keeping your insurance agency engaged with your customers, we can help. At Renew King, we’re encouraging our customers to continue to send surveys to every new client. You should also send one to your customers every time they have a positive interaction with the customer service team.

We make this easy by integrating with the top sales software on the market and providing resources your team can use from anywhere to get more reviews. You can learn more about the Renew King customer follow up system here.

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