Google is rolling out an update to its “Google My Business” mobile application designed to make it easier for business owners to view and respond to customer reviews … and, of course, complaints. Where previously the app was a way for businesses to quickly update their information, post to Google+ and track how visible their business is across Google sites, with these new changes, business owners will be able to see reviews posted on the web in real time and respond immediately from their smartphones.
As consumers leave new reviews online, the app’s users will receive a push notification on their devices, alerting them to the added review. They can then launch the app to respond to the review instantly.
Though a minor change from a technical perspective, this could be a very big deal for businesses where owners are often too busy running their operations to be sitting behind a PC to see what customers are saying online. And is often the case, a single bad review that’s allowed to sit out there, ignored, can have a big impact on prospective new customers or clients – even when the unhappy customer himself or herself was the one in the wrong.
Other times, customers are asking questions via their reviews, or providing feedback businesses would want to know or respond to.
Yelp, a competitor to Google My Business, also allows owners to respond to reviews but currently requires them to establish an account and then log into a web dashboard and click on the “Reviews” section to proceed. Its mobile application, meanwhile, is dedicated to the consumer experience.
Additionally, Google notes this afternoon that it’s also expanding its AdWords Express mobile application, which offers a quicker way to start advertising on Google, to 20 more countries. Though this app is separate from Google My Business, the two are now tied together as a business’s top stats for the month are displayed in the Google My Business app, while AdWords Express offers a more detailed view.