In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been a lot of changes in the business industry across the globe, as a response to this dreadful crisis. Brick and mortar businesses and e-commerce businesses are both facing tremendous changes in their operation and sales. Over recent months, online listing websites such as Google My Business are being utilised to keep prospects and clients informed during this trying time.
Google My Business (GMB), formerly known as Google Places and Google Local, is a free business listing service that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to manage their listings, which can be seen whenever customers find establishments on Google Maps and Search. During these uncertain times, Google My Business provides a handful of notable features that connect businesses with their customers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the key reasons why now is the time to make your Google My Business listing your saviour.
Google My Business sustains your business
As cities began to close down their borders and governments all around the world impose lockdowns, more and more people heavily rely on the internet for information as to whether certain businesses are able to take orders or offer services. Recently, Google has added a new feature in Google My Business that allows business owners to post updates regarding their business operations amidst this coronavirus outbreak.
Ways to optimise your Google My Business listing during this coronavirus crisis:
- operation changes
- update of store hours
- update of out of stock items
- update of high demand products
- notifications regarding shipping delays
- actions made to keep the employees safe
- participation in any relief program or charity
Keeping an up to date Google My Business listing helps in sustaining your business during this challenging time. It can also serve as an additional tool that can help you strategise your business marketing and to be able to stay connected with your clients.
In compliance with the strict self-isolation protocols imposed by the government and major health institutions, it is only natural for customers to have a lot of questions regarding the operations of essential businesses. This is why businesses have to respond quickly to these queries and provide necessary COVID-19 related information. Google My Business also serves as a way to let clients know whether a certain business establishment is still in-operation or whether it is temporarily closed because of the pandemic.
Google is taking action
As this pandemic continues to spread, Google is taking several necessary actions to help businesses listed in Google My Business. The suspension of the Q&A and customer review functionality is one of the notable action Google has to take, in order to protect businesses and to prevent the spread of false information from people.
Google has added a handful of features that provide an avenue for businesses to communicate necessary COVID-19 information with their customers, such as a “temporarily closed” option that shows customers that a certain business has temporarily closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another notable feature launched by Google is the COVID-19 Post Type that helps businesses to easily update their respective Google My Business account and post vital information to their customers.
How Google responds during this crisis is really commendable and helpful not just to business owners, but also to the customers as well. It is perceivable that Google will make most of these added features permanent even after this dreadful coronavirus pandemic.
Facing gradual uncertainties in life such as human-inflicted calamities and various natural disasters is inevitable. It is in times like this where businesses realise the importance of listing services, primarily Google My Business. However, it is important to stay proactive rather than reactive in creating business strategies and in managing your business.
Businesses who practice a proactive approach to their business dealings are found to be more prepared compared with others who had their listings left out of date. Since most people are spending more time online, staying connected with your clients can serve as a leverage to your business, which in the long-run will help you maintain a profitable and growing customer relationship.