Google has made changes to their Terms of Service (TOS) online review policy, and there are two that affect soliciting reviews for your Google listing:
- Don’t discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.
- Don’t solicit reviews from customers in bulk.
The first change means that you can no longer only ask your customers that have had a positive experience to write a review for you. Instead, you have to ask all customers whether they have had a positive or negative experience. With the second change, Google recommends asking customer’s one at a time to write a review instead of all at one time.
Screenshot of Google’s online review’s Terms of Service:
Catalyst’s, Reputation Accelerator, Changes to Meet Google’s Requirements
With these two changes, we’ve had to adjust how we send customers a text message to meet Google’s requirements.
After the question, “Would you recommend us to others?”, if they say, “No, thank you.”, we will be directing them to provide private feedback to the dealership, but also including the option to write a review on the available review site(s), i.e., Google.
Here are screenshots of what a customer would see when receiving a Catalyst Review Invite:
For customers that say, “No, thank you.” it will prompt the customer to leave private feedback that is sent to the dealership, but also gives them the option to leave a public review:
For customer that say, “Yes, I would!” recommend to others, the process is staying the same. It will prompt them to leave a public review:
For changes in bulk review invites, we already send review invites out over time, so this announcement isn’t a huge change for us. We will continue making adjustments on the frequency of sending review invites to customers so that we stay in compliance with Google and other review sites.
How Friendemic Handles Negative Reviews
We always recommend being proactive with negative reviews. Our full Catalyst Suite offers review notifications any time a review comes in, or if you are on our Review Response Service, you can have the best of both worlds: notification when a review is received and the relief that our team is handling the response for you, so no customer goes unanswered.