Google…. these guys never stop coming up with new stuff. Now, they have something new called Google Favourite Places. In fact, this could have a really big impact on business as it places easy to reach user reviews at the door step of every business.
It ties together being in a physical location, smart mobile phones and user reviews. Naturally, it loops into Google Maps and Local Business Centre as well with a liberal does on general net-connectivity in your pocket.
The video does a pretty good job of explaining. You’ll apply for a placard through Google Local Business Centre. The placard will have a barcode and manual code to make it fast and simple for the smart phone to bring up your reviews. You will (hopefully) read favourable things about the business and want to enter.
One could also assume that Coupons that can be added to your Local Business Listing would also be accessible. Therefore, someone standing on a corn with 4 restaurants would not only be able to see reviews, menus, pricing – they would also be able to access a coupon that would offer them special advantages such as discounts or extra services.
TripAdvisor and other Reviews:
At the moment, it would appear that Google likes a few review services. For Accommodation, they always include TripAdvisor reviews. ATDW has also created a document called ‘Tutorial 29 – Customer Reviews And TripAdvisor‘. So, more than ever – we need to start following what people are saying about us. It’s not always easy and it’s not always fair, but like it or not User Reviews will begin to affect your business.
How will Google Favourite Places affect Australian Accommodation?
Clearly Google is not moving as fast locally here in Australia as they are in California. Do we have the smart phones and connectivity to do all that – I would say yes. The number of Smart Phone users will only increase (dramatically).
Still, we need to get the Placards and we might find that Google does not issue them outside of select regions.
Are you safe from bad reviews if you don’t display a placard??? Of course not. Anyone can make reviews now. Anyone can find these reviews now. The placard just makes it easy and by logically assumption the confidence to display a placard must also mean the business is confident that their customers are getting good value.
Hmmm…. Good Service is important.