“UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE” by Elaine Simpson
We have all been hearing the phrase “until further notice” a lot lately: item not available until further notice, closed until further notice, service not available until further notice. In our digital world, there are plenty of ways you can still stay connected and provide excellent customer service, however, if someone wants to give you a good or bad review online right now – they can’t, at least not on two major platforms. You guessed it, until further notice!
This week Yelp and Google My Business chose to temporarily disable new reviews, responses and any Q&A for all businesses “until further notice”. Both companies made this critical update to their policies because a significant number of negative reviews and experiences had been posted based on offices being closed and limited services being available due to the pandemic and the Work From Home (WFH) request by government officials.
In addition to the above-mentioned concern, many businesses, including Yelp and Google are taking action to reduce the need for people to come into their offices especially where local CV-19 conditions merit more precautions. Running a skeleton crew in the physical offices in many cases is still necessary due to user and customer safety and security. They are prioritizing workflows for critical issues such as account recovery, security and certain advertising-related reviews to prevent COVID-19 SCAMS or inappropriate ad placements. They are also increasing reliance on automated systems to assist with removal of content that violates guidelines and policies.
With so many of the brick and mortar businesses and offices shutting down and so many people working from home, Facebook states that the Coronavirus is sending FB usage and other social media outlets through the roof. Here are a few ideas for staying in touch with your residents, prospects and partners by ramping up your social media presence:
- Increase posting frequency to ensure you are in your audiences’ news feeds;
- Host virtual events for residents, prospects and/or referral partners/outreach value add partners on social media. Some of our favorite ideas include a Virtual Open House, Virtual Speed Networking Event, Virtual Yahtzee Event, Virtual Lunch & Learn, Virtual Bingo Game;
- Offer online “deals” or a special discount to the first ten people who stream your virtual event;
- Help other small businesses in your area by offering a percent discount if a customer submits a receipt from another small merchant in the area;
- Let residents, prospects and industry partners know what you are doing regarding protocols and changing policies;
- Let customers know how best to communicate with you no matter where you or they are;
- Offer an option to “chat” via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other instant messaging platforms;
- Offer video conferencing options through Zoom, Skype or FaceTime;
- Communicate proactively through email or your website;
- Stream or Video Chat your services;
- Use a free tool like Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom, Facebook Live or Instagram Live to offer services and events remotely or live streaming social media channels;
- For service communities with customers willing to use a paywall to pay for videos, start a Vimeo channel;
- Use a free tool like Loom to record screens and audio to make a video;
- Make it fun, interesting and not too long.
So if you want to give Occupancy Solutions LLC a thumbs up review….please visit our website at www.occupancysolutions.com! You won’t hear “until further notice” from us. We stand ready and willing to assist you with your solutions today and every day.