There is no playbook for a pandemic. Most companies are taking things one day at a time and adapting as needed, based on guidance from the CDC, WHO or local government. But online review sites are struggling with a new issue that they haven’t dealt with before. What do you do with negative reviews that penalize businesses during this unprecedented time for factors that they can’t control?
Review replies are now available again via Google. New user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category. We’re also gradually publish delayed user reviews and photos submitted to Google Maps.
Another review site, Yelp, announced its COVID-19 policy, which aims to help ‘those hit hardest by the impact of this pandemic’, local businesses. In addition to a $25M fund to help businesses with ad credits, Yelp will help protect the reputation of businesses by not publishing negative reviews referring to COVID-19. Jeremy Koppelman, Yelp’s Co-founder and CEO states, “We have zero tolerance for any claims in reviews of contracting COVID-19 from a business or its employees, or negative reviews about a business being closed during what would be their regular open hours in normal circumstances.”
We are still waiting to see how other review sites handle reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because many OTAs are likely dealing with office closures, customer cancellations and stranded customers, they likely haven’t yet put a policy in place. It’s clear from reviews on TripAdvisor, for example, that it’s still business as usual.
The reviews not responded to will show up as "no response by management" on the Revinate platform.
COVID-19 Sentiment Analysis (new release)
A recent release to assistant hotel users track and better surface sentiment from guests around COVID-19, we have now added new topic hoteliers or restaurants can choose under “Facilities -> COVID-19”.
The COVID-19 category will track common word references related to COVID (e.g. COVID-19, Corona Virus, etc.).
Note: Initially this will be only for new reviews, old reviews from Jan - June will be re-processed over the next few weeks.
We will keep you updated as things change. In the meantime, check out our Covid-19 resource center.