With Google’s announcement about the introduction of their new Lens technology, the information available about your business online is becoming more important than ever.
Google Lens is an augmented reality feature that will work through your smartphone’s camera to provide users with real-time information about your business.
Combining geotagging with image recognition, Lens will allow users to point their camera at your storefront or sign and Google will provide relevant information about your business.
Reviews, hours, and even reservation information can be displayed. If a user doesn’t like what they see, they won’t even need to slow down as they pass your business by.
Google Lens isn’t due to be released until later this year, so you still have time to get “Lens Ready”. We’ve put together a list of a few things you can do to make sure your business stays in focus.
What is Google Lens?
Google Lens is a smartphone camera app that allows your phone’s camera to recognize and understand the things it sees and provide you with more information and take certain actions regarding that information.
As in the image above, pointing your camera at a restaurant will prompt Google Lens to display ratings, hours, pricing, and other information instantly.
It's basically an augmented reality version of Google’s search engine, using images instead of text or speech. As AI becomes more prevalent (and, frankly, smarter) the possibilities for this technology become more impressive.
As this tech deploys (and improves), it's more and more important for your business to be carefully monitoring its reputation and curating its information, making sure that you are promoting your business properly online.
The Power of Positive Reviewing
Positive reviews matter to your business’s bottom line, and the introduction of Google Lens will only increase the importance of reputation management.
Reviews will become one of the first things people see about your business, literally. They will be a part of the first impression you make on customers.
There are a few things you can do to encourage people to leave positive reviews of your business.
Promoting your social channels in your store can prompt many customers to leave reviews. Put a display by the register with Google+ and Yelp logos along with your business’s addresses.
You can try asking people - 70% of customers will leave a review if asked. Chatting up customers is a great way to make them feel welcome, and it presents an opportunity to mention reviews.
Make sure your wifi signal is strong and your password is available to customers. If customers have trouble connecting they may decide not to leave a review.
Turn That Frown Upside-Down
Make sure you’re monitoring sites that include reviews. Negative reviews that are left unanswered give the impression that you don’t care about your customers.
Respond to bad reviews politely and let your customers know that you care about their experience.
If the complaint is actionable, make changes, and follow up with the reviewer to let them know that changes have been made.
It’s possible to turn a bad review into a great customer experience with a proper response. This will show anyone reading the review that your business cares about its customers.
Your business’s listing info (Name, Address, and Phone Number, or NAP) will also be available in Google Lens. Your hours, website URL, and contact info will need to be correct in listing directories for it to appear correctly here.
Pricing, product info, and other information is available here as well. This helps people know what to expect from your business, which improves user experience.
If a customer wants to make plans to return to your business at a later time, they’ll rely on the hours listed here to make those plans.
If they want to make a reservation or appointment for later, the contact info will need to be correct.
When they want to get a better idea of what goods or services you provide, they’ll want to go to your website. If the URL is incorrect in the listing, they might be headed for the competition.
Correct NAP info in listing directories will demonstrate competence and professionalism while allowing customers to access your business more readily.
Think About the Future
As time goes on, Google is certain to make improvements to Lens, adding and refining features as needed. You’ll need to stay abreast of changes in order to take advantage of them.
Google demonstrated the ability for Google assistant to recognize a band name from a marquee and link to a ticket selling site.
This could be expanded in several ways - links to your online store may be made available through this feature or appointments or reservations could be made.
If your business hasn’t kept up with the latest developments, you could be missing out on a whole new revenue stream.
Customers are becoming increasingly tech savvy - you need to stay just as savvy as your customers in order to keep their business.
Following every trend is not possible or practical, but Google Lens is looking to be a game-changing technology, fundamentally altering the way people interact with the world around them.
Google Lens will put an emphasis on the importance of the information available online to customers about your business.
Bad reviews or incorrect listing information will negatively affect the way your business is viewed, and will have an impact on your bottom line.
By managing your brand’s online reputation and providing correct listing info, you can keep customers focused on you through Google Lens.