Yesterday we had a call from a new client because one of their unclaimed Google places store listings was showing an incorrect phone number since Friday. Now at first glance that might not seem like a big issue but imagine it was your phone number and the store was a busy restaurant that regularly received calls to book a table. As you can imagine the subscriber of the phone number was getting to the end of their tether after a busy weekend of calls!
The Wrong Number On A Google Places Listing
Surely a wrong number on a Google Places listing isn’t a big deal I hear you exclaim. Well at in terms of the error, a single digit, that may be true but the impact of incorrect information on consumers can be far greater than you’d think. The key thing is that consumers will always hold the brand accountable for information presented on-line about it’s business.
From a commercial perspective the implications of the wrong details being presented on-line are quite significant and in this case included:
- Missed Bookings – Loss of business due to frustrated consumers not being able to book a table as intended
- Lost Trust – Potential future loss of business due to the poor customer experience meaning consumers wouldn’t come back
- Annoyance To The Victim – The annoyance caused to the subscriber of the actual phone number listed
- Ongoing Brand Damage – The potential impact on the brand of all of those disappointed consumers passing the news on to their family, friends and colleagues about the situation (and of course amplified through social media!)
Despite all this the situation wasn’t of the company’s own making and in fact had simply been as a result of an automated listing update processed by Google.
e-mphasis Saves the Day
Luckily in this case e-mphasis were already in touch with the company and following a call Monday evening, we were on the case immediately. In this case we were even able to advise the individual being impacted by the misdirected calls how it had occurred, how it was being dealt with and why it wasn’t the company’s fault. This sort of thing is always best when it comes from a 3rd party!
Making a request for a change to a Google Places listing requires you to be logged in to a Google account and then to identify the listing itself which usually is quite straightforward, simply search for the business name in the town where it is based.
Once found if the listing is unclaimed then click to the place page of the business and locate the edit listing option at the top right of the details adjacent to the map.
Follow the prompts to request the changes and usually within a few hours, after review by Google the listing updates will be approved. Obviously this is somewhat dependant on the change of details requested and whether they are supported by other on-line information about the business.
Avoiding problems with Google Places
Of course, this sort of situation can be avoided if your listings are already claimed and therefore secured from random updates of information from other sources including on-line directories and review sites, where occasionally details may have been incorrectly entered as appears to have happened in this case. This is particularly the case where information is provided by internet or mobile users.
So if you work for a company that hasn’t yet claimed all it’s Google Places yet, then talk to e-mphasis about Google Places Optimisation to secure your listings before you end up with a customer service disaster!