Linda Buquet

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A couple days ago, one of our Top Contributors, Phil Rosek, wrote a post with more news about the new Google Phone Support option.

I just used Google Local Phone Support for the 1st time yesterday, so thought I'd weigh in.
See comments about my maiden voyage below.

New Hoop Added to Google+Local Phone Support | LocalVisibilitySystem.com

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Google+Local phone support ever since it came out last month. And it sounds like the folks at Google are still doing a good job.

But apparently now they’re making you jump through a hoop (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing).

According to this new comment by Janelle Gilbert on my earlier post, Google now is asking business owners who contact phone support to verify their requested changes by email. Here’s what Janelle wrote…

I think the email confirmation is pretty necessary because it could be one of these scammers that try to hold a listing hostage or a competitor trying to make changes on the listing. Could even possibly be a well meaning consultant that got part of the data wrong.

So I think it's good they do email confirmation and CC the owner. After all it's their listing and they deserve to know what's being changed and approve it.

I MADE MY 1ST SUPPORT CALL YESTERDAY. Here's how it went down...

Timing - INSTANT! I did get an auto-attendant briefly that said someone would be with me shortly, but the rep jumped on right after that. (Friday 4 PST)

The rep I talked to was VERY nice and VERY helpful. But seemed VERY green. I had to walk him through some things step by step.

The problem I needed help with was due to a dupe/merge that Google or a bot did backwards. (For an atty I was consulting for) So instead of merging the unclaimed dupe with bad phone # (Attorney's personal cell) INTO the main claimed #1 ranking listing. Google support or a mapper or bot did it in reverse. So the main claimed listing was marked as a dupe and the live listing data CHANGED to the wrong NAP that was on the dupe. So then the listing showed bad NAP and the Attorney's cell.

Not only that BUT it switched to the unclaimed dupes URL and CID. So he basically lost his long standing CID in the mix and I was afraid he'd also lose reviews/ranking.

So I asked the rep to REVERSE the bad merge. Or unapprove the edit to mark the main listing as a dupe. And start over and try to merge it the other direction. He didn't know how or could not do it that way.

So instead just corrected the data. (Leaving client with diff URL and new CID) But I kinda had to feed or correct him on every step. So for instance I said "NAP in dash is perfect and that's exactly what needs to be live." He changed phone and said "OK all done". I said "no like I said all of NAP is wrong. Name and address is incorrect and needs to match what’s in dash". He changed street address and said, "OK there you go". I said "no it still does not match dash. Suite is still missing." So then he added suite. So there was a lot of back and forth before he got it all corrected.

It took awhile for the changes to show live. But it all worked fine. Client still is #1 and still has their reviews.

But back to Phil's post on the "hoop." The rep when he was finished sent me an email and CCed client letting him know the edits that were made on his listing. So I thought it was a nice touch and finalized everything.

AND the huge benefit, is that I now have a direct email path back to that rep if I need to follow up OR the changes revert or something else goes wonky. So I LOVE the email follow up, so I have a direct line to that rep, instead of having to start over, call in and explain the whole thing to someone new. :)

So that was my maiden phone support voyage in a nutshell. Even though a tiny bit rocky and I had to do some hand holding VERY nice helpful rep and INCREDIBLY helpful to talk to someone in person. Otherwise it would have been like 8 emails back and forth to get him to make all the corrections.

AND the other benefit is that it was INSTANT instead of having to wait 2 weeks in the troubleshooter Q.

So overall I'm impressed and THRILLED Google is offering phone support!


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, HERE IS MY ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
http://localsearchforum.catalystema...uge-news-phone-support-google-local-data.html
 

David Deering

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AND the huge benefit, is that I now have a direct email path back to that rep if I need to follow up OR the changes revert or something else goes wonky. So I LOVE the email follow up, so I have a direct line to that rep, instead of having to start over, call in and explain the whole thing to someone new. :)

So that was my maiden phone support voyage in a nutshell. Even though a tiny bit rocky and I had to do some hand holding VERY nice helpful rep and INCREDIBLY helpful to talk to someone in person. Otherwise it would have been like 8 emails back and forth to get him to make all the corrections.

Well, that's great, Linda. At least you were able to get things straightened out immediately. It sounds like the reps are not very experienced with all of the Local issues, but hopefully with time and many more calls, they'll all be able to handle any issues that they receive calls about.

The follow up email is a nice touch, too. Although they might regret sharing their email with US. lol Glad it went well for you.
 

Linda Buquet

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Yep they are going to need it Phil! :eek:

Once word really starts getting out and I'm really scared they will get bombarded with so many calls they have to shut it down. Hope it doesn't happen but that's my fear.

I also asked him just a little about his job. Was curious if he was dedicated to just phone support or if he did regular support as well. Sounds like he does all kinds of support (except merges) and then also helps on the phone as needed.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thanks for the detailing your experience, Linda!

I also asked a "bonus" question the last time I used the phone support. In this case, the Google employee couldn't fix the issue and said that he had to escalate it. I asked if that escalation involves a Map Maker team, he said yes.

Interesting stuff.
 

Nick.SEOSpark

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Thanks for the detailed explanation Linda - It sounds "positive" overall :)

It sounds like you had to hold his hadn through the problems/required changes but at least they got changed succesfully. And I agree about the email verification thing. It's nessecary in the world that we live in when you hear stories about the scammers holding a listing as an advantage.
 

Linda Buquet

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Yea I'm MORE and MORE excited, the more I think about phone support.

Doing consulting Monday for an agency I trained, who is having problems getting a few clients to rank. So they hired me for training followup consulting, to analyze the clients to see what they are missing or what else they can do.

Some of the issues are BAD data issues they just missed. Like on one the address in dash is on Airway Road. But live Google changed it to AirPORT Road. (can't remember exactly, but the street is just slightly off and the problem was easy to miss without fine toothed comb detective work.)

A little change like that can make a BIG difference! In fact whatever street Google changed it to, does not even exist in that city. So it put their map marker in the wrong place in addition to messing up citations.

A LITTLE problem like that could be a real PAIN to get fixed before and you'd likely have to wait in support Q for a couple weeks.

So excited to be able to tell them - QUICK CALL and GOOGLE will CORRECT IT RIGHT OVER THE PHONE. INSTANT FIX!!!

(There is only 1 citation for the bogus street and 35,000 for the correct one, so I doubt they will require email to change it, should just change it and CC the owner on the change, like they did with me I would think.)

Seriously, I'm almost giddy, just thinking about this!!! :p
Real support from a real person + instant fix! How hot is THAT???
 
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