Linda Buquet

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Yay! Google comes out of the gate in 2013 with a great new improvement that many of you should appreciate.

LIVE PHONE SUPPORT - Please note, this option is only for verification issues.

My hope of course is that this 'could' be the start of more significant support expansion BUT that's only my hope and I have no crystal ball. But it's still a needed service and it's very much a step in the right direction.

Here is what Jade just sent me:

I'm happy to say that we've just today started providing phone support to help with verification (Google Places for Business dashboard-style) issues.

A few quick points --
- **only for postcard verification issues in the Places dashboard**

How does it work?

- Found on the verification troubleshooter

- single listing -> not Needs Action -> postcard -> yes

- click "call us"

- enter phone #, and a Google employee will call that phone number immediately

- operates during business hours in continental US

So again the use is limited to issues involving verification problems, but I feel/hope this signifies increased commitment to helping resolve issues as they arise.

Mike Blumenthal blogged about it a little bit ago, before Google officially announced it to us. He called the number, tested it and yep a real live person answered and confirmed it. His site has been down for me but when it comes back, I'll link to his post in case there is any new commentary there.

Edited to add Mike's blog is back up. Here is the link:
Google Local Now Providing Phone Support for Verification Issues
 
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Everyone keeps making jokes about the Mayan calender. Now I believe it, Linda. The world has officially ended.

Phone support?

Google?
:eek::eek:


*Expires*

I just can't get over this. Thank you so much for sharing this news. It's totally incredible.

Wait...is this an early April Fool's post...:p
 

Linda Buquet

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Mike posted an interesting theory today about this all being related to upcoming dashboard changes that could incorporate new ways for Google to monetize local.

Is the Google+ Local Dashboard Moving Towards a Freemium Model?

You can?t very well sell Offers, Adwords Express and who knows what future products if the business can?t get their listing verified. And Google already has an SMB support team in place for AdWords Express. It is a trivial task to cross train them to a new Dashboard (that works).

Just the other day, Google increased the visibility of Offers by surfacing them in Google+ Local search results. The product has long carried the caveat that ?it?s free, for you during a limited-time trial period?.

Last June, the Wall Street Journal noted about the ?coming? replacement for the dashboard that?
 

Linda Buquet

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Meant to ask a question at the end. What do you guys think of Mike's theory? Do you think phone support for verification signals a move in the paid services direction???

I'll throw another theory out there...

Myself and others for years have told Google that if they offered paid premium support, some would gladly pay it and it would create a nice little profit center for Google AND fund the expansion of better support.

So I wonder if this could be just giving us a little taste of phone support and then eventually they will offer as a paid upgrade?

Not saying I think for sure this is where it's heading, just throwing another theory out there.
 
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Everyone keeps making jokes about the Mayan calender. Now I believe it, Linda. The world has officially ended.

Phone support?

Google?
:eek::eek:


*Expires*

I just can't get over this. Thank you so much for sharing this news. It's totally incredible.

Wait...is this an early April Fool's post...:p

This is great news even if for a limited segment of issues assocated with Google+ Local. Also, Google has had phone support for their Nexus phones: Contacting Support - Nexus Help But I agree, they're not keene on running phone support, not that I blame them as it's expensive.
 

Keenan Glass

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"Hi, I have a verification problem... oh wait, it's okay now. Well, while I got you on the phone there's a few issues with my other listings I need to get fixed..."
 

Linda Buquet

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I'm sure they will be flooded with calls like that!

I think they are about to discover just how much pent up demand there is for support! :p
 

Keenan Glass

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You could get them on the phone and let people IM their issues to you... for a small fee, of course.
 

Kristen

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That's great news Linda. Maybe Google will start working bugs out a little quicker once they get a sense of the frustration we deal with!
 

Linda Buquet

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Wanted to share this post too over at Phil's.

It's about a situation Travis, one of our Top Contributors had.

A Real-Life User of Google+Local Phone Support | LocalVisibilitySystem.com

Be sure to read it. Then read comments about PENDING listings.

I made a VERY important comment but it's currently in moderation. So here it is, but you kinda have to read the post and Mike's comment for it to be totally in context.

FYI the pending can lag for several weeks and Jade says just not to worry about it if the listing is live. She made it sound temporary like something was just backed up. (Talking new claims, not mature listings that go to pending.)

But in Travis’ case sounds like it was a mature listing that went to pending and disappeared.

WARNING to all (Travis I wish you would have contacted me or posted at the forum). I strongly recommend NOT over poking. Certainly don’t do it every day. Yes a poke can sometimes pull a listing out of pending. Poke once, wait 5 – 7 days and see if it works. Then maybe wait a month and try it again but NEVER DAILY.

I would not keep poking because a poke is an edit. It’s a "null" edit, BUT still, you are hitting that submit button. I believe (but am not positive) that once in pending, doing an edit can send you to the back of the line again! So you possibly just prolonged the pending.
 

Linda Buquet

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There was some confusion at Mike's blog about whether this verification option is for Places verification or G+ verification problems. Mike seemed to think it could be used for either. I said I believe it's only for Places because G+ verification issues are different and there is a separate troubleshooter for those.

Jade just commented, to confirm the phone support is only for Places verification issues.

You can read the exchange and Jade's reply in comments starting here.
 
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I was exaggerating a little in my post as we weren't poking it everyday but we were probably poking it a couple times per week for sure. Good to know not to over poke:eek: Thanks!

Travis Van Slooten
 

Linda Buquet

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Adam Zilko reports his positive experience with Google phone support, explains the steps he took and asks the support rep some Qs.

A Phone Call With Google+ & Places Support ? Our impressions, directions, & takeaways | Firegang

How to Receive a Phone Call by Google

Using the method I outline below, I got Google to call me. It can be a bit confusing to follow all the steps, but in the end, Google actually called me back. How many people can honestly say that?

To get that call, you must visit the Google support pages where you will tell Google a little more about the issues you?re facing.
 
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