Transcript For Keeping Your Website, GBP, and Customer Service Team on the Same Page – 154
Jesse Dolan: If you have a location identified online and you’ve got three or four different hours of operation posted on three different portals, three or four different portals, Google’s going to lose confidence in that too, that you are a good choice for a business to be showing in that map pack, right? Or in the search results. So what’s good for your business is good coming back to digital marketing and for the actual human beings, right? That you hope are patronizing you from your successful digital marketing. So I think it’s a good lesson wrapped in this, Sue, for keeping things updated on both fronts there, right?
Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan here with Bob Brennan, Sue Ginsburg, ready to answer some questions here. Sue, why don’t you tell everybody? We haven’t done this in a few episodes because the virtual background thing isn’t done. Right? And all that with our new setup. But you literally actually are somewhere different in the world today as we’re recording. You want to tell us about that real quick?
Sue Ginsburg: That is true. Yep. Coming to you from Cusco, Peru, where I will be traveling this weekend to Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and Rainbow Mountain. Been co-working in Lima, Peru for the last couple weeks. And here we are at 11,000 feet on a weekend adventure starting tomorrow.
Jesse Dolan: I that’s awesome. Well, we’re still battling late season snow flu here in Minnesota. We feel bad for you. Have fun down there for us. But no. See what do we got for a question here today?
Sue Ginsburg: Today’s question and Jesse, remember we have a call in question from this one is, how important is it to keep your website, your GBP updated and consistent with each other and your call center, your people on the ground, et cetera? How important is it to keep this all consistent? The quote of the day today is, “The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change. The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.” That quote is from Jim Collins, an American researcher, author, speaker, and consultant focused on the subject of business management and company growth. You may know him from some of his really well known books, Good to Great, Built to Last, Great by Choice and How the Mighty Fail. So in honor of Jim Collins and his quote today, I’m going to call this story I’m about to share How the Mighty Fail.
Okay. How many of our listeners out there strive for mediocrity? Any of you business owners find success with a mediocre business model or mediocre results? Does that sound like something that you aim for? No, probably not. To set the stage for my marketing story today, I will say that mediocrity as many steps up from how I feel about the company I’ll be referring to in the story that I’ll be sharing.
Okay. How many of you have ever read something on a business’s website or their GBP, easiest case being the hours or most recently in COVID, are they open? Do they deliver? Any other special requirements? Believed what you read, got to that business only to find that what you read wasn’t accurate. This happened a lot, especially during COVID, but even in non-COVID times, it happens. Anybody other than me have an experience like that? I’m about 100% sure that I’m not the only one. [crosstalk 00:04:02] It’s not pleasant.
It’s frustrating. And you don’t exactly have great feelings about that business when that happens. So a few weeks ago, I flew from the U.S. to Peru, an international flight by all standards, right? I was flying on an American airline in which I’m not a gold member. Don’t have their credit card, no special treatment or special favors, where baggage fees or other treatment is concerned. So before I packed, I checked the website for baggage allowance where I read that travelers to per were allowed two free bags. Having flown many international flights before, that didn’t surprise me because most airlines do allow you two free bags on international flights. Just to be sure, I called, was told the same thing from two different people. Two free bags allowed on international flights to Peru. Great, I thought. Can bring some, an empty bag, more space to bring things back.
That’s just great. So Sunday morning I get to the airport bright and early for my international flight. Get up to the counter. After a way too long line for 6:00 AM in the morning and pretty excited for my trip. The counter person asked me for my health travel form, which I had a already submitted. She couldn’t find it in the system. So I had to step aside and do that. Not very happy, but okay, I can do this. Right? Strike one for that counter person. Next, she tells me the flight was leaving late and I look up getting nervous because I had a connecting flight in Miami. I see that the new posted departure time is one minute after it was scheduled. And I’m thinking like, seriously? What person needs job security enough that you need to alert me and post one minute late? But okay. You can be precise. That’s just fine with me. Sure.
Then she tells me there’s a $65 charge for my second bag. I think oh she just doesn’t know. So I tell her, I read it on the website. I called. Two different people told me, and I got two bags free. So I smile. Look at her. She says, “Well, no, I can’t find that in my computer. And that’ll be $65 for your second bag.” So I do what a good new Yorker does, and I repeat what I said just a little bit louder. Start to search on my phone for where I found it on the website. I’m thinking really? Me, the customer, has to show you where I saw it on your website to show you that it says second bag free? At that point, she says to me, “We’re getting close to the deadline for checking your bag. I think you should just check in and deal with the airline later to get your $65 refund.”
And I’m thinking, oh yeah. Great. Thank you. That’s six months email, phone calls back and forth and for what? I’ll probably never get my money back anyway. Yeah, thanks. Sure. So I leave the counter a totally dissatisfied customer, unhappy, angry, frustrated, and now really rushed to get into the TSA line to get to my flight, wondering why on earth a major American airline can’t post information consistently on their website, their call center and to the people on the ground? Just does not make sense to me.
So that is the customer’s perspective on consistent information across communication platforms, like your website, call center and on the ground people, and how inconsistency breeds strong dissatisfaction with your customers. So having said that from the customer standpoint, Jesse and Bob, I’d love to hear what you can tell us from an SEO standpoint about the importance of consistency across your website, GBP, call center, and on the ground employees and any other communication platforms. What do you have to tell us about that?
Jesse Dolan: Let’s go ahead and play the call in question that spurs your story, Sue, and ties all this in together here too before we get down the road.
Taylor: Hey, Jesse and Sue. This is Taylor from Dallas, and I want to know how important it is to keep your website and Google business listing updated and consistent with each other from a website visitor’s perspective, but also to Google. Love the podcasting.
Jesse Dolan: So Sue, I think the story is great to kind of highlight. It’s really was a negative situation born or not of just the chain of command or the different hierarchy there being updated on these things. And I know Bob and I talk a lot about one of the great things about digital marketing in your website is how you can test things, right? And for me, this is kind of resonating as you’re sharing this story and with the calling question, how important these things are become very important, especially as you start testing or updating information, things like that. I mean, you start mixing in Facebook, Google my business, or your GDP I should say now, your website, right? Plus the people on the street taking the phone calls and all that. It’s easy to change things.
You can have a new promotion daily. Update your information daily. You can change your business hours daily, if you want to, whatever it is. Making sure you do that across the board in all those different platforms and in portals. If it’s something major like your phone number, your business hours, your address, if you move, things like that. Your basic core business information is super important to keep straight, just from an SEO standpoint and an entity building standpoint, on the technical side. Now, you talk about the people for the customer service experience and the continuity with all that. Things that come to mind, again, are anything you’re testing.
Bob, if we’re for launching a new product or service, you throw a big banner up on the website. Now, if you don’t tell anybody about that, that’s answering the phone, or maybe messaging back and forth, whatever, if they’re clueless about that, Sue, then they’re going to have an experience similar to what you had. What are you talking about? I’m not aware of this thing. I don’t know the thing. And that just gets egg on your face from my client customer service perspective. Bob, have you got any two cents you want to throw in any of those realms there?
Bob Brennan: Yeah. It’s just about good communication, and I think it was Warren Buffett that really touts that as an individual and as an organization, and it’s good communication with your customers, your employees, right. As owners, we’re striving just to get somebody in the door through marketing and other things. But we really don’t think about the rest of their journey, so to speak. And that’s really what it comes down to is getting marketing to talk to sales or customer service and in getting that connection and in feedback, and for them to push that back.
Obviously two free pieces of luggage has a tremendous value to the consumer. They should understand that that needs to be ingrained in all their staff that this is a great value. This is what makes us different. Right. In this day and age. And they need to, they need to get that across to everybody. I mean, who couldn’t, who doesn’t want to save 70 to 140 bucks or whatever the case is? So that’s just my two cents. And yes, we fail daily. That it’s a struggle. Hopefully you’ll get good at it, but you’re never going to be perfect at it.
Jesse Dolan: I think a good hack there is whenever you think about changing something, right, just challenging, where does this need to be updated? Because usually it’s born out of whether you’re physically in the store, you want to make a poster or a banner or you want to put an ad on the top of the website homepage or whatever. But just to challenge ourselves, right? Where else needs to be updated here? And the more, almost to a sense the more common the information, maybe the more negative it can be. Again, if you change your business hours. I know we were looking at some stuff, Bob. On one application recently where we changed business hours, let’s just say online, but then if you have a voicemail system that has some kind of automated scheduling for after hours goes right to voicemail, things like that. Well guess what? If you don’t think that all the way through and change that A) for any recordings you might be saying on your voicemail, but then B) for the calls to be routed or not as you change your hours to be open or not. Right?
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: And the more common it is, right? To my point, business hours, address, phone number, contact methods. That’s when people are looking to find something about you to contact you, right? Making sure that chain is updated and the same everywhere is going to be good from the user experience and then again, Google for building trust into the bot side of things, getting a little more technical in the SEO. If you have a location identified online and you’ve got three or four different hours of operation posted on three different portals, three or four different portals, Google’s going to lose confidence in that too, that you are a good choice for a business to be showing in that map pack, right? Or in the search results. So what’s good for your business is good coming back to digital marketing and for the actual human beings that you hope are patronizing you from your successful digital marketing. So I think there’s a good lesson wrapped in this, Sue, for keeping things updated on both fronts there. Right? So that’s what we’re trying to do to run a good business.
Sue Ginsburg: I also have run a number of brand audits for businesses for the last many, many years, which basically is the process of looking at their hard copy pieces, if they still have promotional pieces, sales pieces, whatever. Talking to the people who work in business and then looking online and seeing what’s there and where the inconsistencies are. And in all the times that I’ve done these brand audits, I have never had a business owner say to something that I pointed out, “Why is that still up there? We haven’t had the, or we haven’t done that, or we changed that so many years ago.” I said, “Well, I’m just telling you it’s up there and for you to change it and make it consistent with everything else.”
Jesse Dolan: Yep. There’s a lot of moving parts, right. To the point of the whole deal here. More critical it is, two free bags, the dollar amount, whether it’s our timer or our money, that’s painful stuff. Yeah. Good challenge for all of us is to check these things out. Bob, I know you say all the time too, test it for yourself, right. Call your own phone number. Visit you own website. You know what I mean? And just audit it to whatever degree, right. Look to your point too, Sue.
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Sue Ginsburg: Good idea. Good idea.
Jesse Dolan: Either you guys have any other points to add on or …
Sue Ginsburg: Well, I would just say if you remember one thing and one thing only, remember this. Consistency matters. Don’t risk putting your customers in a situation where what they read or were told or learned in one of your communication channels is different than what the people on the ground are telling them. It is not good for customer loyalty, brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, and it will only harm your brand, your business. And you don’t want that. So back to the quote of the day, “The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change. The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.” Thank you, Jim Collins for that.
Jesse Dolan: Yep. Literally wrote the book on a lot of that stuff. Right? So it’s good advice.
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Sue Ginsburg: Exactly.
Jesse Dolan: All right. Well this one wasn’t super SEO driven, but still very important I think to parse out some SEO details and for the human experience. So hopefully you all listening out there, it helps you out. If you’ve got a question or a topic you’d like us to cover or peel back some layers on, go on to localseotactics.com, scroll down to the bottom, click the button to submit a question. You can call in your question like Taylor did. We’ll fire you off a free t-shirt, or you can just type it in through the text form and we’ll be happy to address it on the show, help you out and help out everybody else who’s probably facing a similar question. That does it for this episode. Thanks for tuning in, everybody. Bob and Sue, catch you guys on the next one.
Bob Brennan: See you.
Sue Ginsburg: Yeah.