Joel Headley of Google shared the following:
“… NAP consistency is important not just online, but real world. Not just signage, but in phone conversations. I expect, and so does our quality team, to hear the full and complete name of the business over the phone. When it is answered or when specifically asked.”
He also said that if the calling data quality moderator hears the business presenting themselves in even slightly different way from what is listed on their Google+ page, this might result in the moderator taking the decision to change the business name.
While I generally do agree that consistency should be observed both online and in the real world – for branding purposes to say the least, I see a major problems with such an approach: too much power is given to a single person to decide how to modify something of such importance for any business. I would be fine with that if I was convinced that the quality data moderator is as well-trained as possible. Unfortunately, I am not. On the contrary, there are hundreds of reports (here, here, here, and many others) of bad quality service by the quality moderators. The main issues reported are:
– Bad to incomprehensible English
– Generally rude behavior
– Lack of explanation of the reason for the calling
– And above all – mistakenly being recognized as telemarketers, mostly as a consequence of the above three problems
My advice: make sure that you, your customer service representatives, your secretary, and anyone who might be picking up your business phone, actually do pick up the phone call from 650-253-2000, because this IS Google Maps. And when you pick up make sure that you (or whoever picks) state the information as it should appear on Google Maps. If you are “Plumbing and Heating Dallas” on Google Places, then present yourself this way on the phone. If you haven’t hidden your address on Google Places, make sure you state that you DO serve clients at your business location. Otherwise there might be no salvation for you even if you are Andrew Shotland.
*Image courtesy of Andrew Shotland