Yesterday Marissa Mayer was quoted as saying in regards to Maps and Places at SXSW: “We do need to have some support there, and step up our customer service,”.
I must admit as a veteran of the “Google Maps support wars”, it was refreshing to hear Marissa Mayer (allegedly?) note the need for support. That being said the fact that it’s taken Google 5 years (or is it 6?) to figure this out and get to the point of publicly so noting has to be cause for concern.
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Breaking News- Google Thinks it Needs "Some Support" In Maps
by Mike Blumenthal
She has the position and the stature within the company to get that done. Now it will be interesting to see if when that occurs, if there will be any public announcement about actual hirings or staffing with regard to customer service.
If there aren’t announcement(s) it will be interesting to see if there is a noticeable change within the Google Places forum.
Seeing that reference made me feel good, as I’ve experienced the overall lack of customer service and lack of responsiveness for lo those many years you have referenced.
I’ve also experienced some exceptions; some of which when you interceded in issues that included mass awareness of an ongoing problem that was affecting many websites.
(still think they should send you a check for doing their work) (Lior: If your reading this stuff, what do you think about that??)
Comment by earlpearl (784 comments) — March 17, 2011 @ 10:10 am
As I noted it was refreshing to hear but what Google (and its top level execs) mean by customer service is not what “normal” people mean by the phrase.
They see all expense points (taxes, customer service) as an opportunity to implement “code” to drive costs down. That has historically been their view of “customer service”…
Given that huge cultural gap of understanding, I am not yet ready to break out the champaign and celebrate.
That is an interesting quote Mike. I too had the opportunity to attend a session presented by Ms. Mayer and I found her focus to be very big picture. She also repeatedly referred to her customers as “users of Google search”.
That being said there were a number of LSEO folks in audience so maybe she is out doing this meet and greet sessions to get a feel from the real world.
Comment by Mark (118 comments) — March 17, 2011 @ 11:46 am
I’m as skeptical as you, Mike. I sure would like to see improvements.
Today I finally got around to reading an email from Google to one of my places accts that was delivered on 3/9. It informed me about some of the wonderful things connected with G Places: Boost, Tips to make my G Places listing better and more accurate, and other “goodies”. What a friendly helpful bunch of Googlers.
Then I went to the G Places Dashboard for that account to see how it was doing according to Google Places.
Oh my. Latest update on activity for that account was February 24.
Hm…that was 3 weeks ago. A lot has happened in 3 weeks. I get a look at updated analytics and Adwords on a daily basis. I track contacts more than one way.
But somehow Google Places can’t give me even close to good accurate or timely information. Not even close. That is pathetic. I’m aware that as of sometime last week (in March) that Google Places dashboard and account was only current through 2/21.
They are falling further behind.
BTW: speaking of needing more customer service in Google Maps/Places etc. I happened to see this news piece from some months ago:
http://bit.ly/fBkx0a Its about how mistakes in Google Maps have contributed to International Problems…including being used as an excuse by one nation to invade another nation. (btw; being big time events Google fixed those mistakes quickly).
They seem to jump to when big mistakes migrate to the news media.
But for every day problems…they are often nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, while this ongoing information is lacking and has been lacking for weeks, one of the nice things that was included in the email from 3/9 was encouragement to spend money with them on Boost, a places product.
Give me a break, Google. Fix it.
Get those new people in place. Fix something. As Mike referenced above its been about 5 or 6 years, during which you have had a free run, unlike any other company I or other frustrated business people have ever encountered.
Comment by earlpearl (784 comments) — March 17, 2011 @ 11:54 am
It’s about time it was said! However, let see how much longer it is now before Google actually does something about it and implement the much needed support for this product!
Comment by uT (3 comments) — March 17, 2011 @ 1:20 pm
Are pigs flying out your way, Mike? I really was surprised when I followed the link Dave posted at Cre8asite about this. While I share your reservations, this is definitely newsworthy. Just to see the words ‘customer service’ mouthed by a Google employee is rather amazing. That story about Nicaragua mentioned in the original article was just crazy.
We’ll see how this plays out, of course, but at least it appears that Google is BEGINNING to see Local in a more serious light.
My dashboard is up to Feb 24. Hmm… it is both creating a better product, fixing it when it does break AND providing avenues for those that are caught in the maws of the algo a real way out….
Time will tell…
No pigs but it is sunny and the snow is finally melting…. near equivalent in these parts.
It was amazing although both her non-commital phrasing, Google’s DNA and the long time that has passed with nothing that could pass for customer service contribute to my “show me” attitude.
Comment by Mike (2503 comments) — March 17, 2011 @ 3:33 pm
You and I will NEVER see the day that Google gets good at customer service and support. Their culture won’t allow it. They will fall before they ever “get it”.
Microsoft NEVER released good software until the 4th version, Apple will NEVER get the concept of open systems, and Google will NEVER “get” customer support. And as a result, I predict they will never win at local.
[...] I read of Google’s newly stated public commitment to better customer service in the Google Places arena, thoughts of a myriad of current issues swirled through my head. After mentally struggling [...]
Instead of all of us consultants, agencies, SEOs and SMBs continuously bitching about the mismanagement of Places (year after year after year after year), why don’t we setup a standalone website where all of us can can sign an online petition against Google totally ignoring the ongoing major issues inside Places?
If we could pull this off, and get it to go viral, we would have one central location (besides their stupid a** forums) where we can all add posts (by the tens of thousands) of our disgust with Google’s total disregard of the livelihood of millions of real people that own and run millions of real businesses worldwide.
Between the tens of thousands of us pissed off and fed up consultants, agencies, and SEOs, representing millions of SMBs worldwide, Google and Marissa Mayer will no longer be able to code themselves out the mess they’ve created. Nor will they be able to ignore the firestorm we would ignite on the web if thousands of us posted press releases, videos, tweets, articles, Facebook posts, blog posts, etc., all pointing back to the petition and attack site we setup.
Instead of being the victims for one more day, let’s start a viral online campaign against Google and their ignorant treatment of all of us. Let’s attack them where it counts; THEIR Reputation, and THEIR Pocketbook!
Let’s see how THEY like it!!!
Comment by Vince (3 comments) — March 19, 2011 @ 3:22 am