Google My Business Improves Contextual Help – Tests Integration of Call Back

help-boxGood News Bad News Update Monday, 9:00 am: Good: The Phone (and occasionally the chat) interface attached to the help link within the dashboard shows during business hours for support. Bad: It doesn’t appear to be working and you should continue to use the “old” way of clicking on the Contact Us link in the Google My Business Support area to get phone support.

Update Monday, 1:30 PM Apparently the phone contact option has been removed from the help screen.

It appears that Google is improving access to their Help files from within Google My Business and is apparently testing moving access to phone support directly into the GMB dashboard. Apparently, in checking with international friends, this feature is currently US only.

This is a screen shot of the new Help panel from within GMB today:
without-phone-option

As you can see from these screenshots taken yesterday, Google is also obviously testing moving both phone contact and chat support directly into the GMB as well. I learned about this feature when a client couldn’t figure out why Google wasn’t calling them back when they requested phone support. Since it was there yesterday and not working and gone today, it is not clear if they will in fact move phone support into GMB. They should.

showing phone

phone details

Google’s integration of help and support into the business center had long been a cobbled affair, often requiring long circuitous routes for the SMB to get support. This reached its nadir in 2011 and I penned Google Places: What might customer service look like, which was a reprise of an article that I first wrote in 2009.

With the rollout of phone support in early 2013 and the rollout of Google My Business in June, 2014 this has gradually and steadily improved. (Obviously there were many, many other steps in their improvement but these two struck me as salient.)

If this new GMB integrated phone and chat support is rolled out, it would be one more step in their ongoing improvement of support. Building out a smart, context sensitive help system that makes support easy and accessible seems a bare minimum in the year 2015.

Its amazing that it has taken 10 years but I am glad that the day is finally nearing when one can use Google support as an example of excellence rather than an example of a hell hole the complete opposite.

This likely speaks to the fact that the SMB spend must be getting significant and possibly to the growth trajectory of that spend. Regardless, it is a welcome and necessary change.

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14 thoughts on “Google My Business Improves Contextual Help – Tests Integration of Call Back”

  1. Nice coverage, Mike. I first saw the in-dashboard support options probably 10 days ago. Sounds like it’s weaved in and out.

    I can’t get too excited until Google offers better resolution features for data-quality issues and starts policing spam again. Anything else is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, in my opinion. Let’s hope this minor change reflects deeper change.

    1. Certainly spam is an issue in some markets and some verticals. And they could always do more.

      But my last two data issues were literally resolved in 5 minutes of my time. One via a form and the other via a phone call.

  2. If there is one organization which would do well by incorporating a very effective phone and chat support, that is Google. Considering their presence word-wide and resources they have at their disposal, they can develop a very effective support system.

    1. @Max
      I assume that the phone and chat options are invisible over the weekend on the new Help panel. Although when I tried the phone option which was visible on Friday, it didn’t work. I assume that the option will show back up on Monday morning and let hope that it is working.

      That being said, the Google My Business Help areas still has email support and voice support.

  3. I have been trying to contact Google Support through this new interface for the past week or so and I haven’t been receiving the phone calls from Google. I’ve tried it from multiple accounts but still haven’t had any luck! Do you think this could be because they are currently transitioning things over? Do you recommend any other way to get in contact with Google Support?

  4. Ah, yes, I can see the ability to call from both places – Help Center and Dashboard – on this Monday morning.

    It was the weekend factor 😉 I somehow assumed it would work just because there was a move into the dashboard…

  5. I tried using the “old way” of getting in touch with support the other day but was placed on hold for 20 minutes so I hung up. I tried doing it again earlier and it looks like the “old” business support page has been updated. Now you have to go through all of these steps to get to the “contact us” link. Whenever I click on it, it just takes me back to the main page for Google Support. It never allows me to enter my name and number and place the call. In addition, I am not seeing the call option when trying to connect with Google Support through the Google My Business dashboard. Are you seeing the same thing on your end? I’m unsure of how to get in touch with their support team now!

  6. For over a year now, I have always gotten excellent support for Google My Business calling from Canada. Sometimes now Googlers from India answer but even they answered right away and helped me with my problem. An aside: I really wish they would improve the category selections for the types of business however. We get bad category selection here but sometimes when I call they can find a category used in the USA and give that to the page.

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