There’s several reasons it’s important to keep your opening hours up to date, but chief among those is the rise in mobile customers searching for local businesses by service or product and acting on those searches. For example, searching for last minute Christmas gift ideas a potential customer searches for “Rose and flower bunches” in Google and is presented with a few businesses around them offering this product, with only one of those stores showing as open. “Perfect! I’m saved!” they think, jumping in their car and driving 15 minutes to arrive at a store that is all but open.
Annoyed by this experience they leave a negative review, they tell their friends, and they never visit the store again.
Here’s a few statistics on mobile customers that highlight the very real need for keeping opening hours up to date, not just on Google My Business but on all the major platforms important to your business.
In the lead up to the holiday season, a number of these platforms can be updated ahead of time, so you don’t have to stress about it on day one. This feature is not common among all platforms, so for services such as Apple Maps you’ll need to log in on the day your hours change over (or the night before) and update your holiday season opening hours.
With all those out online service changes of the way, don’t forget the other systems, email and on-hold messaging services, and when the season is over, don’t forget to swap back! It’s one thing having customers show up when you’re closed, but it’s just as bad having potential customers think that you’re closed when you’re open!
Here’s a short list of platforms you should consider updating and some helpful tech support articles from the service providers.
|Commonly Used Maps Applications|
|Make sure your set your hours in Google My Business – https://support.google.com/business/answer/6303076?hl=en|
|Bing Places – https://www.bingplaces.com/Help#makeListingComplete|
|Apple Maps – https://mapsconnect.apple.com/ – You’ll need to do this on the day your opening hours change|
|Waze Local -– https://support.google.com/wazelocal/answer/6182307?hl=en|
|For Cafés / Restaurants / Entertainment Businesses
Update your local directory opening hours, i.e. Zomato, Yelp, Foursquare, and any others that apply to you.
|Yelp – https://www.yelpblog.com/2016/12/set-holiday-special-hours-yelp|
|Foursquare – https://support.foursquare.com/hc/en-us/articles/201063990-How-to-edit-your-listing-details|
|Phone and Email Systems|
|Your on-hold messaging system message|
|Your email auto-reply message and forwarding if you will be away during the holiday season|
|Ensure there’s enough free space for both messages and emails if you will be away during the holiday season|