Why Local Listings Are a Critical Part of the Customer Experience

I like to write about real-world experiences because they help illustrate the abstract ideas we’re always discussing. Today’s example involves inaccurate location (inventory) data and the subsequent brand fallout.

Here’s the setup: I’m having some rooms in my house painted. I needed to get a specific paint color number for the painter so he could buy the paint. At my house I did a Google mobile search for “Benjamin Moore paint dealers zip code.” I got several listings, one of which was an Ace Hardware store not far from me. I chose Ace from a list for two reasons, they were open on a Sunday and, historically, they’ve had good customer service vs. Home Depot.

When I got to the paint department, however, the guy told me they don’t sell Benjamin Moore but they could duplicate any color “as long as I had the number.” I told him what I needed was the number and didn’t have it to give him. I left, frustrated. I was under serious time pressure.

Still out and on the go, I contacted one of the alternative locations provided by Google, Cole Hardware. Their site prompted me to text them a request. They asked what I was looking for and confirmed that they carry Benjamin Moore paint via text. The interaction was very efficient (under a minute). I went over and got what I needed.

Between these two businesses, which one do you think I’m going to use next time? It may or many not have been Ace’s fault that they were incorrectly represented in Google search results. But it probably cost them a customer.

At LSA18, Walgreens, U-Haul and Toyota will discuss the evolution of local search, customer expectations and the digital challenges that national-local brands face.  It will be a terrific session, between a discussion of brand-to-local social media management and the Amazon and how digital assistants will impact (local) search. 

LSA18 brand session

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