Last week I was able to verify two tricky business listings on Google – by video! This is a new option that Google is currently testing and it worked beautifully for both locations.
Google is investing big time these days in local business support and this video verification option is a very successful addition to their phone support and twitter support options. And it makes sense! They are using their own awesome product to make this happen – Google Hangouts.
Step 1) I requested phone support for listing Verification via the Google My Business dashboard. I was told to click to request a postcard again, then end the call. Immediately I received this email from Google. I replied right back saying, “YES” I’d like to proceed and I’m available now.
Step 2) I received a call within 2 minutes from Google! They asked me if I was ready now and asked if I had the Google Hangouts App on my phone. Then, the rep sent me this email to begin the hangout.
Step 3A) I was informed that I was about to join a video conference that was not private and would be streamed live online on YouTube and other people that I did not know might be watching. They asked very clearly if I wanted to proceed.
Step 3B) So the video began with me pointing my phone at the business. They asked to see my face and that was fine with me. They asked me to cross the street so they could get a visual on the street and the building and the sign on the building. Fortunately in this case, this was easy and legit. Then they asked me to walk into the office, I stopped at the door and there was a sign on the door. And then we went inside.
“Can you show me the tools that the business uses to conduct the business?” was the next question. This business is a wellness center offering chiropractic, acupuncture and massage and one treatment room happened to be open so I walked in and offered a tour of the chiropractic table and some equipment. The tour continued back to the front desk.
“Can you show me a business card for this business?” and there just happened to be one there! I got lucky!
“Can you show me the owner of the business” and I explained that she was currently treating a patient and showed her the closed door of the treatment room.
“Okay, thank you. You will receive another email within 1 hour regarding the status of your listing and the outcome of this process.” And it was over. About 10 minutes later this email came in.
The town of Sisters, Oregon is unique in that most businesses do not receive USPS mail delivery directly to their addresses. Everyone has a PO Box, therefore Postcard verification is impossible. After two months of unsuccessful attempts via chat & phone support, video verification worked really well. I others have equal success, I would expect Google to roll this out globally in 2017.