Adding Special Hours on Google Listings

December 26, 2016 on Local Search Marketing Blog by Jeffrey Magner

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-10-47Special Hours on Google My Business-19-am

Special Hours on Google Listings

Ramblin Jackson just produced a great video about updating holiday hours on Google, and I’m of the opinion that this is super important for all local businesses to do. It’s just good customer service!

A year ago, Google was posting alerts in business listings during holidays to let customers know that stated business hours might not be actual hours on those days. And it’s true! Many businesses have reduced hours on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Years Eve – but they don’t think to change those hours online.

This year, Google empowered businesses to solve this problem by adding special hours for any future date. It’s another awesome improvement to the Google My Business dashboard. And yesterday (Christmas Day) I saw the results of this in action.

saloon

Is Your Business Open on Christmas Day?

Christmas 2016 fell on a Sunday. Sisters Saloon & Ranch Grill is usually open on Sundays serving awesome burgers and Gluten Free sweet potato fries. But they were closed on Christmas, and the owner updated their hours via the Special Hours feature and it’s clearly visible on Google Maps. Way to go Sisters Saloon!

Sisters Coffee Company, however, did not add special hours to their listing. They were also closed on Christmas day. (I already knew this since I’m there almost every day). But when I searched on Google Maps, they were listed as OPEN.

coffee

Despite Google’s best efforts to alert customers that Holiday Hours might be in effect, my guess is that many people drove up to this coffee house only to be disappointed by the sign on the door which listed their Holiday hours. This is a high volume cafe in a city with tons of tourists and out-of-town visitors. People want their coffee! Uh Oh.

door

sign

I don’t blame Sisters Coffee Company. They still make the best coffee anywhere but they could have done better. I’d guess that very few businesses go the extra step to use this Special Hours feature. They probably have no idea it’s even possible. I hope that Google promotes this feature in the future.

This is another good example of how a businesses online presence is directly connected to actual real-world customer service. The fewer disappointed customers you have, the better your business will do. Google is finally doing a great job of supporting businesses in their business listing dashboard.

Was your business open on Christmas? Did you use this feature? Let us know in the comments!

Comments
  • Jack
    3 years ago -

    Jeffrey, honestly, I think this is of the utmost importance for businesses that are open on the holidays.

    Safeway was open in Longmont, and I went there for some last minute fixings on Christmas Day.

    Their Google Maps hours were off by an HOUR. An hour! They were open a whole hour longer than their Google listing indicated…

    Think about how many people they have working overtime that day. Time and a half for 20 people minus the lost opportunity in that one hour of people who didn’t come in because they thought they were closed x hundreds of locations = huge cost. Yuge.

    I know another business, a restaurant in Boulder, whose customers were upset because they arrive, thinking the place was open when it wasn’t.

    Bumpuses!