GMBL for brands w/ different biz names


Cori Shirk

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Hi! I'm hoping someone in here can shed some light on an issue we've encountered with bulk verification.

Backstory:
One of our clients (let's call them DeckMaterial) is a decking/ patio material brand who has a few hundred certified contractors across the country (we'll call these businesses DeckMaterial Pros) who display their products in showrooms and install them. All of the DeckMaterial Pros are independently owned and operated, and do business as Joe's Deck Construction, Linda's Deck and Patio Design, Philadelphia Building Services, etc.

DeckMaterial wants to help these DeckMaterial Pros gain exposure through local search by offering a program that involves setting up and managing the data on G+ pages for each Pro. DeckMaterial wants to set these G+ pages up in a GMBL account to allow for streamlined management capabilities, and will grant each Pro business owner access to their own individual page. Since this is a corporate initiative, someone from the corporate office is managing the GMBL account.

Our Headaches
1. Even though the DeckMaterial Pros are a part of the DeckMaterial Brand, because they all have individual business names, we've been told that we have to individually verify each location and that we can't bulk verify the account. I know the new(er) Google local quality guidelines specifically say that all businesses in GMBL accounts have to have the same name, but that kind of 'chain-only' thinking really leaves other business models out to dry... What about cases like this, or property management companies that manage hotels with different names? Coordinating individual verification for each location seems unnecessarily tedious if you can prove that each location is a part of the larger parent brand.

2. Fact: verification postcards get lost. A lot. Especially when the business owner is busy running their business and doesn't know exactly what to watch out for. If we try to coordinate phone verification instead, we've been told that Google has to use the name of the person managing the GMBL account to verify ownership-- this is a problem because the person whose name is attached to the account is corporate marketing employee, and the DeckMaterial Pro business owners don't know who she is.

Has anyone else run into similar issues and found an efficient way to set up and manage the account and G+ pages? Thanks in advance!!
 

Linda Buquet

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This is a tough one Cori.

Sounds like this is not a chain or anything, but totally independent businesses that just carry the product and install it?

I can see WHY you'd want them in Locations and it would make things easier, but since they are all different businesses don't see how you could manage them in Locations.

Plus if some are like: "Joe's Deck Construction" then some are likely SABs without a showroom or commercial office? That would be an additional reason they could not be in Locations.

I don't know for sure - but my guess is you'll have to manage these separately, but support may be able to help you with verification.

I think you are here...



I'll Tweet it to see if we can get you more feedback.

And for anyone that's missed it the Pros are discussing this at the Pro Community too.
 

Cori Shirk

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Thanks, Linda- I appreciate it! We've confirmed that all of the businesses have a storefront location (mostly showrooms, a couple offices) so at least they're all qualified for a G+ page (not SAB).

Here's to hoping we can get some ideas from other folks. Even just some help with how to verify these would be great!
 

Linda Buquet

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Have you called support to ask them? Maybe when you get someone on the phone, then see if they can run it up the flag pole?

Have you tried posting at the Google forum? If you want to post there and explain it and give a couple links as examples, then share the link with me here. I'll see if I can get some TCs to weigh in and/or escalate to try to get more ideas.
 

Cori Shirk

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We called support and they were unfortunately pretty unhelpful... They basically read the guidelines back to us. I'll post in the Google forums today, maybe we can get some assistance there.
 

cdawg2610

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Cori - have you chatted with just the regular support, or someone actually who supports bulk accounts - in all my bulk account world, I've found that 99% of the regular specialists don't have any idea what you are asking for.

We're able to do what you are looking for with dealerships right now - top down ownership, but then added managers for specific dealerships - and they all have different names.
 

Cori Shirk

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Thanks, that's really good to hear. I've only been able to get ahold of general support specialists so far but I'm not giving up yet... if I call and harass the support lines enough someone's bound to put me through to someone who can help ;)

When did you set up the dealership bulk account? I'm wondering if this kind of setup is something they're not allowing anymore, but won't necessarily take away from those who already had it in place before the new guidelines were released.
 

cdawg2610

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Cori -

We actually manage from the corporate level for this, so it's the bulk spreadsheet upload initially, and then from there.

You can get the template for bulk upload here

https://www.google.com/local/manage/#/list

Word of warning. You need to have a verified my business bulk account before you get started in the process of bulk upload and claiming. No one in normal support will tell you that. In addition, NO ONE will tell you how to do it. Literally, you ask about it to GMB India support, and you get the script about verifying an individual listing. I even as Jade about it at a LocalU event and she had no idea (I ended up helping the 3 other people who had issues in the room.)

They say that you can request verification to local-bulk@google.com but the response I got back 3 weeks later made no sense.

All that said you can get it verified when you get the US Call center, and can explain to someone you need a bulk account verified so you can manage over 100 listings. The two bulk accounts I have had verified have all come from US call center employees feeling bad for my stories and helping me.
 

Cori Shirk

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Yeah, we've verified plenty of bulk accounts in the past but we're running into issues with this one because the business names are different. Great tip about emailing local-bulk@google.com, maybe we'll have more success from that angle.

Thanks for all your help!
 

Cori Shirk

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Sad news, everyone- it looks like Google disabled local-bulk@google.com. We got a permanent delivery error message when we tried to email that address :(

---------- Post Merged at 10:01 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:59 AM ----------

Actually no. We emailed @gmail.com by mistake. Oops :)
 

Margaret Ornsby

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How did you go contacting bulk support?

I've been being blocked by the India support, saying I can only email as bulk is Level 2 support and they don't talk to people.
Have some really twisted issues with a bulk account and not convinced an email will be sufficient communication. Were you able to talk to a person?
 
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Hi Cori, Im having this exact same problem right now. I havent had success with support and as stated the script on verify a listing is the answer given.

Can I ask how you managed to resolve this set up?

Its like having a franchise that isnt an actual franchise.


Hi! I'm hoping someone in here can shed some light on an issue we've encountered with bulk verification.

Has anyone else run into similar issues and found an efficient way to set up and manage the account and G+ pages? Thanks in advance!!
 

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