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Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Please add a designation for "by appointment only" in business hours. We are a home-based business and do not keep specific business hours, but are available to our customers by appointment. 

 

Suzan deSerres

Singing Stitches Quilting Studio

9521 Sertoma Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

919-929-4280

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SingingstitchesStudio

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Suzan,
The designation for "by appointment only" has been requested since the very beginning of Google Maps and Google has not implemented yet for a variety of reasons.
The best approach would be to not list hours in that case and advertise the "by appointment only" nature of the business through the web site.




treebles, Google My Business Top Contributor

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Suzan d
June 2016

Re: Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 3
Rising Star

When you think about it, doctors, fine restaurants, photographers, hair stylists - many businesses are "appointment" or "reservation" only. How about the theater downtown? The guy fixing my A/C may be "open" right now, but he isn't available to fix your stuff until he is done with mine. My lawyer posts his hours, but if you show up at his law office while he's at court, the door is locked and a nice friendly note is posted.

I know a lot of the writeups, help text, and even GMB rules seem to center on retail establishments. But there are a great number of businesses that have time-based and resource-based restrictions. For a lot of these, the posted "open" hours are the hours they are conducting business even if you personally can't get a table for dinner until next Thursday.

The rule "a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours" (https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en) in my opinion does not mean a business must have an open door for ALL potential customers during these times. Otherwise, many real estate agents, clinicians, massage therapists, lawyers, electricians, theatres, AND quilting instructors would lose their GMB listings.

Disclaimer: I am not a Google employee :-) but do advise a lot of businesses. So my recommendation is: List the hours you normally conduct classes, answer the phone, and if someone showed up unexpectedly at your door you would sign for the package or hand them a flier - but make it explicitely clear on your site and in your materials that reservations or appointments are necessary for services.

_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I still think we need an option BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

I am an art advisor and dealer and always around town too without a schedule.

It will be good for clients to know.

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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Respectfully, though this makes some good points, it doesn't always play out that way.

 

Boutique shop owners are dealing with belligerent phone calls from customers expecting that the hours they saw on Google meant that they could just walk in like it was any old retail store. Listing hours of being "open" is misleading and customers call them out on it.

 

Customers don't care about or interpret Google listings as theoretical service hours - especially if they aren't already in the mindset that they need to make an appointment for a specific type of business. Doctors and lawyers do not seem to be the people requesting this feature -- people expect to make appointments with them. It's the small artisans and boutiques who happen to have an active location, but do not keep regular hours. When they list hours they are open for business, people think it's just like other retail shops, for which they don't normally make appointments to visit. These small business owners potentially lose money and reputation each time they miss a person who dropped by. 

 

The business I market has a website, Facebook page, Instagram, and Google+ page that all clearly denote By Appointment Only...but Google is so big that if the hours they find on their original search show theoretical times during which appointments MAY be made, they may be confused. A confused customer is an frustrated one...and one who uses Google and is capable of leaving an angry review. My client fields many calls (and messages) from Google-search originated confusion.

 

Bottom line: If a damaging misunderstanding can be avoided, why wouldn't a small business owner want to do so?

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

You can leave your hours off entirely.

_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

hi Philip,

I think you are ignoring the fact that there is a difference between that range of businesses that you mentioned and a miriad of high street shops who if they are open you can just drive there and walk in without asking for an appointment. In your example you mentioned a "fine restaurant"... By searching google would you know that that is a fine restaurant and not just a simple pub if there is no such info present? So how would you feel if you drove there an hour and found that you cannot just walk in and take a seat for a dinner?

Lets say wickes, currys, B&Q, screwfix etc. these would nicely fit google's model, but it seems that no one else would who work similarly like we do, i.e. running an online shop, working from home and available practically 7 days a week, but obviously we do go away sometimes and therefore it is a must have that we accept visitors by appointment only. Many customers know how we work and they would call or if they are local they might drive here without an appointment sometimes, but if we are not here they won't be upset...however there are occasional situations when customers would absolutely rely on the info they found on google map or google search and come here on Saturday or Sunday and then surprised that we are not here...

It happens rarely, but when it happens, it is usually a total disaster as we feel we let someone down...

I understand if Google would not want us to write just anything there as many would use it for some kind of advertisement, but I don't think that it would be such a big deal for Google to add an option to choose the type of the shop/business as "by appointment".

Hope they read it...

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
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Is there an update on when this option might possibly be implemented? My company just opened our first brick and mortar and have a couple days out of the week that are only by appointment for design consultations.

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

no update - still no appointment option provided and no information or word from Google they consider implementing it or not or never.

_________________________________________________________________________
Helmut Geissler, Google My Business Top Contributor   |  my G+ profile

Requesting By Appointment Only option for business hours

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I need by reservation only to keep potential customers from driving long distances to find out we are not open every day or to find out that we are open but booked.  I am not a business on a city street that most customers might find because they are "in the area".  Also, I am a home based business and don't want customers prowling the property when I'm not home, or knocking on my door when I am home but closed.  My employees are scheduled based on reservations so we cannot accommodate everyone when they show up.  It is an issue and I don't see any reason why it can't be an option at the top of the hours.  Click a button to activate the "reservation only" line and then your hours, or leave the hours out.  Its easy no misunderstandings.  The bad reviews and angry phone calls are definitely a problem.  People don't read everything, so they are less likely to go to my site if they find contact info and hours on google my business.