The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic is forcing many dealerships to change their hours of operation or even temporarily close their stores. If that includes your dealership, you’ll want to update your hours on your Google My Business (GMB) listing to let your customers know when and how you’re available.
Here is the best way to tell customers your dealership is temporarily closed in your GMB profile.
Dealerships can choose to label their dealership temporarily closed on their GMB dashboard.
We DON’T recommend this option because GMB’s support team is currently limited due to COVID-19.
This means there will likely be a delay in help. That’s problematic because customers might visit your dealership because they see that you’re open on GMB when your store is actually closed. This could result in a negative review, which you don’t want.
You will also need to contact support again once your business reopens. This process is especially cumbersome if you have or manage multiple dealership locations. To limit those risks, we recommend avoiding this option altogether.
Another reason why we don’t recommend using the temporarily closed feature is that your GMB profile will lose visibility in the search results.
People are still shopping for vehicles online and service departments are still open in those states where sales operations have been closed. Because of that, it’s important to keep your GMB listing visible to online shoppers.
Solution: Update the special hours section
Google allows you to update your special hours to show specific hours or when the store is closed. We recommend using this section to fill out at least two weeks’ worth of hours to mark your dealership as being temporarily closed.
Repeat the above process by replacing the previous hours with another two weeks’ worth of hours.
Create a What’s new post
After updating your hours, we also recommend creating a “What’s new” GMB post to inform your customers why and how long your store location will be temporarily closed.
Alternatively, you can create a COVID-19 Update post. Just keep in mind that you can’t include an image on the post. However, COVID-19 posts do stay active seven days longer (14 days total) than What’s new posts after being posted.
We still recommend using a What’s new post since you can include an image with it. That way you can catch the eyes of more customers who see it.
Let your customers know if your service center is still open in a separate post as well. Include a call-to-action button that links to your website’s service center page to drive shoppers to that page.
Here’s an example:
You can also use an “Offers” post to drive shoppers to your service center page on your website.
Current GMB Issues
Section last updated 3/31/2020
Dealership’s service listing showing up instead of main dealership listing
There has been speculation that changes are happening with Google’s local search algorithms to help prioritize potential “essential businesses”. As a result of these updates, bugs are occurring. It’s thought that one of these bugs is likely the reason for this current GMB-related issue.
Google recommends the following actions to try to correct this issue:
Add a new image of the outside of the building, showing the parts department sign and make that the primary picture
Remove the branding from the GMB profile name
If those steps don’t work, we recommend that you:
Update your service GMB’s service area to the primary city of the address of where your main dealership is located. For example, if your main dealership is located in Wichita, KS, put “Wichita, KS” as your service area.
Here’s an example:
We’ve found that this step works for many of our dealership clients. But, keep in mind that this isn’t the only solution.
If you’re a Dealer Teamwork client, we can do this for you. Contact your account manager for assistance.
If you need additional help preparing your dealership for success during COVID-19, feel free to contact us! We’re here to help and provide support for your dealership. Dealer Teamwork is open during our regular business hours and we’re available to help your dealership as needed