December 19, 2017, was a bad day for CVS Pharmacy. That night, Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland walked into her local pharmacy to pick up a prescription, but instead she walked out empty-handed. The culprit? Hyland had first checked Apple Maps to see how long before the pharmacy closed, and Apple Maps showed the wrong hours.
Hyland took to her phone and tweeted her frustration to her 1.5 million followers:
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) December 19, 2017
What should have been a mundane, everyday transaction became a marketer’s worst nightmare. More than 92% of people use online directories such as Apple Maps and Foursquare to research products and services in their area before a store visit. Consequently, it’s vital that local businesses ensure their address, phone number, hours of operation, and other critical location data points are accurate across online directories. Failure to do so means losing out on potential business, as customers flock to your competitors who have their location data in order.
But more importantly, as illustrated in the case of Sarah Hyland and CVS Pharmacy, inaccurate location information leaves a bad taste in your potential customers’ mouths. A 2014 study found that almost three-quarters of users lose “trust or confidence in a brand or business when online listings are found to be incorrect.” And another 67 percent feel the same when they get lost because of faulty driving directions that are the result of incorrect location information.
With the stakes so high – for SMBs and enterprise businesses alike – it is incumbent upon local businesses to develop a digital directory management strategy, one that will ensure accurate location data is published to all platforms used by consumers to find and research local services.