As an Internet marketing agency we have to work with many service providers and that includes all the geo-listing (a.k.a. local business listings, local listing, business directories, interactive yellow pages) websites. Our communication with them is for our clients and in the event the information requires correction, then we have to communicate with these geo-listing websites to resolve the inaccuracies.
In this case we had to reach out to Citysearch and follow their procedure. What we learned after searching the Citysearch website (which partners with Ask.com Local) is that our client’s business and information was not listed in Citysearch. We learned in one of our communications to Citysearch customer service that we need to send them an email with the business information.
April 28th, 2010
The Citysearch website for customer service suggests sending inquiries to myaccount@Citysearch.com or cscs@Citysearch.com.
The email we sent originally to the above email addresses was:
April 29th, 2010
The response we received from Citysearch with the email address CSMerchantSupport@Citysearch.com is below. At this point everything is moving along quite well and we received a response within 24 hours. No complaints…yet!
May 11th, 2010
After securing the correct information and setting up a Citysearch account we submitted the following e-mail to Citysearch.
Same day response received from Citysearch as follows:
You can see the process is already degrading. In our initial email we had identified that a Citysearch account already exists! We, also, asked for the two listings to be “added”. Now, you would think that if someone in customer service was actually comprehending what they are reading those two points would have raised a red flag for a little research before a reactionary response. We can only assume no research was done based on the reply.
From our office, same day still and it’s not even noon EST yet we sent the following reply:
We continue on the same day with the following reply from Citysearch Merchant Support. Please keep in mind that all of the communications on May 11th are in the same email thread. If anyone were to scroll up or down they could easily follow the dialogue with our Geo-Marketing team.
At this point what do you think we did? We scrolled down to the bottom of this email dialogue to our original message text copy and copy-pasted the same exact information that we started the conversation with them with! At this point it is now the end of business day on May 11th.
The only good news in all of this frustration was that it happened on the same day. To that end we will give Citysearch a good grade. However, the fact that the dialogue had to circle back to the beginning raises a question if English actually is the preferred language being understood at Citysearch?
If English is the language being read, written and understood at Citysearch then the competency of the customer service staff is highly questionable. In this economy when there are so many competent people looking for jobs you would think that we can hire staff that can actually comprehend an email dialogue.
While this situation is specific to Citysearch, I can attest that the problem of customer service by email occurs with all large corporations and the staff responding to emails. Email communication does make customer service more efficient and reduces the costs of phone calls. One would think that if the customer service staff of these large entities could take another 30 seconds to actually comprehend the dialogue further efficiencies could be gained.
Stay tuned as we finally get this resolved.