Author: Jessie Smith, Platform Product Marketing
Blog Date: May 2022
Great news — summer is here! And we all know that summer brings many holidays, vacations, and shifted schedules for businesses and customers alike.
Here at Yext, we will be closing our US offices this upcoming Monday in observance of Memorial Day to honor American lives lost in service to their country. And later in the summer, we'll be closing for other holidays like the 4th of July and Labor Day.
When a business sets different hours for holidays, it's crucial to communicate these changes so that customers know what to expect and can plan their visit accordingly. When expectations are not met, it opens the door for negative customer experiences. In fact, in a recent Yext study of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, 73% of respondents indicated that they are unlikely to return to a business if it's listed as open online, but turns out to be closed upon arrival.
Let's put ourselves in the customer's shoes. Let's imagine that a store's hours on Google Maps indicate that it is open on the 4th of July, but that store is actually closed. I'm sure we can all relate to the sinking feeling of showing up to a store you thought was open, only to find the lights off, doors locked, and nobody in sight. In many cases, you planned your day around a store's hours and are relying on this visit for an ingredient required for a recipe, or a last-minute gift needed on the way to a party.
The frustration of showing up to a closed store becomes compounded for customers who have checked the store's hours online before traveling to the store to avoid this exact situation, but they still received incorrect information. These customers are not likely to trust the hours posted on any publisher for this store in the future. And as we know from our research above, people are not likely to return to this business at all after this disappointing experience.
On the other hand, let's imagine that you're the owner of a restaurant and that you are open as usual on Memorial Day. You notice the cafe down the street is way busier than it normally is, but meanwhile, your parking lot is practically empty. Did you forget to set your holiday hours?
Customers may assume that you are closed if you haven't explicitly stated your hours for that holiday. In fact, according to Google, "if a profile doesn't provide special hours for [holidays], users on Maps and Search will be warned that the profile's hours may differ on these holidays."
In our survey, 52% of participants indicated that they aren't confident about visiting a business location if they see this warning message on a business' hours on Google during a holiday.
It'd be a shame to miss out on these customers when you are actually open due to assumptions or mixed signals.
That's why we recommend that you confirm your hours for your customers' sake by explicitly stating "holiday hours," even if they are the same as your regular business hours.
Okay, so it seems like a no-brainer to make sure you set your holiday hours for every upcoming major holiday, right? You'd be surprised to learn that most businesses neglect to keep these hours up-to-date. And unfortunately, this is a major miss on their part — they're leaving room for disappointing customer experiences or missed business opportunities.
That's why at Yext, we empower every business to keep their holiday hours accurate. We make it easy to set holiday hours in the Yext platform so that you can continue to provide transparency and accuracy in every customer experience.
With so many businesses neglecting these important details, your business will stand out among the competition when you stay up-to-date. You will build trust with your customers, they will be more likely to visit your business in the future, and they are more likely to recommend your business to a friend.
So, ask yourself: will my hours be affected at all by any upcoming holidays? Am I closing early on certain holidays to give employees the chance to spend the holiday with their friends or families? Am I extending my hours so that customers can pick up catering orders in time for their holiday celebrations?
Regardless of whether you will be open with regular hours, closed, or open with different hours than usual, be sure you keep your customers informed by setting holiday hours with Yext for this upcoming weekend and for every holiday in the future!
To find a full list of the holidays Google recognizes in each country or region, check here.