While more and more marketing people (rightly) are talking about the importance of having a mobile presence for your business, little focus is being taken on people actually finding you while driving to your inn. Similar to a post I wrote a few years ago, Why it pays to sleep around for Bed and Breakfast owners, which focuses on the little things guests may notice at a B&B and may not mention to an innkeeper because they forgot, or it was minor irritation, being able to find your inn accurately can be extremely annoying when a guest is on route to you.
Having heard from several businesses that they know they are having a problem with having people finding them accurately, I thought it might help to put together a list of places where an inn can go to review and fix any irregularities that guests might have in finding their properties. While GPS use by itself has been in the decline with the rise of Smart Phones, it’s the same technology and the same sources that phone and GPS stand alone devices are getting their information from.
NAVTEQ: Used by Garmin, Magellan, MapQuest, Bing, Navigon, and Yahoo Maps http://mapreporter.navteq.com
Tele Atlas: Used by Mio and Tom Tom http://mapinsight.teleatlas.com
Existing Location Errors for Garmin: Garmin customers can submit errors or omissions in Garmin’s MapSource cartography or POI business listings at http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/errorForm.jsp
InfoUSA provides business listings to all sorts of clients, including GPS manufacturers. Visit their website and click “Update my Listing” at the bottom of the home page http://www.expressupdate.com/search
Apple Maps (integrated with IPhone) recently rolled out a feature for business owners to correct and maintain their local listings. https://mapsconnect.apple.com/
For a step by step walkthrough of it, there is a great article here: http://marketingland.com/apple-maps-connect-enables-business-owners-maintain-local-indoor-listings-105021
Be sure to claim your business listing on Bing Places as well as it allows you to correct the map listing. https://www.bingplaces.com/. Fixing your location on Bing Maps will also automatically update your map listing in Facebook on business pages to the accurate place.
Now that Mapquest has been taken over by Yext (who asks you to pay to play) the best way to correct an inaccurate map listing on Mapquest (for free), is to submit a support ticket on https://support.mapquest.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=99678. There is more information here: https://support.mapquest.com/hc/en-us/articles/202630704-MapQuest-Business-Listings-FAQs#det.
Beware of sites that offer to fix your GPS listings for you (for a fee), the majority of them have had multiple complaints. There are several that say they are free, rope you into submitting your information and then saying you have to pay to actually get anything done (and then still don’t fix).
If a guest is trying to find your inn and spends 10 minutes or more driving around before they get frustrated and either call you, or stop to ask a local for directions, the odds that they are going to arrive at your inn already in a bad mood is high. Nip it in the bud and take a few minutes to check your listings. With more and more people using Smartphones to navigate to your inn, make sure your listings are accurate now, as usage will just continue to go up.