I've had calls from clients from all over the place in the last five years about getting tech support in Google Analytics. In the past, I'd normally just send them to the Google Analytics support forums, until I realized it was frustrating most of them.
Over the years, Google Analytics has not been overly proactive about educating their client base. As a long-time Google Analytics user, I know that they've shied away from email marketing, which, in my opinion is possibly the best way to proactively educate your customers, and prevent churn.
So, these days, the first thing I do is send customers to the Google Analytics IQ Online Course. The information is timely, and in light of recent changes to the Google Analytics UI, I can't think of better time to take the course. At the very least, it's critical for anyone responsible for a company's web assets to watch their three basic presentations:
- Google Analytics Overview (5 minutes)
- Interface Navigation (8 minutes), and
- The guide to installing tracking codes (5 minutes)
For a time investment of 18 minutes (less than what one support call typically takes), this will make most basic support calls unnecessary. A slightly deeper dive will take this user through Google's Interpreting Reports tutorial, which delivers a lot of "bang for the clock" in just 18 minutes. You read that right: you can knock out half of Google's analytics trainings in a total of 36 minutes. The average marketing user spends more time on Facebook in a given business day.
That said, big, tough questions often come up, and this is what sends corporate users typically screaming and running to Google Analytics Support. Whenever a client's having problems, I typically ask them - before recommending that they seek support - if they followed the Google Analytics Setup Checklist. Once they've completed the basic training assets and followed the Setup Checklist, that's when I typically recommend that they seek help in the forums.
A Google Apps corporate customer may be tempted to call 1-877-355-5787 (the U.S.A support number). But before you even dial, though, be sure to pull up your customer PIN number - no one will take your call without it. Once you actually get through, you should get a live person within a minute or two by pressing 1-1 to talk to Google Apps Enterprise Support. And here's the answer you'll get.
"It's not part of the core services."
That's what my Google Apps for Enterprise support rep told me this morning. But there's some good news, too.
Super-confused Google Business customers can get phone support for their analytics needs. Here's the "secret", and it isn't much of a secret. You just have to remember that Google's not giving away their Google Analytics product out of the goodness of their Googly hearts - it's tied to its sister product, Google AdWords - you know, the product that drove $28 billion dollars in revenue last year?
As long as you're a basic corporate AdWords advertiser, you can go into your AdWords account, and browse the Analytics email and phone support options. There's even a live-chat support team right now.
So, next time, before you or your end-users freak out and go on a Twitter tirade about how Google Analytics isn't supporting the needs of your enterprise:
- Spend 36 minutes watching the videos
- Do the checklist, and then
- Call support
By the way, if you're not a Google AdWords advertiser, this may be the time to begin spending modestly - even a few bucks a day. Even if the advertising turns out to be a total turkey, at least you'll walk away with basic phone and email support for a very important piece of software.
Adam Metz is the VP of Business Development at Metz Consulting the social concept, a social customer management-consulting firm, based in Oakland, California. Metz has consulted with companies since 2006 on how to acquire, manage, monetize and retain customers from the social web. Metz's customer community, at http://metz.customerhub.net has nearly 500 members, and offers a no-cost 9-hour training course on social customer relationship management.Metz's second book, The Social Customer, was released on 9/16/11 and has hit #1 on the Amazon marketing charts. Adam's first book, There Is No Secret Sauce, has sold or downloaded over 3000 copies, and is currently in its third printing. He has additionally published an eBook, The Metz Way.Metz specializes in social media marketing and social customer relationship management (social CRM) for awesome consumer brands and loves lifestyle, travel, apparel and consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies.Metz has consulted with nearly 100 consumer and B2B companies, including Hershey's Chocolate, Waggin' Train Pet Food, Wente Vineyards (top 30 winery) Pirate's Booty, MBT Shoes, Maestroconference, Obama Girl (Barely Political), Lynda.com, Passport Resorts, Hollywood Park Racetrack, The San Francisco Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Mighty Leaf Tea, Timbuk2 bags, and dozens of others. Adam Metz also worked on the first social media program for Pulitzer-Prize winning author Thomas Friedman.Metz has lectured at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, and University of California, Santa Cruz and has given keynote talks at numerous conferences and associations including the California and Minnesota Chapters of the American Marketing Association, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Technology Conference, and the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association.Metz lives in Oakland, California with his fiancee Susan.