Google Introduces Home Services Ads to Unite Searchers and Providers
Finding a home service provider, such as a locksmith or plumber, just got a lot easier if you live in San Francisco. Right now, Google is beta testing their home services ads, and both business and consumers have a lot to gain.
What Are Home Services Ads?
Basically, when Google thinks someone is searching for a local service provider in their area, they will show them three pre-qualified professionals right at the top of the search results. The searcher can then read reviews, view contact info, and even submit up to three service requests, eliminating a lot of the legwork needed to find a quality provider. Currently, the beta test is only covering plumbers and locksmiths in the San Francisco area, but if all goes well, we can see home services ads becoming a nationwide, multiple-industry thing.
How Does Google Qualify Providers?
So the next big question is obviously how does Google choose which providers to recommend on such valuable real estate? Google does do their homework before allowing a provider to purchase home services ads. This is their process:
- They conduct a thorough background check, which includes a cross-check against the national sex offender registry and applicable sanctions databases.
- They confirm that the provider is licensed and insured.
- They ensure a strong track record by viewing customer reviews and ratings.
- They hire mystery shoppers to test the providers incognito to make sure they are living up to the standards expected of them.
How Do Customers Contact the Providers?
This is where it gets really fun. If someone has decided on one provider, they can use the contact info shown on the home services ad, or they can simply click the “Send Request” button. However, if the searcher wants to compare the prices and customer service skills of a few providers, the Google home services ads make it really easy. Once the user clicks the “More (fill in the profession)” link at the bottom of the auto-populated providers, they will be able to select three of them that they want to contact after only entering their personal info and request details once. These three providers will essentially compete for the business, so the user is sure to get a great deal.
If all goes smoothly, this is where Google steps aside and lets the provider take over. If for some reason the provider isn’t able to complete the request, Google will help the user connect with another one of their home services ads clients. Upon completion of the service request, Google then follows up with the searcher to collect a review and rating for the professional to make sure they are producing high quality work with top-notch customer service.
Considering their prime real estate, and what we can only assume will be a stellar reputation, it’s clear that the home services ads could be a game changer for Google—and the home services professionals who are featured. We can’t wait for it to come to Connecticut so we can test it out for ourselves.