Remember the Staples commercial that featured the Easy button? It seems that today’s customers really do want things to be that easy and they don’t want to spend too much time trying to track down a business that suits their needs. They’ve got questions and savvy companies have answers. Wouldn’t it be great if your customers and potential customers could easily get answers to questions they have? Wouldn’t it also be great if you didn’t have to field the same questions over and over again? We have the answer - or rather, Google has the answer!
Introducing Questions and Answers
You may not know this but your GMB (Google My Business) listing includes a section for Questions and Answers. This is yet another feature Google offers businesses to help with customer engagement and can be a great resource for potential customers who are gathering information about your business. It offers them the ability to ask questions and get answers directly from your Google listing.
Any questions that have already been asked about your business will appear on your Google listing. But wait, who answers these questions? We’ll give you the whole story in just a bit.
Google’s Questions and Answers feature is displayed on your Google Business listing and is visible on Google Search on both desktop and mobile devices. This feature is available on Google Maps on android mobile devices only.
How Will the Questions and Answers Feature Help Your Business?
We love that Google offers yet another great way to engage with your customers. It appears they really do want to help make things as easy as possible for today’s consumers and we applaud them for that.
In the book The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi, the authors discuss several key components of excellent customer service and the importance of making things easy for your customers ranks pretty high.
Instead of getting customers to say, "You exceeded my expectations," we really ought to be getting customers to say, "You made that easy." See the difference? You need to give your customers fewer reasons to be disloyal and the best way to do that is to reduce customer effort.”
By implementing so many Customer Engagement features for your business— Messaging, Posts, Questions and Answers, Photos & Videos—Google reveals that one of its main goals is to provide you with incredible tools so you can better engage with your customers. These features allow you to make everything simple for your customers.
According to our internal GMB expert, Teresa Gaunt, Google is becoming somewhat like Facebook and the goal seems to be getting the business owner to engage with their customers directly on the Google listing.
It’s becoming more of a living, interactive listing, rather than a static one.”
How it Looks
Here’s the question box - doesn’t get much easier than that!
Kate, the franchise owner of Mosquito Joe of NW Houston & S Brazos Valley has been diligently answering questions as they arise on her Google listing. All the questions that have been asked and answered remain on the company’s Google page and other online viewers can participate by giving a thumbs up if they believe the answer to the question has been helpful.
Because Google allows anyone, and we do mean anyone, to answer questions about any business on Google, there’s a chance the answers may be wrong. There's also a possibility that people won't ask a question on your Google listing.
Great news! You can gather some of your company's most frequently-asked questions and pre-populate the Questions and Answers section. It's like your own personal FAQ and you can add all the information you want customers and potential customers to know about. Note that there are policies in place and you aren't allowed to post phone numbers, email addresses, or URL links in your answers.
You will receive an email (screenshot below) when a question gets asked or answered on your Google listing, making it easy to keep up with all the activity going on there.
If for any reason, a person or competitor attempts to spam your listing on the Questions and Answers section, you’ll be able to take action. Google allows you to report the question and/or answer for their team to review.
Is this Feature Worth Your Time?
Google's Questions and Answers feature is now standard with all verified GMB listings and we think it’s a really valuable resource! Remember, if nobody is asking questions about your company organically, you can fill out the Questions and Answers section of your GMB page. Five minutes of your time is all it takes and your customers will have a baseline of questions and answers. It's like they just pressed the Easy button!
Karin Siccardi is a Reputation Defender, Blogger, and Proofreader/Editor at WebPunch. Originally from Oregon, she migrated to Tennessee where she lives with her husband, four children, and the family dog who lounges at her feet as she enjoys the luxury of working from her home office. An avid reader, she enjoys all wordy things as well as coffee, chocolate, and wine.