Last month we wrote about Google’s New Q&A Feature For Maps and now we’ve had more time to look at the new feature, here are some key points you should know about when looking to use it for your business.
#1 – You may need to update the app to see it
The new feature begun rolling out in August, but if you have automatic updates disabled for you apps, you may need to manually update via the Play Store in order to see and use it.
#2 – Customers don’t receive notifications (at least not yet!)
At this point in time, if a customer submits a question and the business responds to it, they won’t receive a notification. This contradicts Google’s initial statement: “When you get an answer, we’ll notify you through Google Maps.” It’s more than likely that this will be fixed in an update soon.
#3 – Businesses need the Google Maps app to track questions
To receive notifications of customers submitting questions, business owners are required to have the Google Maps app installed on their device, linked to the account that they also use when managing their Google My Business listing. At this point in time, notifications from Q&A don’t show in My Business, so you really need to be using the Google Maps app to see when a potential customer has asked a question via a push notification.
#4 – The name and profile of customers who ask questions is visible
By clicking on the submitted question, you will be able to see the information of whoever asked it, including their name, photos and number of reviews. This information won’t appear on the initial list of questions however.
#5 – ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers should be avoided
Google My Business Top Contributor Tom Waddington has stated that there is the potential for yes and no answers to be exploited by way of the customer editing the initial question. To avoid embarrassment, make sure your answers are detailed and contextual.
# 6 – Up-voting affects how questions are shown
Google, in their initial statement, described how “upvoting makes popular questions more visible.” This means that questions with a number of likes will appear more prominent in the actual business listing, meaning that users don’t have to click through to see it. This will be quite valuable for your most common and important questions and answers.
To summarise, the Google Q&A feature in Maps is a powerful and interesting new tool for businesses, but it will take close monitoring in order to use it properly. Be pro-active with managing questions and give detailed answers to get the best out of this exciting new feature!