Google Assistant is about to get a bit more home-savvy. The voice assistant will be gaining local discovery skills that will help you locate home services nearby. The company specifically detailed that Assistant would be gaining insights to help users locate “nearby services like an electrician, plumber, house cleaner and more.”
Saying something like, “Hey Google, I need a plumber,” will soon help you clarify your problem, pull up results for local services that can help you out of your jam and dial them up for you.
The recent Google anouncement focused heavily on home services, though the move fits more broadly into Google’s broader strategy of helping Assistant cater results more locally for users. When it comes to real-world stores and services that have yet to be app-disrupted, there’s still a long way for voice assistants to go.
Instead of just providing a top list, however, Google Assistant will ask several questions to get the right nearby shop that fits the user’s needs.
To be clear, this isn’t just to advise users of the best nearby restaurants, which Amazon’s Alexa has been doing for years. The new Google Assistant questionnaire helps find specialists, like plumbers and electricians. In some cities, it will suggest businesses that have been prescreened by Google and companies such as HomeAdvisor and Porch.
Customers interested in taking advantage of the new feature can start by saying, “Ok Google, find me a plumber” to their Assistant on their Android phone, iPhone, or voice activated speaker, like Google Home.
The Assistant will then ask a few follow up questions, and offer a list of local options nearby, Gummi Hafsteinsson, Google Assistant product lead, wrote in the post.
At launch, the service will be available for eight different categories: Plumbers, house cleaners, locksmiths, heating and air conditioning services, electricians, garage door repair services, house painters, and appliance repair services
Voice search will continue to become a huge factor in small business marketing strategies. Local services on the Assistant is currently free for any business that can pass the Local Services by Google vetting process, according to Blumenthals. Those that want to be included can fill out an interest form, and someone from the Local Services team will reach out after validating their location and category. Businesses do not have to pay to go through the background check process.