Is Google adding a ‘human factor’ to its services?
Google are not a company to rest on their laurels, and while they may monopolize the search engine market, have the biggest market share for mobile operating systems in Android, and offer a wealth of other great services for free like Google Docs and Gmail, rarely a week goes by without news that they are experimenting with a new initiative. Recently, however, a couple of tests they appear to be doing seem to indicate that in future, we may find ourselves actually interacting with human Google employees, rather than just Google tech. While these are just early stage tests and not much is known about where Google’s intentions lie with them, it could suggest an interesting shift in the company’s public facing image in the not too distant future.
Are Google Testing a Call or Text Service to Help with Local Searches?
According to a report this week, a certain search for plumbers revealed a new Google service called Google Concierge. Little can currently be found about Google Concierge, so the company are keeping quiet about it, however what it appears to do is give you a cellphone number to call or text Google. The website then says it will recommend plumbers in your area who are insured and have been pre-screened. Google can also then put you in direct contact with a recommended plumber, should you choose them.
Why This Is Interesting
There are several implications to this service. First of all, it suggests Google’s algorithms may currently be struggling with deciding, when displaying local results, which plumbers are reputable – so a human factor is needed to help users find people who have been verified as insured and otherwise screened. Secondly, it seems that Google may begin offering this kind of recommendation as a kind of sales service for businesses who can meet their criteria – a whole new channel of paid advertising for them which digital marketing consultants are sure to find tantalizing. Thirdly, it indicates that for the first time, Google are testing out the benefits of having representatives to talk to their users about their local search results – which is a big shift for them in and of itself, and could see lots of jobs created if this was rolled out worldwide.
Google’s Home Delivery Service
As well as calling or texting Google, in the future you may well find yourself answering the door to a Google employee. While currently limited to specific areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Google are testing out a home delivery service for groceries. This is once again an interesting departure from the way we are used to thinking about Google, and could be a huge deal if they decide to roll it out to a wider audience.
These tests are very limited, and let’s not forget that Google try out all kinds of different things that never end up in their core services, but they do suggest Google has some strategies it wants to try out that could mean we’ll have a more personal relationship with the company in future.