If You Aren’t Using Google’s Q&A Feature You Need to Read This

man and woman looking at laptop

Do you know what Google’s Questions and Answers feature is?

If you don’t, you’re not alone...

More than 25% of businesses don’t know about (and don’t use) Google’s Q&A Feature, which means they’re not answering questions from current and potential customers who interact with their page.

Why does that matter?

Because when questions from customers go unanswered on Google, the identity and health of your business are put at risk.

What Is Google’s Questions & Answers Feature?

It’s a question and answer tool for businesses registered on Google.

And it looks like this:

Screenshot of Google My BusinessScreen shot of Google My Business

And Google users can ask your business a question directly, OR-and this is key-they can ask the Google community at large.

Ignore Google Q&A and You Will Lose Business

Imagine you’re looking for a Donut Shop in Los Angeles that sells Cronuts.

You type in “Cronuts Los Angeles” into Google and a few donut shops pop up in the search result. You separate the well-reviewed shops from the bad (anything under four-stars gets vetoed) and you pick the best-reviewed location that’s close to you.

You scan the pictures and they look great but alas, you don’t see any cronuts.

You visit the shop’s webpage to see if they have cronuts on their menu but you can’t find them.

At this point, you’ve got a decision to make:

Find another shop or ask and find out.

You call but can’t get anyone on the phone.

So, you ask your question directly through the Question and Answer feature on Google.

“Do you sell cronuts?”

Ten minutes later, a response comes in from a Google Local Guide.

Their answer?-a definitive “no.”

Then another response comes in from a random Google user-“I don’t think so.”

One “no” and one “I don’t know” is enough for you. You cross that donut shop off your list and start looking at other options.

But here’s the rub...the donut shop actually sells cronuts!

In fact, they sell some of the best cronuts in all of Southern California.

Of course, you’ll never know that, because the shop failed to respond to your question on Google Q&A.

This type of exchange happens all the time:

Screen shot of Google ReviewsScreen shot of Google Reviews

In fact, it’s probably happening right now with your business, and it’s costing you customers!

But that’s not the worst part...

Random People Can Post Incorrect Information About Your Business

In the previous example, a Google Local Guide and a random Google user claimed the donut shop in question did not sell cronuts.

Sadly, contrary to what the local guide had to say, the shop did sell cronuts.

How could two nameless individuals unaffiliated with the donut shop post incorrect information online about it?

Because Google allows them to.

People who’ve never been your customer...

People who are disgruntled with your business or spiteful...

Can leave Google reviews or post information that will carry as much weight as a review or post from someone who’s your business’ biggest fan.

This is why, if you are a business owner, it’s vital to reply to questions about your business immediately.

If only replying was that easy...

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t make it easy to know when someone asks your business a question online. However, Google allows anyone using the app to ask and answer questions. It is important to be aware of when these questions are coming in so that you do not miss out on potential customers.

The only way to tell when someone’s asked a question on your business profile is to have Google Maps notifications set on an Android Phone or Tablet.

What if I don’t have an Android device?

  1. If you haven’t already, claim your Google My Business profile. Do it now, we’ll wait.

  2. If you don’t have an Android phone:

    1. Set up a system to monitor your listing’s questions on a consistent basis (at least once an hour if your business is popular locally).

    2. Hire an online reputation management company to monitor it for you—outsourcing this small (albeit important) task can be worth its weight in gold.

What do I do if I have an Android device?

  1. Congratulations. You can monitor your business’s engagement through the Google Maps app.

This will send any new questions or answers directly to your phone or device. You’ll need to do this for multiple listings if you’ve got more than one location. Be careful with swiping away the pop-up notifications from Google Maps. If you miss them, you won’t get another reminder.

Final Thoughts

Google’s Questions and Answers feature is immensely helpful for the overall user experience. It gives your prospective customers direct access to your business and greatly improves the overall customer service experience on these third-party apps.

If you want to utilize this tool to the best of its potential, it is essential to respond quickly and accurately. You can also use this as an opportunity to showcase the positive aspects of your business. We do not recommend answering with a simple, “Yes” or “No,” even if that would answer the question sufficiently. Instead, you want to demonstrate the knowledge and friendliness of your business, and the way you answer these questions will make your first impression. If you neglect them, you’ll end up with strangers speaking for your business, and they won’t always have your best interest at heart.

Google Q&A also provides a unique opportunity for your business to communicate and to post your most important Q&As. To do this, simply identify three or four common questions that consumers and potential customers tend to have about your business. For example, if the highly-rated bakery had included a question about their cronuts in this channel, they might not have lost the business of those who were interested in this niche pastry.

When forming these questions, remember that they should be written in the voice of the consumer and should not come across the same way that advertising would. Think of the way that your customers write when forming Google reviews and try to speak in the same tone. When answering the questions, just like you would with an organic question, your tone should be informative and should represent the best qualities of your business.

If you want to protect your business’s brand image and utilize this tool to further your business’s reputation, give us a call at (866) 344-8852 or visit us a