Google is testing a new ad format that improves the user experience for searchers looking for home service professionals in their area. Starting with plumbers and locksmiths in the San Francisco area, the new feature allows homeowners to qualify professionals before deciding which to contact.
The home services ads, currently in beta, display the home professional’s name, photo, phone number, average Google rating, location and callouts (24/7 service, experienced professional). In a very clean and user-friendly format, the new ads display three professionals at a time, while giving the user the opportunity to expand the list of available professionals.
One interesting caveat is the option to “Connect with trusted and experienced professionals”, based on criteria set forth by Google, or “Get in touch easily”, which allows the customer to explain their problem to multiple professionals to determine the most appropriate providers. Users can also manually select professionals to send their requests to if they prefer to do so.
Home service professionals can target customers needing specific services by filling out a profile that explains their areas of expertise. Google also cross-checks this data with national sex offender and criminal databases for added peace of mind.
Adding to this convenient new feature is the ability for the customer to reschedule or select a different professional if the desired professional is too busy or declines the request. One may also contact Google to request another professional if the initial company failed to meet the customer’s expectations.
While this new feature is still in beta, it could prove to be a gamechanger for both users and home service pros. It is definitely in line with one of Google’s core principles: focus on the user. Finding a local plumber or locksmith in one’s area would become much easier and full of several useful features not currently available for all searches.