What Do I Need to Know About the Q&A Feature in Google My Business?
Last August, Google quietly launched a Question and Answer feature on the Google My Business platform. Since it launched, many business owners haven’t taken full advantage of Q&A, and may not know it even exists. Here’s what you should know about Questions and Answers!
You won’t get notifications by default. Notifications are not automatically pushed to the Google My Business dashboard because Q&A was initially targeted for Local Guides, trying to get users to answer questions instead of the business owner. In order to receive notifications when users ask questions, you will need to install Google Maps on your phone and turn on push notifications. If you manage multiple listings, you need to address each notification right away because unlike social media platforms, notifications disappear right away. There isn’t a way to get questions back to see what they were referring to.
Your customers are asking and seeing answered questions. Potential customers may be asking questions, and instead of having the business itself respond, Google may be accepting answers from past or current patrons of your business. Past customers are prompted by Google to answer questions about their experience with your company, regardless of how they viewed the experience, and send notifications to them if a new question is posted to the listing. If your potentially unhappy customers are seeing the listing, they may answer the questions negatively, which can deter new business. Customers may also provide incorrect answers, even if they aren’t sure. Members of the Local Guide program receive rewards regardless. This can also prevent new customers from trying your business, especially if they are looking for a particular service.
If questions about your business violate Google guidelines, you can ask for them to be removed from your listing. This doesn’t mean Google will automatically remove negative feedback on your business, because the search engine tries to keep an unbiased, accurate view of businesses available. However, incorrect answers and inappropriate questions will be removed if flagged by the business owner in order to provide a truthful listing about your company.