Google pushes the frontiers of customer service with new Helpouts feature

Published on 07 November 2013 by in Latest News

Customer Service Implications of Google Helpouts1 Google pushes the frontiers of customer service with new Helpouts featureGoogle’s latest Helpouts initiative could fundamentally change the way individuals seek customer service. The service, which was rolled out earlier this week, is a pioneering feature from Google that allows individuals to connect with experts from across the globe for live video guidance on a diverse range of topics, with charges set by the advisor.

“We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help,” Google’s Vice President of Engineering, Udi Manber, commented in an official blog announcing the service.

Initially, Helpouts will only cover eight help categories, including education, computers and electronics, fashion and health, but Google plans to expand the service in future.

“Today is just the beginning. We’re starting small and in a few categories. The number of people giving help on Helpouts and the type of help available will grow over time,” Manber related, adding, “We hope that the efficiency, convenience and global reach of Helpouts will make people’s lives easier in the long term.”

Google promises to verify each specialist to ensure users receive a high-quality service, and will provide details on qualifications, availability and ratings and reviews for consumers to decide who to contact for advice. Users will also have the option to use a number of helpful tools such as screen-sharing, recording and collaborative document editing options within their session, which could prove invaluable for resolving customer service issues.

Primarily for the consumer though, the most crucial advantage of the new system is the ability to access help on a variety of topics in one location, eliminating the need to search for customer service numbers or social media profiles. As a result, if the service takes off, businesses will need to ensure they include the channel in their customer service mix, particularly since if they are not present to provide advice, a competitor might be.

Unsurprisingly given this fact, a number of household brand names including Sephora, Weight Watchers, Rosetta Stone and Home Depot’s Redbeacon brand have already signed up as contributors.

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