Google Helpouts bridge businesses with clients
Launched this week by invitation only, Google Helpouts, using the existing Google Hangouts to provide a “video marketplace” for users to receive consultations from experts on almost any subject. Currently, categories include Home and Garden, Computers and Electronics, Health and Counseling, Nutrition and Fitness, Fashion and Beauty, Art and Music, Cooking, Education, and of course “Other.”
The service is not open to the public yet, but we anticipate as experts are brought on to populate the library of available topics, the service will launch more widely. Google Helpouts will be a pay-only service with all payments going through Google Wallet, allowing experts to charge for video consultations.
Imagine sitting at your desk, frustrated by something on your iPhone – you’ll be able to hop on to Google Helpouts, pay a few bucks for an expert to video chat with you and walk you through the process of repair, without having to drive anywhere. Fitness instructors can host low cost sessions over Google Helpouts, writing coaches can teach methods, repair professionals can save people trips, and marketing consultants can answer questions for small companies that can’t yet afford to buy the entire strategy.
Big opportunity for small businesses, consultants
Additionally, this is a big opportunity for people who are recognized experts in their field to monetize their wisdom, in a community that is established. Google is currently using HireRight to do background checks on health services vendors – there is no word yet as to how widespread background checks will go for other fields.
Before getting started with offering Google Helpouts, be sure to become very familiar with all policies so you can establish your own policies. For example, users must be over 18 to host a Google Helpout, but users as young as 13 may tune in, so keeping your content clean and kid-friendly is important. You should also know that there is a 100% money back guarantee offered by Google, and that sessions are recorded for quality assurance unless the customer opts out.