What Google Guarantee Means for Your Field Service Business — copyBy Stefan Kuehn on Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Is your field service business ready to respond to Google Guarantee?
In the past couple decades, field service businesses have had to adjust to some changes. With the dawn of the internet and the inevitable end of yellow pages, the industry has had to either adapt or get left behind. These shifts are not over yet. Google just released a new vetting system for home service businesses called the Google Guaranteed Program. Right now the program is still in beta, but it looks like something that may become crucial for field service businesses in the future. So, let’s talk about it!
What is Google Guarantee?
The Google Guarantee comes in the form of a simple verified green check mark that presents itself alongside your business name in Google search results. Essentially, the check mark indicates that Google is vouching for your business to consumers, complete with a $2,000 refund paid by Google if customers are not happy with your service.
To earn Google’s backing, your business has to go through an extensive background check, provide license and insurance, and maintain a high customer review rating. Jump through all those hoops and Google rewards you with a solid green pat on the back, distinguishing your business from the competition in those all-important Google search results. When potential customers call your business through the Google ad, Google takes note and charges your business $10-$30 for the lead.
Who will be affected by Google Guarantee?
In the past few years, Google Guarantee has spread across the United States. The program began in California as a response to scam artists creating fake businesses through Google Ads. Currently, Google Guarantee is available in 15 states for home service businesses. We’ve compiled a list below to make it easy to find out if the program has reached your city yet. Keep in mind, however, that the list is always expanding. If you’re not sure if it has hit your city yet do a Google search, typing “[Your Industry] in [Your City]”. If verified results show up (complete with those coveted green checkmarks), you’ll know.
With the service now rolling out at a much higher speed, it doesn’t seem like Google will be stopping it any time soon. Eventually, it seems that everybody across the United States (and perhaps further) will be using Google Guarantee. Because the program has been built with consumers in mind (helping them avoid scams and other dangerous situations), your customers’ service-shopping habits will surely be affected.
Los Angeles, CA
Riverside/San Bernardino, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Minneapolis St. Paul, MN
St. Louis, MO
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
San Antonio, TX
How will Google Guarantee change things for your field service business?
You are not likely to see many changes at first as the Google Guaranteed Program starts to roll out across the United States. Right now the majority of your customers are probably returning clients. Only a portion of your new leads come from Google if your marketing efforts are as broad as they should be.
When the program does come round to your city, you may have to shift your marketing budget to include the PPC fees associated with Google Guarantee. Leads from the service can cost around $10-$30,so make sure to adjust your budget if you need to.
You will also have to take greater care concerning customer reviews. While you should already care about your business’ star ratings, now you have even more reason to do so. The Google Guarantee symbol is only given to businesses with high enough ratings to make Google’s $2,000 promise worth it. They’re not going to promise excellent service to customers if you’ve had a long record of 2 star ratings. Start asking customers for reviews in your follow-up email after a job if you need more quality scores, and make sure you continue to provide the high quality service that inspires excellent reviews.
If you are a one man operation and have been using your home address as your business address, you may feel the hit harder than others. It could be worth looking for a storefront as Google will only grant the Google Guarantee to businesses that have one. Google wants to prevent scammers from taking advantage of Google Ads, but this unfortunate side effect can negatively impact your business if you don’t prepare accordingly.
How can you become Google Guaranteed?
Getting that green checkmark by your business name isn’t difficult. Google provides an easy application form and makes the steps clear. The procedure involves signing up for ads on Google Local Services (formerly Google Home Services) if you haven’t already, undergoing a free background check, and verifying your operating licenses and insurance.
Should you be worried about Google Guarantee?
How are your reviews? Do you have a storefront? If you answered no to either of these questions you may want to reevaluate your business operations to prepare for Google Guarantee. Changes may need to be made to ride the Google wave. Surf’s up!
When Google makes a change, businesses don’t have much choice but to comply with that change by adjusting their marketing efforts. Take advantage of Google Guarantee by signing up as soon as you are able to. If you do not have a storefront, it may be worth evaluating your assets and determining whether it would be a good investment to acquire an operational address separate from your home address.
Stay on the lookout for Google Guarantee and be prepared for it, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Google can be fickle, so it would not be wise to make it your only marketing focus. Google could scrap the program overnight, so you want to make sure you have new business coming in from a variety of other sources.
Ultimately, when Google makes a change it’s us who have to accomodate it if we want to keep our business growing. However, if taken advantage of, Google Guarantee can mean more business than you’ve ever been used to and maximum profits for your field service business.