Search engine giant Google has discovered a more personalised way of offering advice to its countless online customers, with the announcement that it will be using its Google Hangouts video service to launch a new ‘Google Helpouts’ site, which seeks to ‘help people help each other’ via live online videos.
The new tool will allow users to connect with experts or advisers on whatever subject they desire online in real time via a live video chat.
Thus far, Google has only extended invitations to the new service to 1000 companies, keeping it all a bit hush-hush and ‘invite only’ for the moment, but plans for extension won’t be too far away.
In the future, customers will be able to choose to talk to individuals and a wide-range of companies either immediately or book appointments to seek the answers to their queries, and will have the power to select their experts based on their specific qualifications, availability, price, ratings and reviews, with Google taking 20% of the transaction cost.
According to its blog, Google promises a full money back guarantee if the experience leaves customers underwhelmed, but many hope that some services offered in the future will be free.
The blog concludes: “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. Helpouts may not be suitable for every occasion, and it will take time to get used to interactions via real time video. We hope that the efficiency, convenience and global reach of Helpouts will make people’s lives easier in the long term.”
This innovative idea is the next creative step in the rise of real-time video services such as Skype and Facebook Video, and its practical use may see it become one of the best and most innovative digital marketing ideas that Google has had for quite a while.