Experts from different fields can now offer their services, at a price, to global customers
Google is rolling out a new initiative called Helpouts, which allows users to get real time help anytime, anywhere, over a live video.
Imagine having a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and having absolutely no clue how to change it – and there’s not a soul nearby to help you with it. With Helpouts, you can instantly have a face-to-face call with a mechanic who can guide you through the tire changing process! Now, wouldn’t that be handy?
Helpouts has yet to go live, but it has been creating quite the buzz online, with many wondering what this new website has to offer. In a gist, Helpouts basically function as a marketplace where experts of various fields, from Arts and Music, to Health and Counselling, amongst others, can sell their services to users around the world. Through this platform, you’re looking at a possibly cost-effective method to seek an expert’s opinion on different matters, all in real time.
What do you need for Helpouts?
While there is no specific date released as to when Helpouts will go live, Google has already advised potential users as to the requirements for the service. In order to be a part of Helpouts, either as a service provider or an interested customer, you’ll firstly need a Google+ account. You’ll also need to have Google+ Hangouts installed on your computer or mobile device, as Helpouts is powered by Google+ Hangouts.
If you’ve attempted to offer your services as a provider to Helpouts, you’ll also need to produce an invitation code to set up an account. Getting your resumes, relevant licences, especially for medical and health services providers, and clearances ready would also be a good idea, considering that Helpouts will conduct a review process, via third party companies, Infinity Contact, Capita Customer Management, and VXI, to ensure provider’s legitimacy.
The review process will include a video interview and credential checks, especially if you’re providing medical services. Only after all the protocols and background checks have been cleared will your Helpouts listing be made public. Helpouts also has a 100% money back guarantee policy in cases where customers are not satisfied with the provider’s assistance.
How is Helpouts going to affect businesses in Australia?
There is no doubt that Helpouts will have an impact on businesses in Australia. However, whether it’s a bane or boon, it’s all up to you whether you choose to ride the wave or just let it slide by. With Helpouts, you may be able to reach a wider audience by providing your services on a global level, especially if you’re a small business.
For example, if you’re operating a one-man show auto shop in Alice Springs, and you’re looking to increase your business, being a part of Helpouts is going to benefit you because you’re going to gain access to a global audience and charge them for your services. However, if you choose not to be a part of Helpouts, then you might find yourself losing potential customers who may just decide to turn to Helpouts for help.
According to the little nuggets of information that Google has dropped on Helpouts, you need not be on call 24/7 to entertain potential customers, unless you want to of course. You can indicate timings when you’re available on your profile or even schedule in appointments. This website can pretty much function as a side business for you.
With what’s available so far, it appears that Google has a really good thing going on here with Helpouts, but now all we can do is sit and wait for the website to go live – only then can the full scale of Helpouts be understood and its effectiveness assessed.