Google helpouts, why have I not heard of this?

23 replies
I'm reading through a trade magazine just now and I see an article on "Google Helpouts" that's launching at the end of this month (October) apparently.

"Say you're a consumer with an overflowing toilet. You would go on Helpouts through your G+ account and find an available plumber who can answer your question. With your smartphone, you could show the plumber the problem and he can walk you through how to fix it".

Pros can set their own rates, by the minute or hour, with google taking a 20% transaction fee and google offers a 100% money-back guarantee if not satisified."

I see a LOT of opportunity in this. I can't believe I haven't heard of this before.
#google #heard #helpouts
  • Profile picture of the author Andrew H
    Just checked out the site, that looks like a very ambitious project. Curious to see how it unfolds.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCG
    Thanks, Bob...

    Now next week there will be 1000 WSOs on how to use this to make money. hahaha
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by TheCG View Post

      Thanks, Bob...

      Now next week there will be 1000 WSOs on how to use this to make money. hahaha
      LOL right!
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    • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
      Originally Posted by TheCG View Post

      Thanks, Bob...

      Now next week there will be 1000 WSOs on how to use this to make money. hahaha
      Hopefully the first will be by Bob. Sincerely.

      Not sure I want the government to know what went down my toilet. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author SendCards
    I got accepted in the beta....lots of hoops to jump through..
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  • Profile picture of the author SendCards
    FYI..Here are a couple Helpouts groups that are growing and providing member's personal experiences to date:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/communit...20922119140466

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/communit...12472115066588

    Cheers!

    C
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  • Profile picture of the author imsolutionsgroup
    I don't see this working for most of the offline services.

    It's pretty much a lose-lose in my opinion. Let's use the first example: "Overflowing Toilet"

    1. As the consumer are you really going to pay a plumber to virtually tell you how to fix your toilet when it's overflowing? Well, maybe if the price is a lot cheaper than having him come out and fix it himself. But, what happens if you can't get it fixed from his directions? Then what? Do you need to hire someone else virtually, do you need to have him come out, did you just throw your money down the toilet

    2. For the Plumber the ONLY way you are going to get any clients from this is if you offer this service at a much cheaper rate than your price if you actually come out to customers home. Plus, right off the top you need to give Google 20%.

    Why would a plumber want to waste their time sitting at home trying to give directions to a customer on how to fix their toilet...when they get paid much less than if they just went over there and did it themselves?

    Those are my initial thoughts...and I'm sure it might be good for some service (consultations), but I'd say don't waste your time trying to figure out the in's and out's of this one. I'm sure it will be gone before you even know it.

    If it does stay around, it will be geared to everyday people help out everyday people with minor projects, questions, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    The idea is pretty clever and it may work in some cases, but it also has drawbacks. Are there liability problems? Would any good technician buy into this model? Seems like it really limits their ability to earn. Of course I can understand Google wanting to get a cut of every transaction possible! These guys are relentless.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      There are already sites that use this model. I had problems with my sink. One site I came upon was an advise site. You could browse existing answers or you could post the question and get an expert to answer your very own question, for a fee.

      There were other sites like that in other industries I'd come upon, like computer repair.

      I never paid, I don't know if these sites are profitable. Judging by the size of the site (the effort it went into making it that big) and the longevity, they are.

      Anyway, the point was, it's not a new idea and, maybe, if people see it often enough, it will be accepted, then liked and it will become common place.

      Originally Posted by Huskerdarren View Post

      The idea is pretty clever and it may work in some cases, but it also has drawbacks. Are there liability problems? Would any good technician buy into this model? Seems like it really limits their ability to earn. Of course I can understand Google wanting to get a cut of every transaction possible! These guys are relentless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    You know, I can really see this working in some industries. Like education, or tutoring/mentoring. But it seems like a lot of hoops to jump through, and a pretty big commission.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Hope YouTube remains free.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    This is very different from other help sites including youtube and ask.com or any of those. If you have a pilot light out in your old furnace for example, you might search forever to find out how to light it or what's wrong because you may have a different model or whatnot.

    Instead of trying to search online forever and find someone with a relevant furnace, or spend the time taking screenshots and waiting for someone to respond, you would be able to go to helpouts and get an HVAC guy live who can look through your phone and tell you exactly what to do.

    I am 100% positive a lot of people would pay for live video help that they don't have to wait forever for answers for. It's also interesting that there's medical experts, I can see a huge demand here, where you could pay a few bucks to talk to a health professional about a problem you might have and get a professional answer right then and there.

    Legal help would be an amazing service too. Anything live where you can talk with an expert in real-time about your situation at an affordable price, in the convenience of your home, at a moment's notice, with a money-back guarantee and a host of reviews and credibility is an incredibly good value in my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      This is very different from other help sites including youtube and ask.com or any of those. If you have a pilot light out in your old furnace for example, you might search forever to find out how to light it or what's wrong because you may have a different model or whatnot.

      Instead of trying to search online forever and find someone with a relevant furnace, or spend the time taking screenshots and waiting for someone to respond, you would be able to go to helpouts and get an HVAC guy live who can look through your phone and tell you exactly what to do.

      I am 100% positive a lot of people would pay for live video help that they don't have to wait forever for answers for. It's also interesting that there's medical experts, I can see a huge demand here, where you could pay a few bucks to talk to a health professional about a problem you might have and get a professional answer right then and there.

      Legal help would be an amazing service too. Anything live where you can talk with an expert in real-time about your situation at an affordable price, in the convenience of your home, at a moment's notice, with a money-back guarantee and a host of reviews and credibility is an incredibly good value in my opinion.

      A lot of solid points here. Legal is exceptionally interesting. There's a business of significance yearning to be built there.

      LegalZoom is in the best possible position to pivot to a "live help" model, they'd displace lawyers and depress legal fees in the process... This could get very interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I can see it now, pilot passes out, passenger uses Google help outs to land plane.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      If it happens, I call dibs on the movie rights.

      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      I can see it now, pilot passes out, passenger uses Google help outs to land plane.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
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  • Profile picture of the author greevil
    Holy crap this is brilliant.

    But it's flawed... ultimately it hinges on the underlying Google Plus network, which is still far behind Facebook.

    Wait till facebook jumps on this... or wait till someone makes an app that interfaces with facebook to do this.. THEN we'll be cooking with gas.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by greevil View Post

      Holy crap this is brilliant.

      But it's flawed... ultimately it hinges on the underlying Google Plus network, which is still far behind Facebook.

      Wait till facebook jumps on this... or wait till someone makes an app that interfaces with facebook to do this.. THEN we'll be cooking with gas.
      Facebook would never do this. I guarantee it. Their stated mission is social on a basic level.
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    • Profile picture of the author AUKev
      This could really work in certain niches. I know very little about the mechanics of cars, but have recently started doing some of my own maintenance work. There are times when I would easily pay $25-50 to get a mechanic on the phone and send a video or pictures for them to walk me through a repair. I recently did a repair that would have run $1800 at the dealership and completed it for about $400 ($325 in parts). I used online forums and it took me 3 days to eventually complete the project, but an on-call mechanic could have walked me through it in 15 minutes.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    I think this will evolve and be a useful thing. As with most anything, critical mass for mass market takes google money and time. But there will be oppty for many niches/verticals.

    A great vertical for this is virtual/remote golf coaching right on the practice range or even golf course with you. A buddy videos your swing for a live remote coach and you get feedback via your bluetooth earpiece. Or the cameras are mounted on your golf cart and have PTZ auto track to a bluetooth fob you wear so you are always in frame. get audio feedback before/after swing and video info/feedback at golf cart after your shot.

    it could be recorded for later review/analysis, or live coaching for an upsell premium fee.
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  • Profile picture of the author m5smiley
    I did not know of this either! There have been sites like this through the years like Guru and Kaza where experts actually got paid to give their advice. I guess on Google the reward will be self promotion. Very interesting!

    Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

    I'm reading through a trade magazine just now and I see an article on "Google Helpouts" that's launching at the end of this month (October) apparently.

    "Say you're a consumer with an overflowing toilet. You would go on Helpouts through your G+ account and find an available plumber who can answer your question. With your smartphone, you could show the plumber the problem and he can walk you through how to fix it".

    Pros can set their own rates, by the minute or hour, with google taking a 20% transaction fee and google offers a 100% money-back guarantee if not satisified."

    I see a LOT of opportunity in this. I can't believe I haven't heard of this before.
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