Customers interested in taking advantage of the new feature can start by saying, "Ok Google, find me a plumber" to their Assistant on their Android phone, iPhone, or voice activated speaker, like Google Home. The Assistant will then ask a few follow up questions, and offer a list of local options nearby, Gummi Hafsteinsson, Google Assistant product lead, wrote in the post.
At launch, the service will be available for eight different categories: Plumbers, house cleaners, locksmiths, heating and air conditioning services, electricians, garage door repair services, house painters, and appliance repair services.
SEE: Research: BYOD, Wearables and IoT (Tech Pro Research)
If you are a local business operator in any of those spaces, you can take certain steps to ensure that you are included in results from these queries. In many cities, Google Assistant will suggest providers that have been prescreened, both by Google and by companies such as HomeAdvisor and Porch.
Local services on the Assistant is currently free for any business that can pass the Local Services by Google vetting process, according to Blumenthals. Those that want to be included can fill out an interest form, and someone from the Local Services team will reach out after validating their location and category. Businesses do not have to pay to go through the background check process.
The feature will roll out to US users in the coming week, according to the post.
"Start planning your next big project—whether it's fixing your garage door or painting your garage door—all with your Assistant by your side," Hafsteinsson said.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
1. Google Assistant can now help users connect to local business services such as electricians, plumbers, and house cleaners.
2. Businesses interested in participating can fill out an online form to get vetted by Google.
3. The feature will roll out to US users in the coming week.
- Google readies for e-commerce war with Amazon, offering 2M Walmart products through Google Home (TechRepublic)
- Google shrinks its smart speaker, announces Google Home Mini (ZDNet)
- Google's $1,000 Pixelbook is what Apple's MacBook should be (ZDNet)
- Google Assistant Compatible Products (CNET)
- BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy template (Tech Pro Research)
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.