GBP 201: Lesson 6 — Why You Need to Manage Your GBP Q&A Section
Welcome to lesson 6 of our Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business - GMB) 201 learning series! We’ve reached the end of the road for this course, and we’ve certainly covered a lot of ground in these first 5 lessons. To recap, we’ve explored:
- GBP optimization with conversions in mind
- Tweaking your Google Business Profile to help you rank in local search results
- Intermediate techniques on review management
- Getting started with GBP insights
- Nesting GBP Department Listings
To wrap things up, we’ll be discussing a powerful tool within your GBP that can enable improved conversations with your customer and more accurate information about your business on the web - GBP’s Q&A section.
Introduced in 2017, this handy feature enables customers to ask (and answer) questions about businesses online. In our experience, the tool is underutilized. The most underregulated section of the GBP, we recommend businesses seed with questions and answers to avoid the general public answering questions for your business. Make sure the "official" answers are present.
Let’s cover the importance of keeping your eye on this feature and making it a routine part of your reputation management efforts, in addition to explaining some ways you can effectively manage your GBP Q&A section.
Simply put, the GBP Q&A feature is just another way Google is enabling businesses to take control of their online presence and forge stronger relationships with their customers. This is a huge opportunity that Google is providing, and you shouldn’t hesitate to seize it.
We can break up the importance of staying on top of your GBP Q&A section into four main reasons.
91% of businesses don’t respond to the GBP questions. This means that odds are, your organization is among the majority of businesses not taking the time to provide your customers with the information they’re seeking.
Now consider what it could mean to be among the 9% of businesses who do give a hoot about their customers’ questions and provide thoughtful, insightful responses. Simply responding to their inquiries will give you a huge leg up on competitors in your area and may make the difference in convincing a customer to shop with you versus someone else.
For the business-minded, it is common for questions to be a sales lead or come from a potential buyer. Monitoring the Q&A and providing a prompt response will lead to captured sales opportunities.
Your GBP questions are naturally going to come from prospective, current, or former customers. But are you aware that people also have the ability to answer questions on behalf of your business?
If you’ve seen other businesses with inaccurate information, unprofessional language, or straight-up irrelevant content in their GBP Q&A section, now you know the reason.
When you ignore this GBP feature and leave it in the hands of your customers, things can turn south real quick.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of what can happen when you leave your GBP Q&A section unchecked.
On the left, we see an instance of one unhappy customer having their question answered by a different unhappy customer. The question wasn’t really answered, but more so just acted as a negative pig pile on the business. This only works to let prospective customers know that 1) you have unhappy customers and 2) you’re not concerned with addressing their complaints. Not. Good.
On the right, we see a customer asking a legitimate question about the company’s product offerings, only to have a different customer promote a competitor. We see this a lot interestingly enough. That’s not good either.
Staying on top of your GBP Q&A section helps you avoid these two types of situations and ensures you’re working to keep your business in a positive light.
You might still get a phone call or two from unhappy customers, but for the most part, customer service is happening digitally.
And when customers are reaching out with either a complaint or positive feedback, 52% of them expect your business to respond to their reviews.
Your GBP Q&A section is a great tool to show prospective and existing customers that you’re committed to their satisfaction. When you also consider that 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service, it’s clear that committing to your Q&A section can pay off in dividends for your business.
Last but certainly not least on our list is the ability to gain new business through your GBP Q&A section. Timely, insightful responses to customers asking specific questions about your company’s service offerings, pricing, or business hours can make all the difference in gaining a new customer or losing out on one.
In the above example, we see a GBP question, which is acting as a picture-perfect sales lead-in, left unanswered by a car dealership. The response left by a Local Guide doesn’t do much to help convince the question asker to do business with the dealership.
Each and every sale for a car dealership is huge, and by simply responding to the above question, this dealership could have made an easy sale. Instead, the opportunity was missed.
Let this be a lesson to dealerships and really all businesses out there. If you keep an eye on the questions coming through your GBP page, you likely will have an easy time earning new business by simply answering their questions.
Thanks for reading! That concludes our GBP 201 learning series. Next, we'll be taking a closer look at the power reviews have on propelling your business to the top of Google search rankings and forging stronger relationships with your customers.
Nesting GBP Department Listings