6 things you need to know about Google Maps’ Q&A feature
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In mid-August, Google rolled out a new feature on the Google Maps app for Android called Questions & Answers. This feature is currently also available on mobile browsers.
1. If you don’t see the feature, you might need to update the app
2. Customers don’t get notifications (yet)
If a user asks a question, he or she won’t get notified when someone responds. This is contrary to what Google stated in their announcement: “When you get an answer, we’ll notify you through Google Maps.” My assumption is that this is a bug that will get corrected over time.
3. Business owners will need the Google Maps app to keep track of questions
In order to be notified about questions submitted by customers, business owners must have the Google Maps app and must be signed in with the same Google account that they use to manage their listing in Google My Business. These notifications don’t show up anywhere currently in Google My Business, so if you’re not using the Google Maps app, you will have no idea when someone asks a question about your business.
4. You can see the profile and name of the person who asked the question
On the initial screen that shows the questions, you don’t see any information about who submitted the question — but all you need to do is click the question itself to see this info.
5. Business owners should avoid answering with a generic “yes” or “no”
Tom Waddington pointed out that a business owner would have no idea if the user goes back and edits their question later. For example, I could post a question on the listing for a restaurant asking, “Are there vegan options?” If they responded with just “yes,” I could go back and edit my question to change it to, “Have you been cited by the health department?” and the answer would stay the same.
6. Upvoting questions will impact how they show up
In their announcement, Google mentioned that “upvoting makes popular questions more visible.”
I anticipate that Google will continue to make developments to this feature to help make it more useful to both users and businesses.