Google’s New Helpouts Service: How It’s Working Out

Google has finally given into the understanding that not every answer is available without a human touch. It is for this reason that Google has launched a new service, Helpouts, which will connect people with live experts for free or paid advice – a service for people who “don’t know what question to ask.”

The Release of Google Helpouts

Helpouts was announced on November 4th, which, according to Google, can provide paid one-on-one help with anything from learning Mandarin to fixing your garage door to helping your kids with their math homework. With the use of Google Helpouts, you can solicit help from individual experts or even from brands you already know, like Sephora or Rosetta Stone.

Individual helpers are listed based upon their price, reviews, and qualifications, so you know just who you are talking to. The service uses Google+ to log in, Google Hangouts for the connection, and Google Wallet for payment.

Responses

So far, responses have largely been positive, according to Twitter. From users who are offering help:

Helpouts 1

…to those who have found help (in this case, with playing the saxophone):

Help Outs 2

…it’s looking like Helpouts is starting out on the right foot. Not everyone is happy, however – as with any online connection between two people, there can sometimes be faulty internet issues, as outlined in this blog post from the Guardian, so the user didn’t quite get what he wanted out of his experience.

How Businesses Can Use Helpouts

Overwhelmingly, however, the response to Google Helpouts has been quite positive, leading many users to wonder how businesses might make use of this new service. As of yet, the program is only available via invite for those who want to provide help, but those who have services to offer can ask for an invite here. Until invitations open up again, businesses can find Helpouts offering tech support, tutoring, and even career advice – and can make plans for future Helpouts that they might offer.

How might your business make use of Helpouts?

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Tree

Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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