Business owners were understandably excited when Google announced Reserve with Google in 2016. It meant that people would have an easier time finding local businesses and booking services and appointments directly from Google search results, which in turn meant more clients and more revenue for businesses.
Two years into the service being active, has Reserve With Google delivered on its promise to increase customers and business revenue? Mostly, yes. But there are still a few flaws in the service and some worries for business owners to overcome.
The Good: It works
Some business owners estimated for a Reuters report that 50-75% of clients coming in through Reserve were new to the business. One restaurant owner reported over 15,000 diners from Reserve appointments in just the first few weeks. Considering the service is free to use, that’s a pretty good investment.
The Bad: Functionality is still limited
A concern for business owners is that Reserve with Google only supports part of the business model. It handles bookings for classes and appointments, but cannot process membership purchases, recurring billing, waivers, and other transactions that businesses depend son. This shouldn't be (and isn't) a deal breaker for business owners, but it can be frustrating. It also highlights the potential for what Reserve could grow into.
The Good: It’s convenient
Convenience was Google’s big selling point, and they really delivered. Clients can find and book nearby services from their desks, the bus, the couch, wherever they happen to be. Since Reserve integrates with your scheduling software, the booking and contact information is automatically synced with your system.
The Bad: Convenience can come at the cost of community
Reserve with Google is convenient, but it’s also less personal. Every online booking is a missed opportunity for a phone or in-person chat. As online booking becomes more and more popular, business owners and their staff will have to work hard to maintain the relationships with clients that contribute to increased retention rates.
The final takeaway? Reserve with Google is a good tool for your business. The product has only been expanding and improving since its release. It’s proven to be an effective way to attract new clients. And as a bonus, it’s free for your business to use.