Google is testing Knowledge Panel feature, Place Actions Forms, to allow scheduling via Intuit’s Demand Force with appointment based businesses. You can test it yourself via this search: cahaba valley animal clinic. (h/t Mary Bowling of Ignitor Digital).
According to Demand Force “By completing the business forms earlier in the search process, your clients will have a better, smoother experience from discovery to booking.”
This test is consistent with previous rollouts for adding things like restaurant reservations via Open Table and taxi booking via Uber to the Knowledge Panel and Maps that started late last year.
Booking requires selecting from a list of pre-determined services to initiate the service and then takes users over to the Intuit Booking Page for that business.
FAQ from Demand Force:
What is happening?
Google is testing a new experimental feature, called Place Actions Forms, that allows clients to book appointments or services through Google Search results. By completing the business forms earlier in the search process, your clients will have a better, smoother experience from discovery to booking.
How do I turn on this feature?
All Demandforce customers are automatically eligible. If you have Online Booking enabled on Intuit Local, a Book an Appointment section will appear with a Continue Booking link that opens the Online Booking form. If you don’t have Online Booking switched on, a Request Appointment section will appear and that form will open instead.
How long will it take to show up?
About a week, but because this is still an experiment, we can’t guarantee when online scheduling will appear for a given business. To increase your chances, please be sure you’ve claimed and updated your Google My Business profile and that information about the services you offer is up to date in Demandforce.
What if I don’t want my business to participate?
We’re excited to participate in this pilot and expect it to benefit both the businesses we serve and Google users. However, if you prefer to not participate, you can turn off online scheduling in your Demandforce account settings.
Is Google using this to collect personal information on me or my customers?
Google is not collecting any personal information on you or your customers.
What happens after a client requests or books an appointment through Google?
The same thing that happens when a client requests or books an appointment through Intuit Local. The business is notified and the request or booking appears on the Dashboard under Incoming Appointments with the source Google. The business can then respond to the client and enter the details in their management system.
After a client books through Google, what do they do if they want to cancel or change the appointment?
Your client should contact you directly to cancel or change the appointment.Google Testing Place Actions Forms via Demand Force to Initiate Scheduling by Mike Blumenthal