Google is testing or has introduced a "Request a quote" button into local results. It was discovered by Tom Waddington; however I have not been able to reproduce it on mobile or on the desktop. Part of the LSA. The functionality is part of the local service announcements (LSA). Currently, LSAs provide telephone leads to local businesses participating in the program. Local service announcements require businesses to be " guaranteed by Google " and pass licenses, insurance and background checks.
"Request a quote" button above 3 packs. Allows users to request quotes from multiple companies using messaging. The Google Guarantee badge is displayed for companies participating in local service announcements pic.twitter.com/PiYo07I6d1
– Tom Waddington (@ tomwaddington8) December 17, 2019
GMB messaging. This decision, if it is more than a test, represents another option for businesses and consumers to connect and transact. There is a relatively short form – which probably does not capture enough detail for many companies to provide a reliable quote – that consumers fill out before submitting. It is not known how many companies can be contacted; the image above shows three. (We asked Google for feedback and more information.)
The quote is sent to the company via Google My Business (GMB) messaging. For this, business owners need to download the GMB app which could be part of Google’s motivation here. There have been complaints regarding GMB's messaging functionality, following Google's abandonment of traditional SMS messaging. Why we care. The quote request functionality is consistent with Google's broader effort to make GMB a "engagement" and transaction platform. LSAs provide unmistakable leads directly to the business, which is a logical extension of this mission.
As mentioned, the above presentation is potentially problematic as many businesses will need more information to provide a meaningful quote, which will require a home / on site visit or a call or exchange Emails with photos. (This was the initial challenge for RedBeacon acquired in 2012 by HomeDepot.)
Yelp has had a slightly more extensive request for quote functionality since 2016 .