Yelp introduced Request-a-Quote in 2016 as a way to spark direct conversations between consumers and business owners, and the company said it has helped hundreds of thousands of businesses generate leads, adding that within the past year, an average of 45,000 new businesses leveraged the feature every month.
According to Yelp, over 900,000 projects were generated by Request-a-Quote in June.
As part of the new hiring experience, Yelp is introducing updated questionnaires that are currently live across nearly 60 additional business categories and will tally 100 in the coming months.
When a consumer requests a quote, appointment or consultation, Yelp will ask tailored questions to help them describe their project or task, taking the guesswork out of the exchange and helping ensure that business owners have the proper information to respond with accurate pricing and timing estimates.
New categories already available as of Tuesday include auto repair, childcare/daycare, contractors, hair salons, pet groomers, real estate agents and session photography.
Businesses can share the days and times they are available for consultations or appointments, and consumers can choose the time that works best for them, and then add the upcoming appointment to the calendar on their device.
The new guided questionnaires and scheduling features are currently available to millions of Yelp users across mobile and the web.
Yelp also debuted a new Nearby Jobs feature as a way to help businesses proactively connect with potential customers via a feed of relevant jobs in their area.
When a consumer submits a project request in order to get competing quotes, matching businesses will be alerted.
Yelp said over one-half of users of its Request-a-Quote feature opt into receiving additional quotes from businesses, adding that Nearby Jobs will be fully available nationwide in the next few weeks, costing businesses around $8 per day to subscribe.
The new hiring experience and addition of Nearby Jobs are part of a modernized platform-wide redesign for Yelp, which has been rolled out across search results and businesses pages on the web, as well as the latter on mobile.
Yelp said a new home screen and search experience will come to mobile soon.
Chief product officer Vivek Patel said in a statement, “Even in the midst of a pandemic, home and local services have proven to be resilient and an essential part of the local economy, with more than 4 million projects created on Yelp in the first half of 2020. As service professionals look to gain greater control over their business, perhaps now more than ever, Yelp’s reinvented hiring experience digitizes an industry that typically relies on antiquated tools. We are focused on creating a platform where established and newer businesses can succeed and proactively grow their business. Today is a significant step toward our long-term strategy of doubling down on and innovating the home and local services industry.”