As people are searching Google, they now have the option to message / chat with the business.  The days of one-way communication are no longer the norm.  For some businesses, this can be a great tool that they enable, but for others, it can be another pain point.   Text messaging interactions not only saves time but it’s straightforward making life easier for the business and the consumer.  Research shows that 9 out of 10 consumers would like to communicate with businesses by text messaging.  

How to get started with Messages on your Google Business Profile

Take the following steps to turn on your messages within your Google Business Profile

  1. Login to your Google Business Profile and select Messages on the right-hand menu bar.
  2. On the top right corner there is a Turn on messaging option, once selected a pop up will confirm you have turned on messaging.Google’s new Messaging App
  3. Select the settings icon to activate send read receipts.
  4.  All messages appear by customer allowing you to have multiple messages shown.
  5. Customers can get in touch with you in real-time from your Business Profile on Google or Google Maps at any time of day.

 

Google’s Business Messaging App

How Google Business Messaging app works

Once you turn on the messaging, a “Chat” button will appear on your Business Profile enabling searchers to message you at any time.  Messages will appear in your Business Profile on Google and all users are able to respond to messages.  Make sure you turn on notifications for your messages to ensure that you can respond in a timely manner.  Automated welcome messages are available but can only be set up within the Google My Business app at this time.  

Chat Button on Google Maps
All messages are saved within the Business Profile.  If deleted, it will be deleted for all users and the business will no longer have access to them.  However, the customer will still have access to the message on their device.  Businesses can export and download messages to keep for records or use for other purposes.  

Receiving Spam Messages on Your Google Business Profile

Some industries are more prone to receiving spam messages on their Google Business Profile.  If you have received what appears to be a spam message on your profile, make sure to mark it as spam.  When a message is marked as spam, Google will not factor in your response time for that message.  To mark a message as spam, go to the message area in your Google Business Profile.  Select the message you believe is spam and hit the ! icon next to the delete icon on the top right.  Once you select the ! icon, a pop up message appears prompting you to check a box that reads “Report as spam”.  Select “Block” and the user will no longer be able to message you.

Your Response Time to Chat Messages on Google

It’s important that a business respond to all messages quickly on their Google Business profile to build a better experience for the customer.  Google requires that a business reply to messages within 24 hours after the message has been received.  If Google finds that you are not replying to messages within a 24-hour time frame, they may deactivate the chat feature for your business.

How to Turn Google’s Business Message Read Receipts On or Off

All businesses should carefully consider whether they want to keep read receipts on or off.  If your response time is within 10 minutes and you have a dedicated user assigned to responding to messages, this feature may suit you well.  However, if you are testing out the messaging app for the first time on your business you may want to make sure this feature is turned off.  Showing that you read a message and delaying a response may reflect negatively on your business.  Read receipts can be turned off in the message setting within your Google Business Profile or directly on the Google Maps app. 

Should I use Google’s Business Messaging App to Chat with My Customers?

Figuring out how, who and what should be done isn’t always easy.  There is no right or wrong answer to using the Google Messaging option.  A business may need to test out the messaging for a month.  Make sure you don’t forget to monitor your messages.  After a few messages have been received, analyze the messages.  Determine if they were successful and if it has the outcome desired.  Only you can determine the return on investment of messaging.  Were your monitoring efforts and responding time worthwhile?  For more information or for help on setting up your message app in Google, contact Reputation Arm.