Brand loyalty among customers is crucial to business success, this is done through efficient service and customer support and producing high-quality products. Customers now have the ability to message brands through their Google Maps and Search, via Google My Business (GMB), all thanks to Google’s digital tools.
What is Google My Business Messaging?
Business messaging is not a new concept for Google. It was first launched back in 2017, however it was limited to certain business types and regions. Now Google will allow all businesses to utilize Business messaging through their Google My Business profile. This expansion of business messaging will be through Search and Maps, this will allow businesses to receive more messages and new ways to reply.
Google made an announcement on June 25th, 2020 and stated, “Today we’re expanding Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses, and giving them the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms. Business Messages provides brands with a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS.“
Below is an example of how Google will expand their Google My Business Messaging to mobile websites:
In light of Google My Business Messages becoming accessible on Maps and Search, Google has also introduced it on mobile websites so that businesses can allow their customers to quickly “Message” right from their website.
Top 3 features related to the expansion of Google My Business Messages
1. New ways of communication
Previously on Google My Business Messages, communication was facilitated either via SMS on an Android or the Google Maps Application on iOS.
Now with the recent update and expansion on Business Messages, this feature can be integrated with the existing customer service platforms being utilized by the business.
Below is an image of all the platforms that businesses can integrate their Google My Business Messages with:
“As brands connect with their customers via Business Messages, we’re experimenting with more ways for them to highlight this communications tool on Search. Business Messages will also be available on mobile websites so that a business can add the ability for customers to quickly “Message” right from their site and offer the same smart automated replies, paired with live agent connection.”
As previously mentioned, Google is expanding Business Messages to mobile sites. And shortly, customers will be able to access this expansion in more places on Android, including during calls and within applications.
2. Responses to Google My Business Messages
This new feature on Google My Business Messages is designed to help businesses respond to customers even faster. Businesses now have the ability to respond to smart replies, welcome messages and/or relevant product carousels.
“To improve connections with customers, we’ve recently introduced new smart replies, visual product carousels, and unique welcome messages. There’s also a smooth transition from automated replies to a customer service agent, so that it’s not disruptive when the customer messages a business.”
Google will be restricting businesses access to this feature if they fail to respond within 24 hours, as the company strongly believes response time is paramount. It is therefore recommended that businesses who intend to actively engage with their customers should turn this feature on or face being penalised.
3. Business Messages are optimal
Most company websites have a Google My Business profile, however businesses should not feel obligated to receive and respond to messages due to Business Messenger. Messaging is an optimal feature and can be switched off by default. This allows businesses that are not interested in receiving messages, or those who cannot keep up with them, to simply not turn on the feature.
Those businesses that do wish to enable messaging can turn this feature on in the Google My Business dashboard.
Another great use of Business Message is that overtime businesses will be able to see statistics, such as a number of conversations, the number of clicks on the message button, and the total number of messages. This can give a business an idea if they would like to proceed with having Business Messenger available to their customers.
If for some reason another team member is managing your GMB Profile, they would need to be designated as a manager of the GMB listing in order to respond to messages.
Google My Business Messages is available in English and expanding coverage to other languages launching soon.
If you are a business that is already utilizing Business Messages, firstly good on you. Secondly, these updates do not change the way you are currently using the feature. They are just new options to add to the mix if you feel like spicing things up.
Why do we care?
From our previous One Thing posts, we noticed that Google continues to adjust its ranking algorithm as engagement signals are becoming more important. Google is constantly looking for customer/business interaction.
As businesses know, reviews are important as well as responding to reviews. But the Google My Business Messages takes this one step further by allowing real-time conversations between customers and businesses.
However the advantage of customer engagement does not end there with the Google algorithm. From a customer’s perspective, a quick and accurate response could be the difference between business getting a new customer, maintaining brand loyal customers or your competitor snatching all your future and past customers. Each day more and more customers are looking for that quick response, so they can plan accordingly and get what it is they require whether its a service or a product.
In conclusion, we believe that the Google My Business Messages are a valuable tool a business can utilize in addition with their GMB profile. A business can raise customer experience and create more interaction with direct messaging. Both GMB and Business Messaging have the potential to improve ranking and business return on investment.
If this post has not convinced you to utilise GMB, perhaps read this post on the Google My business features that Local Businesses should be using.Tags: digital marketing, Google My Business, Google My Business Messages, online business
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