Google My Business Messaging | A Beginners Guide
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Google My Business Messaging is a free marketing tool that Google provides for businesses. Business owners can use it to improve their SEO and also provide important information to their customers. The vital information that a company can provide includes the location of stores, contact information, working hours, and much more.
What's more, Google recently updated its tool, and now Google My Business Messaging is available. The new feature allows businesses and customers to communicate directly.
It is similar to Facebook Messenger, so you can rest assured that your customers will know how to use it. Google My Business Messaging is a great feature for businesses. Not only does it provide a direct communication channel, but it also increases the trust of your customers.
What's more, Google My Business Messaging works great with chatbots. Namely, a great advantage your business can get with it is an automated message to greet customers. That way, you will not only greet customers with the announcement of your choosing, but you will also welcome them instantly.
You can reap many more great benefits from the Google My Business Messaging and Chatbot duo. You can read about the benefits that come from Google My Business Messaging below. However, if you want to read about the many benefits of chatbots, you can do so here!
But, before we start, let's cover the basics!
What is Google My Business?
As we mentioned, Google My Business is a marketing tool for companies. It is a great tool to gain visibility on Google. For example, you want to go to a specific store. And of course, you Google it to find out more about it.
Well, the information that appears once you google the store is powered by Google My Business. Things like the ability to call directly, the location in Google Maps, and the working hours are all a part of your Business Profile on Google.
Also, if you only have a Business Profile, anyone can claim ownership of it. However, if you make a Google My Business account, you can claim your business profile ownership. What's more, you can unlock additional free features that will help you gain more visibility on Google.
All that you need to make your Business Profile is the business name, location, and category. After providing this information, Google verifies that it is unique and then creates your profile. Now, your profile is ready.
Another great feature is that customers can add photos, reviews and answer questions. All of the pictures, reviews, and responses to questions will be visible on your profile. So, you better be friendly to your customers!
However, your business profile will not be complete. To unlock even more features, you need to link your profile with a Google My Business account. Your business profile is now complete, and you have numerous free features that will boost your visibility on Google.
Introduction to Google My Business Messaging
Now, we dive into the new feature. Google My Business messaging is a free tool introduced in February 2021. It is a messaging tool that business owners can use on their desktops. It helps customers get in touch with businesses without knowing their email addresses or phone numbers. Customers can get in touch with companies straight from their Google My Business listing.
When you activate the Google My Business Messaging feature, everything becomes more accessible. Now, along with the directions and website bubbles on your listing, you also get a message bubble. With just a click on the message bubble, customers will establish communication with you. Now, they are free to ask whatever they want.
How to Set Up Google My Business Messaging
Now that you know what Google My Business Messaging is, let's see how you can set it up. The setup is straightforward and will not take up too much of your time.
The first step is to open your Google My Business listing. Then, click on Messaging. Now, you will need to verify the mobile number that will receive the messages. And, don't worry, no one will know your number. It will not be available to anyone but you.
After doing this, you need to follow the steps that will show up on your screen. Also, make sure to add a question to your listing. For example, a question like:
Need help? We are only one click away, so send us a message.
The messages from customers will appear in your Business Profile on Google. Also, you can make a customized automated greeting message that your customers will receive once they open the message bubble. Doing this can help you make your customers feel more welcome.
Another cool thing is that you can share photos with your customers and vice versa.
Are There Any Benefits in Using Google My Business?
Sure, the setup is easy, and the features are free. All of that is great and all. However, are those the only benefits you will get from using Google My Business? Well, no. There are many benefits you can get out of using Google My Business, along with Google My Business messaging. So, without further ado, let's go through some of them now!
It Elevates Customer Service
If you want your business to succeed, customer service is essential. If your customers see you as helpful and friendly, they will return and repurchase your products and services. The better the customer service, the more customers will return.
The way that Google My Business messaging can elevate customer service is simple. People today expect quick answers. No matter when they contact you, they want answers right away. Well, Google My Business messaging has your back. If Google notices that you do not reply in 24 hours, it will remove the message bubble from your profile. Also, it will notify you that you need to make customer service a priority and answer messages quickly.
Customers Will Get To Know Your Brand Better
Google My Business messaging allows you to get personal with customers. As we mentioned, you can put an automated greeting message in your chat. This message can reflect your brand and relay your brand aesthetic to customers.
For instance, if your brand is more friendly and relaxed, your message should also use that tone. Or, maybe you want people to see you as a more serious brand. In that case, your message should be more formal and straightforward.
All of this will make your brand more memorable and unique.
Allows You to Grow Your Business
Attention, there is more Google My Business messaging features on the way! Google is looking to improve the messaging feature further. It is planning to add two new messaging buttons. Those buttons are "Request a quote" and "Request a booking."
These buttons will redirect the customers to a form. They can request a quote or a booking directly with these buttons. So, these features will save time and be more convenient for your customers.
Another great benefit you can get out of the Google My Business messaging tool is loyalty. CleverClicks has written a whole article on how Google My Business messaging can improve brand loyalty. So, improving brand loyalty is another great benefit you can get from this tool.
Best Ways to Use Google My Business Messaging
If you are new to all of this, you might be wondering how you can use Google My Business messaging? Well, stick with us, and you will find out some great ways to use this tool. Let's begin!
Have a Welcome Message
First impressions are critical for businesses. So, setting up a welcome message is vital for you and your business. This message will be the first thing the customers see when they contact you.
You can use this opportunity to thank them for choosing your company or reaching out. Also, you can ask them how you can help. What's more, you can inform them how to reach you outside of business hours as well.
Do Your Best to Respond Within 24 Hours
As we already mentioned, Google will disable your message bubble if you don't respond to messages within 24 hours. So, you should do your best to respond quickly to messages. It would be a shame to lose all the great benefits that Google My Business messaging offers because of inconsistency.
Google disables the message bubble to ensure customers don't associate the feature with a horrible customer experience. But, don't fret. You can reactivate the message feature any time by turning it on again.
Also, customers will be able to see how responsive you are when they search for your business. They will see one of the following response-time options: whether you respond in a few minutes, a few hours, in a day, or a couple of days.
Your Notifications Should Be On
With your notifications on, you will know when you have a new message. Being notified can help you with meeting the 24-hour response-time requirement. Also, it will help you to keep your message bubble on your Google My Business listing.
So, not only will you have your message bubble, but you will also make your customers happy.
Conversations With Customers Need to Be Relevant
If a customer asks about a refund, they want a straightforward answer. It is not advisable to also write about your new products or discounts in this case. So, it would be best if you made sure to answer their questions directly, without straying from the topic.
Keep It Short
Speaking of messages to customers, avoid long and confusing ones. No one wants to read a fifty-word reply when all they've asked is whether you have a particular product in stock. Your answers should be straightforward and as short as possible.
And, if the customer has more questions, they can ask at any time, after you've finished answering a previous question. Messaging on Google My Business messaging is unlimited!
You can make your conversations even more enjoyable by sharing images. For example, you can show what your products look like or the colors you offer. That may prove an efficient and effective way to help customers and answer some of their questions.
Continue the Conversation Away From Google My Business Messaging
A time might come where you need to ask customers about their private information. And, you cannot do this on Google My Business messaging. Doing so is a violation of Google's messaging guidelines.
However, if this happens, you can tell your customer to continue your conversation on another platform. Doing so will increase the customer's trust in your brand and make them feel safe in the process. So, it's a win-win situation.
Some Google My Business Guidelines
We already mentioned that Google has some guidelines regarding Google My Business messaging. One of them is the 24-hour response-time rule. However, there are more guidelines that you need to know before using Google My Business messaging.
If you want to have a business profile on Google My Business, you need a physical location. For example, you need to have stores that customers can visit. If you do not have stores, you need to have the ability to visit customers where they are. Otherwise, you won't be able to create a business profile.
However, there are more guidelines that you would have to adapt to have a business profile on Google My Business. You can read all about them on Google's page about the Guidelines and make sure that you are familiar with all of them.
All in all, Google My Business messaging can bring you many advantages. Not only is it free to use, but it is also easy to set up. The only inconvenience you can experience is the guidelines. However, the guidelines are there for a reason, and abiding by them shouldn't be a problem.
Google's new feature is an excellent tool for businesses, especially for small and local ones. What's more, you can pair your Google My Business messaging feature with a Chatbot. Pairing it with a Chatbot like, for example, Ideta's, will bring you many benefits. Customers will see you as a modern and accessible company. Also, they will know that they can always count on you.
And, frankly, it doesn't get better than that!