Any business owner will agree that direct contact with customers is extremely important, especially in times when this does not come naturally due to lockdowns and social distancing. There are many ways to interact with existing customers, for example through your website or newsletters, but chances are that new customers will rely on Google to find your business. Therefore, Google makes it very easy to engage with businesses that pop up in search results, directly in Google Search or Google Maps. Everyone is probably familiar with the possibility to call the business or directly request directions to the location. A relatively new option is to chat with business owners through direct messages. How does this work and what are the benefits and possibilities?
Google My Business Messages
As a business owner, with a claimed Google My Business (GMB) account, you have the ability to enable Google’s Business Messages. This feature has been around on the mobile GMB app for a while now, but has very recently also become available on the web. It allows your customers to send you text messages directly from the Google Maps app. This is perfect for those users that have a quick question, but prefer not to call. At the same time, it allows business owners to get back to the user at their own pace without them having to listen to music on hold. You will simply receive a notification on your phone once a customer asks you a question. By providing this service to your customers, they get closer to your business, making it more likely that they will use your services. The best news of all? This feature does not come with any costs at all! Eventually, for small retailers, the information shown on Google (Maps), combined with this direct communication functionality, could make your expensive-to-maintain business website redundant – as people get all the information they need directly from their search result.
Humanbot or chatbot?
It is important that your response times are low, not only to delight your customers, but also because the average response time will be shown at your listing. Customers will be much more likely to interact with you if you usually respond within 15 minutes, rather than 2 working days. Do you feel like you can’t respond fast enough to your customers? Don’t worry – chatbots are here to help. Case studies found that these automated responses can solve up to 98% of all customer queries. Besides, if you already have some sort of chat (bot) functionality on other channels, like your website, chances are that this can be connected with Google’s business messaging as well. Interested to learn more? Contact Localyse – we’ll be happy to help you set up (automated) business messaging with Google!