Google Announced Expanding Business Messaging In Mobile Websites
July 13, 2020
Article Overview10min read
Google announced expanding its Business Messaging feature in Google Maps and Search. Aimed to support all types of businesses, this feature helps to connect directly with the customers. It gives businesses more ways to receive messages and new ways to reply from different places across the web.
To make customer care more effective and efficient, several organizations tried updated Business Message experience, particularly during this pandemic. Organizations such as Woolworths, Walmart, and MyGov were few among the first to try their hands on the updated version.
Here is an example of a customer searching Woolworths, Australia’s largest supermarket through Google Maps:
With the latest feature, Woolworths allows customers to search for products and see availability and aisle information at their local store, details about hours and COVID-19 related updates to make shopping easier.
Another example shows customers searching Walmart through Google Search. With the updated business messaging feature, customers can search and message with Walmart.
With the recent update, Google gives businesses the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms – which they are already using.
The below image displays a broad list of customer service platforms that support Google Business Messages integration.
Business Messages will also soon be available on mobile websites too. It helps a business to add the ability for customers to quickly “Message” right from their site and offer the smart automated replies, paired with live agent connection.
In the coming months, customers will be able to find Business Messages in more places on Android, including within apps and during calls. Jake Mintz, Senior Product Manager for Business Messages at Google explains that business messages provide brands a comprehensive messaging solution either via SMS across Android devices or through the Google Maps app on iOS.
To help businesses provide better customer support and help people develop more loyalty to those brands or businesses, Google has built several digital tools, including Business Messages or the ability to message customers.
The feature “Business Messaging” was first rolled out to Google My Business (GMB) in 2017, and then expanded to Google Maps in 2018. The company noted that the business messaging feature has become such an essential way for businesses to connect with customers and has really started to gain momentum in the past year, as business messaging via Google has doubled compared to last year’s report.
Due to this surge, Google is experimenting with the feature to bring out more ways to highlight this communications tool in search results.
Also, when it was initially rolled out, the feature has been limited to certain regions and business types. But, now Google will enable all brands to add messaging via their GMB listing.
Other New Features of Business Messaging
In addition to the expansion of the business message feature, the search giant also recently introduced a variety of other special features in a business message, including:
1. New smart replies
2. Visual product carousels
3. Unique welcome messages
4. Customer Service Agent
As more businesses use Business Messaging, Google wants to improve the connections with its customers and hence, designed these new features. With the latest update, businesses can respond to their customers even faster.
Google’s addition of smart replies and customizable welcome messages improve the messaging experience. It’s not disruptive when the customer messages a business, as there’s a smooth transition from automated replies to a customer service agent.
Business Messaging is Optional
Business Messaging is an optional feature in GMB listing. Even if you have signed up for GMB, it does not make a business obligated to receive and respond to messages. The feature is turned off by default.
It’s recommended to turn on this feature, only if a business intends to actively engage with their customers because response time is very important for this feature. Responding back within the timeframe may promote customer trust and encourage engagement with your business. That is, if you receive a new message from a customer, then you have to reply back to the customer within 24 hours. If you fail to respond quickly, then Google will restrict your business’s access to this feature.
One can enable messaging from Google My Business dashboard.
Businesses that actively use the feature with their customers can view the stats over time, such as the number of clicks on the message button, number of conversations, and the number of total messages.
Business Messages is currently available in English and eight Indian languages, while support in other languages will launch soon, said Google.
Brands and messaging partners are able to sign up to access the Business Messages API and developer documentation, where partners are ready to help any brand optimize their messaging with their engaged customers.
Messaging through Google My Business can still be managed by businesses, because, if you’re already utilizing the feature, then these updates do not change the way you’re currently doing things.