Google has been revamping their platform for businesses and just announced Google Messaging for businesses on the Google My Business [GMB] platform. This feature allows businesses to directly communicate with their customers in real time text messaging! How can this benefit your business and is it right for you?
How To Set It Up
To access the messaging feature, you need to log into your GMB account. On the dashboard, you’ll see a panel that’s labeled “Message with Customers.”
Click ‘Turn on Messaging’ to add your business mobile number.
Verify the number, and enter a welcome message.
Once this feature is activated, customers can see a “message” button in the Google Search and Maps panel for your business. Once the message button has been clicked, the customer will be prompted to their text message app, and the business will get the message either by Google Allo or their native text message app.
So, is Google Messaging right for your business?
We outline the pros and cons for you to decide:
- Customers will be able to communicate with your business real time. This may mean more sales by customers getting answers as they search for the best deal!
- Cut down on calls during busy drop zone hours. Text messaging is an easy solution so office employees can multitask without having to drop everything to take a phone call.
- You can save links, such as a booking link, so if customer’s want to book, you can send them to your booking app in a snap!
- This is no option to turn-off this feature for certain hours. It’s either on or off.
(Although it does cause an extra step, you can go into the GMB platform to turn it off. You can turn it back on again at any time.)
- You can only add one phone number to this feature.
- As of now, it’s only available in the US.
You may want to consider getting a cell phone that’s solely for taking Google Messages. In a notes app, keep important links such as a link to the FAQ’s from your website, booking links, or other helpful links so you don’t have to look them up each time, they’ll be easily accessible to copy and paste.
Google also offers an app called Google Allo, which is a “mobile app developed by Google for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems that uses phone numbers as identifiers, and allows users to exchange messages, files, voice notes and images.” This would replace your current SMS app with Allo. Read more about Allo.
Google Messages may not be for every dropzone, manufacturer or pro shop. But it can be a vital tool to attract more customers to your business. Give it a go and let us know what YOU think of the app!