Messaging is the norm today, as people increasingly prefer a quick text to a phone call. In keeping with the trend, businesses need to communicate with customers over their preferred mode of communication. Now picture this – a user-friendly, quick, and free way of keeping your customers engaged minus the long waiting for responses and miscommunication, thus enhancing the entire customer experience. Enter, Google My Business Messaging.
In June 2020, the tech giant announced the expansion of its Business Messages feature that can be integrated directly with businesses’ customer service platforms. This means that customers no longer need to visit your website and find your details to contact you; they can simply use this asynchronous messaging facility even as they go about their day.
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How it works
The messaging feature can be utilized by all businesses through their Google My Business (GMB) profile. This conversational marketing channel, available both on Google Maps and Search, is designed to be a comprehensive messaging feature that works on all Android devices and on iOS through Maps. When anyone searches for a business on Google and finds your listing, they can get in touch with you directly via text messages. This is how to go about it:
- Download the app.
- Create your GMB account and ensure that the profile is updated with all the necessary information like correct address, contact details, and hours of operation.
- Turn on the messaging feature in settings. This will enable customers to see a ‘Message’ button on your GMB listing.
- Soon, you will receive notifications for messages from customers.
With GMB Messaging, businesses need to respond to new messages within 24 hours. This has been done since delayed or no responses can mean a bad customer experience. You can find the detailed messaging guidelines here.
Why brands should utilize Google Business Messages
By 2022, approximately three billion mobile phone users will access messaging apps for communication. Here’s a quick look at how Google My Business Messaging can benefit your brand:
Makes you discoverable and attracts customers
Google dominates search across the Internet worldwide with an enormous 92.5% share of the search engine market. Using their messaging service gives brands the direct leverage of being easily discoverable and directly contactable by all customers who use Google search. Moreover, GMB Messaging allows businesses to tag themselves with geo-specific locations – making it even more convenient for your target audience to connect with you.
Increases customer engagement
The art of conducting business goes beyond just about making customers find out about your brand. Direct, one-on-one text conversation between a business and customer creates a seamless and personalized experience, thereby building a reliable relationship and boosting brand loyalty.
GMB Messaging is loaded with features to help drive sales. You can use customized welcome messages, product photos, carousels, chips, and personalized recommendations to connect with customers and generate more revenue.
The best part of Google’s Business Messaging is that it is free. This marketing tool not only improves SEO and offers a host of other benefits, but can also help in lowering costs. Communicating with customers over messaging means that you can reduce expenses on marketing channels like tele-calling. In addition, you can have multiple people respond to customer’s messages by managing your GMB profile accordingly.
Organisations who use Google Business Messages
Walmart, Woolworths, and Mattress Firm were among the first few brands to successfully use GMB Messaging. This has been particularly helpful for businesses now, given the closure of physical stores due to the lockdown. In India, MyGov has partnered with Amplify.ai to answer live questions and provide help to citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes informing Indians about the many ways to donate and volunteer for over 11,000 shelters across the country.
GMB Messaging is a quick, convenient, and economic option for both brands and customers to communicate with each other. In a fast-paced world where every consumer wants instant, top-notch service and has no dearth of options, Business Messaging can be a valuable tool for all businesses. If we were to go looking for cons, perhaps the only one would be that customers can reach you at any time – so you may not have an interruption-free time once you reach home. But then again, if boosting business is what’s on your mind, you can easily find a solution around this.
How can I strategically leverage this new feature?