Interacting With Customers Via GBP Messaging
In the age of instant communication, customers increasingly want faster and faster responses and real-time communication with the brands they choose to work with. Messaging allows you to provide that real-time communication from directly within your Business Profile.
What is Google Business Profile Messaging?
Google’s Business Profile Chat is a free tool that allows you to connect directly with potential and existing customers, directly within your Business Profile. When turned on, a “Chat” button will be visible on your profile. For select categories, a “Get a Quote” or “Request Booking” button will appear.
How Chat Works
When you turn on chat, customers can use the “Chat” button on your Business Profile to message you at their convenience, allowing you to answer their questions, provide customer service, and schedule appointments without missing a beat.
Profile managers get instant notifications, and access to the messages directly within the Google Business Profile dashboard, allowing multiple people to monitor and manage messaging and responses. You can share information and photos directly within the chat, providing a convenient way to communicate with your customers in one streamlined location. You can set up automated welcome messaging, and more, directly within your dashboard.
Turning Chat On in Search
Turning chat messaging on is simple through NMX:
- Locate your listing via search
- Click “Messages”
- Click “Menu” and select “Chat Settings”
- Toggle Chat to “on”
You’re all set! When chat is activated, read receipts are automatically turned on. This allows the sender of a message to see when the recipient has opened their message.
It is important to remember that to keep chat turned on, you need to respond to messages in a timely manner. If you don’t respond to messages within 24 hours, Google will deactivate your messaging. Welcome messages and messages that you flag as spam are not factored into your response times.
Where Are My Google Chat Messages?
Like turning Chat on, managing messages is simple via the Google Business Profile dashboard. Simply navigate to your Profile in the SERP and click on “messages”. From here, you can manage the mailboxes of any businesses you own.
Managing Your Messages
With the ability for multiple managers to monitor and access chat, it is important to note that if a message is deleted, it is deleted everywhere. We recommend working out a process for monitoring and managing messages, notifications, and responses with your team before activating messaging to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
If you have multiple users logging in and replying to messages, it will show your company name and the name of the user next to the response to the customer.
My GBP Chat Was Turned Off, How Do I Reactivate It?
If you don’t respond to messages within 24 hours, Google may turn off your chat, removing the button from your profile. You can reactivate Chat by turning it on the same way you initially activated Chat within your dashboard. Keep in mind that to keep it active, you will need to manage your response times to ensure you’re responding to messages within 24 hours.
How Are Average Google Business Profile Chat Response Times and Rates Calculated
Google keeps a close eye on consistency in responses. Two of the metrics they monitor are response time and response rate. Response time is calculated by the average amount of time it takes your business to respond to new messages over the past 28 days. If you receive less than 10 messages in 28 days, Google will use your past 10 messages. If you have fewer than 10 messages total since activating chat, Google will use the average response time from all of your messages to calculate your average response time. Response rate is the percentage of new messages you responded to over the last 28 days.
When customers search for your business, Google will provide them with information about your average response times by adding a “usually responds in a few minutes/hours/days” status update for your business.
Google Business Profile Messaging FAQ Setup
FAQs can be set up to send automated responses to common user questions about your business. You can add up to 10 FAQ messages to your profile and can choose between automated FAQs provided by Google, or custom questions and answers that you create within your profile. Automated FAQs pull information from your profile, so be sure to verify that your hours, contact information, and business details are accurate and up to date.
Keys to Success With Google Business Profile Chat
Chat can be an incredibly valuable asset to your business -if you use it effectively. A few tips to ensure you get the most out of Chat:
- Utilize a custom welcome message.
- Keep some photos handy on your mobile device to share with customers via chat, especially if you work in a visual industry like lawn care, personal aesthetics, home services, or food service.
- Turn on notifications to ensure you’re responding to messages promptly.
- Respond to all messages quickly and provide valuable assistance to customers.
- Utilize FAQs to help respond to redundant questions.
- If you have multiple profile managers, create a plan for consistent responses and message management.
- Remember that if you delete a message, it deletes it for everyone who manages your profile.
- While Google gives you 24 hours to respond to chat messages, users typically expect responses far more quickly -don’t disappoint them.