What if we told you there's a free and user-friendly way for your customers and potential customers to contact your business at any time? No more missed voicemails, no more call-center mishaps—just an easy way for them to get a hold of your company when it’s most convenient for them.
Introducing Google Messaging!
Google has added Messaging to the list of ways you can easily connect with your customers. When a person searches for and finds your business listing on Google Search, they can message you directly from your Google My Business (GMB) listing! Not to worry, your phone number and the customer’s phone number are hidden and the text messages will come through a Google phone line directly to your cell phone.
We also want to clarify up front that this messaging option is currently only available on mobile devices and Google Search (not Maps). It will not show up when your business gets searched on a desktop or laptop.
Our Take on Messaging - Yay or Nay?
The Pew Research Center shows that the vast majority of Americans – 95% – now own a cell phone of some kind. We also text twice as often as we call and we send more than 23 billion messages per day worldwide. Needless to say, there are a whole lot of people who are savvy texters so we think Google Messaging is a great opportunity for your business.
And let’s face it: We live in a fast-food culture. Everybody wants excellent service and we want it now. We’ve become so accustomed to instant gratification that’s it’s woven into every facet of our lives. Today’s customer requires immediate answers and we no longer have the time or patience to wait around for a company who doesn’t respond. There’s always another company who can beat you to the punch.
Our vote is definitely Yay when it comes to utilizing Google Messaging! We’ve all heard the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Google Messaging is offering your company a gift by giving you a free and easy method for customers to contact you—what better first impression can you make by quickly and easily responding to a text message that comes directly to your phone? If a customer's Search results come back with three hairdressers and yours is the only one with this convenient option, you're in business. We say go for it!
Here’s what Google Messaging looks like for your customers on their mobile devices. Also notice that Google displays how promptly your business responds to inquiries. Even though we are a fast-food culture, you’re not McDonald’s so you don’t have to “stay open” until 2am, but it is a good idea to have someone who will respond in a timely manner when a message comes through for your business.
Our friends at Mosquito Joe of NW Houston & S Brazos Valley were again gracious enough to allow us to test this feature with them. You can see how easily the messages come through your mobile phone (we’ll walk you through the set-up steps next!).
In Our Guide to Google Posts article, we mentioned that Google now considers customer engagement a key factor when ranking your business listing on Google. As far as customer engagement goes, texting with your clients is high on the list for keeping the lines of communication wide open!
Ad Age says this about customer engagement :
There are plenty of reasons to focus on engagement. Consumer surveys show that consumers who regularly engage with brands online correlate with those who purchase more. To be competitive, companies need to be among the best in their categories at actively managing an online engagement strategy
How to Set Up Messaging on Google My Business
- Go to your GMB listing.
- Click on Messaging.
- When prompted, verify the mobile phone number the messages will come to. Remember—your phone number will NOT be shared publicly.
- Follow the steps and make sure to add a personal question to your listing such as “Need help? Have questions? We are only a click away, so send us a message!”
- Here’s the link to Google’s support page for Messaging.
We encourage your business to follow these quick and easy steps to get started with Google Messaging. Your customers and potential customers will thank you for creating a simple, quick, and convenient way to contact your company. Great first impression, check!
Karin Siccardi is a Reputation Defender, Blogger, and Proofreader/Editor at WebPunch. Originally from Oregon, she migrated to Tennessee where she lives with her husband, four children, and the family dog who lounges at her feet as she enjoys the luxury of working from her home office. An avid reader, she enjoys all wordy things as well as coffee, chocolate, and wine.