What is the 2019 Google My Business Messaging Feature for Local Businesses?

Google My Business | 7 Min Read
by Olivia Williams
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Google has already made several attempts to launch a messaging service for its users. So far, none have worked out as successful as expected. Google My Business messaging is another attempt to cover the business text messaging market niche. It was released in November 2018.

What is Google My Business messaging?

Google My Business (GMB) is an app for local businesses that among other things, helps users to quickly respond to customers who find their location in the Google search results. It helps businesses answer questions promptly, improve customer support and attract more people to the location. The feature is only available on mobile devices.

Customers may send Google messages from the menu line in Google Maps. While businesses need to add their business to Google Maps and download the Google My Business app from the App Store or Google Play.
customers message to business from app
The GMB messaging option on Google Maps
GMB messaging chat look
Here you can type questions to the GMB messaging chat

GMB Messenger Attributes:

  1. Free application for multiple users
  2. Integration with Google My Business
  3. Helps Google to understand the nature of certain businesses
  4. Another easy way for people to contact customer service online.
  5. A direct channel to deliver relevant content and improve engagement with customers in online interaction with the business.

How Google My Business Messaging Works

Check if GMB messaging is active on the Google My Business dashboard:
look over dashboard
Go to "Messaging" on your computer to check if messaging is switched on
You can read and respond to Google messages and switch messaging on or off only via the mobile app.

When you turn on Google business messaging, customers, who find your business on Google Maps, will see a "Message" option. Now they can message you at any time. Incoming Google message alerts appear in the Google My Business app.

Further Features of Google My Business Messaging

  • You can customize the automated welcome message that your customers will see when they contact you.
  • If you grant access to your Google My Business listing to several managers, each one can send and receive Google messages online.
  • Your clientele will be able to see your profile name and photo from your "About Me" page.

How to Turn on Google Business Messaging

Here are several easy steps to turn Google My Business messaging on.

Turning GMB Messaging on

  1. Open the Google My Business app on your mobile device.
  2. Choose the location, if you have multiple locations.
  3. Tap "Customers".
  4. Tap "Messages" and open "Messaging settings".
  5. Tap "Turn on"

1. Open the Google My Business app on your mobile device

GMB app on mobile
Download Google My Business app from the Google Play or Apple store to your mobile device

2. Choose the location

If you have multiple locations, open the location you would like to manage.

3. Tap "Customers"

GMB on tap customers
Click "Customers"

4. Tap "Messages" and open "Messaging settings"

GMB on tap message
Tap "Messages", then "Messaging settings"

5. Tap "Turn on"

GMB turn on messaging
Make sure the slider for messaging is switched on

Now you can return to "Customers", then go to "Messages" and find all messages in chronological order.
Close more deals with quick and easy customer interaction!

How to Turn Off Google My Business Messaging

If, for some reason, you decide to disable the GMB messaging feature, here are easy steps on how to switch it off.

Turning Off Google My Business Messaging

  1. Open the Google My Business app on your mobile device.
  2. Choose the location, if you have multiple locations.
  3. Tap "More".
  4. Tap "Settings".
  5. Tap "Messages".
  6. Turn off the switch.

1. Open the Google My Business app on your mobile device

GMB app on mobile
Download Google My Business app from the Google Play or Apple store to your mobile device

2. Choose the location

Open the location you would like to manage.

3. Tap "More":

GMB off tap more
Click "More" to open the pop-up window

4. Tap "Settings"

GMB off tap settings
Choose "Settings" in this pop-up window

5. Tap "Messages"

GMB off tap message
Click "Messages"

6. Turn off the switch

GMB turn off message
Check that the slider for messaging is switched off
You can turn on messaging again at any time. The systems will save your messages for the last three months. You may also block or delete a conversation to ban inappropriate content or spam.

Bugs of Google My Business Messaging

According to Google messenger reviews, the idea behind this messaging tool is good, but its performance is poor. The app still operates with some errors, discouraging local businesses from installing it. However, it still remains a promising option for instant messaging with customers.

GMB failures

  • Prompt response commitment
  • Absence of notifications
  • Non-standardized source of response
  • Lost messages

Prompt response commitment

Due to the "mobile" nature of this tool, consumers may expect and almost immediate answer from you. This limits the industries that could successfully use this feature to either, small businesses able to hire special staff to support this system or industries that are not expected to respond instantly to clients' messages.

Non-standardized source of responses

Responses come from the personal account of the owner or manager, not from the business.

Lost messages

Business owners and marketing advisers complain that welcome messages are sent randomly (in several cases it took up to a week).

The Chosen app directs all incoming messages to one interface that can be used by the business owner and managers that are granted access to group chats. All entries are shown in the dashboard under the Messages tab. Chosen guarantees that messages won't be lost or missed.

Build an efficient relationship with customers

It's not only the reviews that customers leave for your business that determine your online reputation, but your whole way of interacting with clients. Learn how to respond to Google reviews smartly.

Tips for efficient GMB communication

  • Write concise and informative messages.
  • Provide straight-forward answers.
  • Check your incoming messages regularly.
  • Check the conversation history of each client.
  • Think ahead.
  • Check for typo.
  • Secure sensitive information.
  • Ask customers to add your contact to their address books.

Write Concise and Informative Messages

Create templates to answer the most frequently asked questions. It will save you and your managers time.

Provide Straight-Forward Answers

Be brief, but provide all information to avoid confusion.

— Do you work on Saturday?

— Yes, but at noon we have a lunch break for an hour.

Here we avoid the situation where someone appears when the shop/service is closed for lunch. You can make templates for such answers.

Check Your Incoming Messages Regularly

Notifications and alerts may fail or even break down. Regular checks of your incoming messages prevents you from missing or losing a message from a client. Create a schedule and share the "watcher" hours with colleagues. Or just set a reminder, for a desired time, not to forget about this duty.

Check the Conversation History of Each Client

Before you start to reply to a customer request, check the conversation history to get more background information about the issue and the person. It will save you time on finding details which have probably already been discussed.

Think Ahead

Consider what you will do when someone from your team quits or suddenly disappears (emergency, illness or office ghosting). You need a clear strategy for information storage or transfer to avoid missing messages and contact with customers.

Check for Typo

Double-check your messages to customers to avoid misspellings that could lead to misunderstandings and look unprofessional. For example, copy the names to avoid mistakes when typing.

Secure Sensitive Information

Do not share personal or confidential information through the business chat. This includes credit card numbers, any identification or security numbers and passwords.

Ask Customers to Add Your Contact to Their Address Book

It will expand your database and bring new information about your customer. And your customer won't need to look for your contact in case of an emergency.

Americans Prefer Texting

Customers prefer text messaging as an effective tool for direct engagement with businesses. Nine out of ten Americans own a cell phone, and the majority use the device for activities other than voice calls. 8 out of 10 cell phone users use them to send and receive text messages.
cell phone activities
Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, Summer Tracking Survey, 2012
Pew Research Center's study results show that 18-24-year-old users send and receive, on average, 110 text messages per day (3,200 per month). Therefore, the integration of text messaging into the CRM-system becomes a critical tool for every local business.

Integrate Texting in Your Business

Business texting brings at least three advantages for local businesses.

Advantages of Business Texting For Businesses

  1. Speed
  2. Directness
  3. Reporting

1. Speed

Business messaging apps allow business owners to make immediate contact with customers. Create a short message, share it via the chosen messenger and customers can read it at a convenient time.

2. Directness

Business texting delivers relevant information directly to the customer. In case of difficulties with a product, a business can approach the customer directly and focus on fixing the problem.

3. Reporting

Business texting services provide statistics on conversations, accounts and customers.
Originally published Aug 23, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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