Google has been lagging behind when it comes to messaging apps. Virtually every other large online corporation has its own instant messaging service, either as a feature on their website or a separate app. Also, there are a lot of instant messaging platforms or services which are specifically designed to work independently or as part of already established social media platforms. Snapchat, Whatsapp or Kik are just a few examples of such apps which have seen instant success among internet users.
It’s no wonder that, considering the competition, Google had to come up with a messaging service of its own. After all, everyone expected a move from the big Google in this niche, so it’s really no surprise.
The new messaging feature, launched in July, is available only for Google My Business users, at least for the time being. However, Google promises that the local messaging app will expand to international markets and will be available across all its platforms. The service was launched almost 9 months after testing started, back in November 2016, so the app is expected to perform well, and hopefully, set new standards in its niche.
How does it work?
The new app allows Google My Business users (businesses) go to their main dashboard and turn on messaging. Then, while browsing the dashboard, where a map and your local panel is located, a customer can easily contact you via instant text messaging. The customer simply clicks the “message” button and communicates with any business in real time.
Let’s go over the steps you’ll need to follow to set up the messaging app
– Open your main dashboard. Here, on the center of the screen, you’ll see the “Message with customers” box. Hit the “turn on messaging” to start the setup process. You can also use the message button on the left side navigation.
– as soon as you press the “turn on messaging” button, a pop up dialog appears, asking for your mobile phone number. This number will be used to manage the conversations and will work as a security backup.
– after entering the phone number, you will receive a confirmation code via SMS
– use the code to verify your account
– create a welcome message that will be visible to all your future contacts and customers; during this step you can also toggle the feature on or off automatically; unfortunately, the app doesn’t allow automatic on or off toggle depending on business hours (on during 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for instance)
– your messaging app is ready to use and your customers will see your updated Google My Business profile, with a “message” button next to the call button;
– customers can click the “message” button to communicate with your business on the instant messaging app; here, they will simply have to text their message and wait for a response from the business they contacted
– on the other side, the business will get the message via Google Allo or the native messaging app
– in time, Google will continuously update the average response time for every business, so customers will know whether messaging a business is feasible
The new Google My Business messaging app is fresh on the market and everyone expects to see how it will perform. Hopefully, the app is a new success coming from Google. As far as local businesses go, it is sure expected to be useful for many customers looking for a local service. This is particularly true if business owners understand how important it is to connect instantly with their potential customers. Having a complete Google profile, together with a good message response rate, will let customers know your company is professional, trustworthy and reliable.