Google My Business Guide
Messaging in Your GMB Profile
The messaging feature allows searchers to message/text with you directly from your Knowledge Panel in search results (shows up as Request a Quote – both on mobile and desktop), and in Maps (as Message and Contact Us Now). Enabling this feature would mean customers can send their questions to you immediately and get a response from your business.
Should You Use This Feature?
The answer to this question is going to be different for every business owner and business type. If you have the staff and the ability to respond immediately to a chat inquiry and it makes sense for your business, then this may be the ideal feature for you. Two-way messaging can improve a customers experience, especially if it’s a customer that doesn’t want to call to ask a quick question and text is their ideal communication method.
If you are not going to be readily available to answer texts for your business and the response time will be delayed, this is not an ideal feature for you. This is an “on-demand” type of feature, which means expectations for a quick response are high. If you opt-in to use this feature but you don’t respond to incoming messages or you take an unreasonable amount of time to respond, you will lose the feature!
How to Setup/Turn On Messaging (As of February 2019):
1. To enable the Messaging feature you now have to download the Google My Business App from Google Play or the App Store.
2. Log into your GMB account.
3. If you have multiple locations in your account, click the top business name that appears when you login, and select the business that you want to manage/turn on messaging for.
4. Tap Customers -> Select Messages on the top bar -> then Turn On (if you don’t see the turn on slider right away you may need to click the little “more” icon in the top right corner of the App, and go into Messaging settings).
5. Messaging is now live and active.
How messaging via desktop flows:
What you should know about this feature:
- Business owners have the option to turn the feature on and off. Ideally you keep the messages on during business hours and turn it off when no one is available to respond (this removed the tab from your KP).
- Your typical response time shows up on your listing.
- You cannot respond to messages in the GMB dashboard on desktop.
- The person who responds on behalf of the company will share their full name and Google avatar image with the customer.
- Customers access their messages via the Google Maps app under Messages.
- Customers cannot call directly from the chat, this is specifically for messaging.
- You can create a welcome message of up to 120 characters.
- If you don’t respond to customer messages within 24 hours, you will run the risk of losing this feature.
- There are chat policies that you also need to follow, so if you are going to start using this feature make sure you are current on the rules.
**With all of the changes and disruptions to the Messaging feature, if you aren’t already connected via the GMB app or if you are a large multi-location business, you should hold off until there are more details.