In 2022, the need for consumers to connect with businesses has never been higher. Your customers expect seamless communication from you, and bank on you to always be there across the entirety of the journey, right from product discovery. With close to 9 in 10 clients saying they would love to connect with businesses via messages, the importance of Google Business Messages is crystal clear for all to see.
But how exactly do you find success with this valuable free messenger tool through which leads can connect with you in real-time? Stay tuned for answers. We discuss how it works and other important tips for Google Business Messages so you can fully leverage this important aspect of digital marketing for eCommerce to grow your business.
First things first: What is Google’s Business Messages?
Back in the old days, customer support agents were mostly human and automation was at a premium. When businesses closed shop for the day, after-hours leads had to wait till operations were up and running again before they could get the answers they seek. Alternatively, customers would wait in huge call queues to talk to an agent.
Google My Business is the search engine giant’s solution to real-time customer service headaches such as these. It has been one of the top digital marketing trends for businesses in 2022, and even way before that. Unveiled in 2014, it is an automated message service that offers support to your customers wherever and whenever they need it. Its chat features are available through a multitude of sources including:
- Your website
- Google Maps
- Directly via Google Search
- Google Business Profile
Via several channels, your existing customer base and new leads can have conversations with your business when they find you online via any of the above means. You can even customize automated messages that eventually divert clients to real agents.
How to implore Google Business Messages to your advantage?
Turn on chat
Are you a local business with a Google Business Profile and just one location? Then this part is for you. You’ll want to turn on this chat feature and one way to go is via Google search. On the left side, you should notice the management tiles or options from your Google Business profile once you look up your business name. Among the choices you’ll see include:
- Learn more about your profile
- Create an offer
- Turn on chat
You’ll want to hit the last option, then follow the prompts and you’ll be golden.
Before you ask it, I know what you’re thinking: what if I have multiple locations for my local business? For example, say you’re an online marketing service with operations across four states. How will this work?
Well, you still have the option to turn on chat although you’ll be doing so via Business Manager. In place of “Chat” however, you’ll now see on your dashboard a “Messages” button and this is where you want to click. From there, hit the “Turn on messaging” button and you’re good to go.
Craft your welcome message
If you don’t have the Google My Business (GMB) App installed, now’s the time to hit the Play Store. Via the app, you’ll notice you have options to configure your welcome messages. More specifically, follow these steps to do so:
- Tap on Customers and Messages
- Select “Edit welcome message”
- Write something good
- Don’t forget to save it
Word of note: Google will be deprecating the GMB app on April 30, 2022, which is right around the corner. However, there’s no need to panic as they already have an API workaround in the pipeline. In the meantime, you can still make hay with GMB.
The hardest step of all three has to be the “write something good” part. A great welcome message is an important aspect of any formidable eCommerce marketing strategy. That said, it’s an aspect of Google Business Messages that many businesses struggle to wrap their head around.
If you’re coming up short on ideas, here are a few suggestions from our digital marketing agency team that may work for you:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Offer a welcome gift if you can
- Humor works like a charm. Use it
- Ask for feedback. It shows you care
- Don’t forget your CTA
- Propose value right from the onset
- A simple thank you goes a long way
- Set expectations on response time
Should I go or should I stay? A well-crafted welcome message is essential to alleviating these doubts in your customers’ minds.
Configure your notifications
Now the exact steps to take in this process will depend on the OS you’re running. If you’re on Android, you’ll typically need to head over to “notifications”, which you’ll probably find under your device’s settings.
From the options therein, you should see two on the list that read:
- Messages from customers
- Messages from business
You’ll want to ensure both of these are set to on so you can receive notifications whenever a customer chats up your business. Additionally, Google will also send you a notification via email, detailing your average response time and response rate, so you’ll know if you need to brush up on any of these. Alternatively, you can also view customer messages via your Business Profile Manager.
That’s it. You’re all set up. However, before you go, here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Whenever you reply to a chat, your profile photo and personal information may be pulled from your “About me” page. So keep these neat and professional
- Message deletion on one device entails permanent deletion across every linked device. So use the delete option thoughtfully
- Google Business Messages allows photo replies. So have a couple of enticing images saved up on mobile to impress your leads
- Aside from photo attachments & welcome messages, other Google Business Profile chat features encompass smart replies, read receipts, and typing indicators. Google has left the door open for more feature updates in the future.
Let a professional manage your Google Business Messages
It’s unthinkable to imagine a local business that doesn’t have Google’s Business Messages. I shudder at the thought of how much business is being left on the table in such cases. If you remain unsure of how best to set up your messages or need a creative partner to manage it all for you and craft awesome copy as you tend to other core functions, Genexod is here for you. We’ll help you with this, and much else that pertains to eCommerce SEO services. Let’s talk.