Google My Business Chat With Customers Test

Nov 28, 2016 • 7:41 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Maps

Local Hotel Lobby Google

Google is now testing a new feature in the Google My Business area that lets customers initiate a chat with your business from your local listing in Google search or Google Maps. This was first spotted by Dino Basaldella who posted it on Google+.

Here is a screen shot of the local knowledge panel with the "message" button and icon:

Google My Business Chat / Message With Customers

It says on the bottom the typical response time to get a message back from the business. In this case, it says 5 minutes, which seems very poor.

There is a help document that explains this is a pilot program for "a select group of business owners." You will be notified via email about this pilot, if Google chooses to contact you. It says:

Start chatting by clicking the link in the pilot invitation email from Google. Once you click through, you’ll see a step-by-step guide on setting up your Google My Business account for real-time messaging.

Make sure that you provide a phone number that can receive SMS messages and will be readily accessible for responding to customers.

Google powers this via SMS or their Allo app. I guess that is one way to get people to use Allo?

Google does offer messaging via AdWords ads - so maybe this is just an extension on that?

Forum discussion at Google+ & Local Search Forums.

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