Google is bringing messaging capabilities and customer insights on Google Maps and Search to help businesses answer questions from the public.
When searching online, people expect to get answers to their questions as fast as possible. This is especially the case when they browse nearby businesses, looking for information like how late a business is open, whether a specific product is available, what COVID-19 safety measures are in place, and more.
To help businesses quickly answer these and many other questions and connect effectively with customers and others interested in a business, Google is now bringing messaging capabilities and customer insights on Google Maps and Search.
Earlier in the year, Google made it easier for businesses to update their Business Profiles from Maps and Search, but Google is taking this a step further with the ability for verified businesses to message customers directly from within the Google Maps app. Business owners can turn on messaging from their Business Profile to start replying to customers from the business messages section in the “Updates” tab on Google Maps.
Soon business owners will also be able to see their messages from Google Search as well – in the Customers menu on their Business Profile – and message customers from their desktop. Businesses that use a messaging partner can sign up for access to the Business Messages API.
The reasoning for these new features is simple. “As more people try to make more informed decisions before leaving the house, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of messages sent to businesses,” explains Product Manager, Aditya Tendulkar. “Since the beginning of this year, people have initiated more than twice as many messages to merchants right from Business Profiles on Search and Maps.”
To initiate conversations, people can click on the “Message” button on a Business Profile. Now they can also start a conversation from any post a business creates. If a person calls and a business doesn’t answer, they will be asked to send a message instead.
In the summer, Google rolled out updated performance insights on Search and Maps that give businesses a better view of customer interactions, such as the total number of interactions over a specific period, and a breakdown of calls and messages started by customers on Google. These metrics are monthly and business owners can compare them to the same period in the previous year.
Now, Google is rolling out more metrics that help business owners find out how customers discover their Business Profile. These will include a detailed list of search queries customers used to find their business on Google. In early 2021, business owners can also see updates on the performance page showing whether customers saw a business on Google Maps or Search – on desktop or mobile.
The performance data will be available to business owners for up to six months.
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