Google My Business testing new feature

Internet search on a tablet

Google My Business has posted that it is testing out a brand new feature. This feature will allow businesses to directly chat with customers and answer their questions.

Google has sent some businesses emails inviting them to participate in the pilot. Only those businesses who have received this invite will be able to test the feature at this time.

Customers who find a business listing on Google will see a new “message” button, which will initiate the chat. The button also includes information saying the business’ typical response time.

This is a screenshot Google My Business has published, clearly showing the new “message” button:  

google-my-business

It is important for businesses to ensure they provide a phone number that can also receive SMS notifications. If you are wanting to have this feature, make sure you can be readily available to respond to customers. It will definitely be bad for a company’s reputation if there is a long response time. If your response time becomes too long, you risk being suspended from the pilot.

If you don’t want to use SMS, you can also use Google Allo, which can be downloaded from the Android Play Store or iOS App Store. Just make sure you use the same number you use on Google My Business.

If you are a part of the pilot, there are a few things to avoid when talking to customers. You should avoid talking about sensitive information, which includes:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Government Identification numbers
  • Login credentials, such as passwords.

If you decide the pilot isn’t really for your business, you have the option to leave at any time.

If you’re interested in testing out this new feature, but don’t quite understand Google My Business, Fit Small Business have produced a guide for small businesses. This guide steps readers through how to set up your Google My Business Page, how to manage and respond to reviews and how to link your Google My Business page and Google AdWords account.

What do you think of the new feature? Let us know in the comments.