According to the latest news, Google My Business has introduced a new pilot program that is intended to allow online businesses to directly chat with their customers through a platform referred to as the knowledge graph panel.
The new chat option has been added to the local listing and will be available once a potential customer searches for the name of your brand. The feature will then introduce a chat between the business and potential customer. The messaging process will go through the businesses SMS number or alternatively through Google Allo.
Though this feature can be available for all online businesses it can only be accessed via an invite. For the lucky enough business enterprises, an email will be sent from Google providing further information.
The new chat feature will work in the following way
To enable the messaging option, the online businesses will be required to log into the Google my business and in the Home menu, they will find the chat card. Once they confirm that they have the chat card, they will provide a readily available and active phone number that will receive text messages and will be reliable and accessible to the responding customers.
You need to be responsive
The customers will expect quick responses, internet users aren’t by nature likely to wait for long periods of time for a response. So, during your listed business hours, respond quickly to the customer’s inquiry. Once customers contact you through messaging, they will see the average response time. The shorter the response time, the more likely that your customers will contact you.
During any chat with customers, be careful not to ask for sensitive information from the customers as it might cause you to lose the privilege. The sensitive information includes but is not limited to the credit card numbers, government identification numbers or social security number, other log in credentials. Avoiding the sharing of sensitive information keeps both you and your customer safe.
Editing the contact information
The app will also allow you an option to edit the phone number, this can be done by visiting the home option of your ‘Google my Business’ menu , then go to the chat card and click on the edit button and then you will be able to change the phone number.
Alternatively, you can opt to use Google Allo, to communicate with your customers. If you don’t have the Google Allo app, you can easily download it from the Google App Store.