Google will enable more businesses to facilitate direct messaging from customers via maps and search listings, with a new expansion of its business message tools.
As explained by Google:
"Today we’re expanding Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses, and giving them the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms. Business Messages provides brands a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS."
As you can see in the above example, the messaging option provides a quick and easy way for customers to get in touch direct from Google listings.
Google first launched business messaging back in 2017, but thus far, its been limited to certain regions and business types. Now Google, will enable all brands to add messaging via their Google My Business listing.
In addition to this, Google's also adding smart replies and customizable welcome messages to improve the messaging experience.
"There’s also a smooth transition from automated replies to a customer service agent, so that it's not disruptive when the customer messages a business."
Through automation tools, businesses can also add quick response flows, which will enable searchers to get answers to key questions, direct from the brand, whenever they need.
Implementation of such process does require additional technical expertise, but Google also has a range of partners that businesses can work with to implement its messaging solutions.
Business Messages is currently available in English, though Google notes that it will be available in other languages shortly. Brands can sign up to access the Business Messages API and developer documentation here.