Here’s a recent digital marketing trend that can drive sales and customer loyalty, but you may not be using it. You can now add chat and messaging to your Google My Business (GMB) listing. That means when people find your business in maps or the map box at the top of organic search listings, customers can message you in addition to calling, getting directions, or clicking on your website.
This can be a significant advantage when it comes to customers You might think that when people have a question, are ready to buy, or want to make an appointment, they’d call. That’s not necessarily the case. 64% of people prefer messaging rather than phone calls when connecting with a business. They’d rather send a message than be kept on hold. If you’re not offering chat or messaging, you may be missing out on potential customers.
There’s also been a drop off in the number of people who are willing to email businesses or fill out forms on a company’s website. They don’t want to give out their email address because they’re worried that they will be subjected to endless marketing emails. Messaging removes that worry.
Google My Business Messaging and Local SEO
Local SEO is becoming increasingly important. Not only are people searching more frequently by area, location, or “near me,” more than half of the people doing local searches on their phone will visit or do business with a company they found in the search. Here’s one of our SEO tips: messaging gives you one more opportunity to grab the “today” buyer before they skip past your listing and go to your competitors.
Google My Business Messaging and Customer Loyalty
Messaging helps build customer loyalty. Businesses using personalized messages across multiple channels experience a 90% higher customer retention rate.
While you can use auto responders, the biggest benefit is when you can personalize a conversation and tailor it to a customer’s query. Whether it’s answering a question or setting up an appointment, you have the opportunity to customize the conversation online the same way you would with a phone call. That’s something you can’t do easily when they visit your web page.
Google My Business Messaging and Integration
Adding messaging to Google My Business will automatically enable messaging functions on Google, across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS.
The GMB chat tool also integrates business messaging directly with customer service platforms if you have one. If you don’t have one, it can direct messages to any phone or device you want. If it’s a personal phone, it will mask the phone number so the customer can’t see it. You can use smart replies, visual carousels, and unique welcome messages when customers reach out. So, even if they need to wait for you to reply, you can still connect with them until you do. One of the biggest consumer complaints is the lack of a response. Providing an instant response lets customers know you’ve received their message.
Connect with Customers the Way They Want to Connect
Nearly two-thirds of mobile phone owners use text messaging daily. It’s the most popular form of communication on phones.
Although Google My Business messaging performs much like a text message, you might want to think of it as being more similar to Facebook’s Messenger product. It gives customers one more simple way to connect with your business using a communication channel they’re already comfortable using. 20North Marketing can help leverage your Google My Business listing to improve local SEO.