Your customers can now text you directly from Google Search. Here’s how to get started.
Editor’s Note: This article is designed to help you setup Google Click-to-Message, powered by Podium.
The way customers want to communicate with businesses is changing. There are 6 billion active users of SMS text messaging around the world, giving you 6 billion reasons to let customers message your business.
Messaging has become a dominant part of people’s digital lives and texting is an incredibly efficient and comfortable medium for consumers. Now, your customers have a new, convenient way to have a conversation with your business via text messaging.
Conversations at Your Customer’s Convenience
Phone calls have always been an important way for consumers to communicate with businesses. While most businesses have an available phone number, calling is not always the most ideal way for consumers to communicate with your business. Click-to-Message is important because it makes it easy for online searchers to message your business, offering flexibility around how and when they interact with you.
With Google’s Click-to-Message feature, people can text your business listing when they search for your business on a mobile device. Once you set up texting for your business location, the messaging option will show up right next to the call option in Google search results.
When a customer finds your business, they will see a “Message” icon they can tap on and ask any question. By tapping “Message,” online searchers can seamlessly begin a text conversation from their native SMS app.
Setting up Click-to-Message
To add Click-to-Message for your business, you’ll need to update your Google My Business page settings. This will only take a couple of minutes. Here are the steps:
1. Visit https://business.google.com to update your Google My Business page
2. Select the three-line menu in the upper left and click on Messaging
3. Add your Podium Messenger number to receive messages for this location. To locate your Podium Messenger number, log in to Podium. Next, click on Messenger in the navigation bar and you will find your phone number in gray beneath your business name.
4. Google will send a code to the number you entered. Type in the number to confirm the connection.
5. Next, enter a welcome message. When someone texts your business, they’ll automatically receive this message. You can return to the same Messaging menu in Google My Business to modify the message or disable messaging at any time.
Consumers have spoken and it’s obvious texting is quickly becoming the preferred channel of choice. Sixty-four percent of consumers who have texting capabilities would prefer texting to a phone call as a customer service channel.
Manage Messaging for Your Business
Customer interactions can take place in a number of ways. With Click-to-Message, it’s easy for customers to get in touch over messaging when they need you. Your customers might ask for help with a new or unfamiliar product. They may be interested in rescheduling an existing appointment or want to ask about pricing, store hours, or directions. Click-to-Message is a great way to help customers learn more about your products and link them straight to the information they’re looking for. When your customers come back to chat, you’ll see the entire session and will be ready with relevant information.
Messages sent to your business are routed to the Podium Messenger Dashboard. Here, you can manage conversations and assign team members to each conversation.
Click-to-Message allows Podium to evolve from a review tool into a Customer Interaction Platform. Rather than simply collecting and managing reviews, Podium now enables you to interact with prospective and existing customers to build meaningful relationships with them. Messenger gives your business a great way to answer questions, improve relationships with your customers, and grow your bottom line.
Personalized Customer Interaction at Scale
Customers don’t want to waste their time waiting on hold. Two-way messaging helps you answer multiple questions at once, tell your business’ story and attract more people to your location without spending time on the phone. As you adopt messaging for your business, you’ll start to drive efficiency by enabling team members to handle multiple concurrent conversations, saving time and reducing costs.
With Google Click-to-Message, your customers will know when to expect a message back based on your typical response time. Letting them know when they can expect a response from your team is useful as it allows your customer to plan their next move based on real-time information. For example, if your team normally responds in a few minutes, your customer might choose to wait for your response then and there. If you normally respond within a few hours, they’ll know to move on to something else.
Podium Messenger allows you and your team members to handle multiple text message conversations all from one screen. Business managers can view the history of each conversation for context, allowing them to streamline the process and increase customer conversations while reducing time on the phone. With Podium, you’ll be able to easily handle multiple conversations without negatively interrupting your day to day operations.
In addition, template messages can be setup to handle basic questions such as product availability, store hours, and directions, allowing customers to receive a relevant response, even during hours when you might be away.
Text Us for Help
For additional help with setting up Click-to-Message, text me at the number below. I’ll be happy to provide pro tips on the best approach to messaging your customers.
We’d love to hear what your business is doing to handle messaging right now. Is there a messaging feature we can add to make your conversations better? Message us on the number above or leave your comments below.