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Chat with your customers

Chatting with customers is a new Google My Business feature that’s currently available only to a select group of business owners. If you received an email from Google inviting you to participate in the pilot, click the link from the email and use the instructions below to start messaging with customers.

Google My Business allows you to chat directly with customers who find your business listing on Google Search. Responding to customers can help you answer their questions, tell your business’s story, and attract more people to your location.

Get started

Start chatting by clicking the link in the pilot invitation email from Google. Once you click through, you’ll see a step-by-step guide on setting up your Google My Business account for real-time messaging.

Make sure that you provide a phone number that can receive SMS messages and will be readily accessible for responding to customers.

Be responsive

Customers rely on your prompt replies: people don’t want to wait a long time for a response to their questions. During your listed business hours, respond as quickly as possible to messages from customers.

When customers message you, they’ll see your average response time. (You can see this time on the “Chat” card in the Home tab of your Google My Business dashboard.) If your average response time becomes too long, you may be suspended from the pilot.

Avoid sensitive content

Make sure that you don’t provide or request sensitive information during a chat with customers. Sensitive information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Social Security or other government identification numbers
  • Login credentials, like passwords

Avoiding sensitive content during chats keeps your and your customers’ information safe.

Edit your phone number

To edit the phone number you use for chatting with customers:

  1. Find the “Chat” card, located in the Home tab of your Google My Business dashboard.
  2. On the right side of the “Chat” card, click Edit number.
  3. Enter your new phone number.
  4. Click Submit.

Your messages will start appearing at the new number in an hour or two.

Use Allo

You can also use Google Allo, rather than SMS, to respond to messages. To start using Allo:

  1. Download Google Allo from the Android Play Store or iOS App Store. 
  2. Register Allo with the same number you used to sign up for messaging on Google My Business. 
  3. Messages will start to appear on Google Allo instead of SMS within an hour or two.

Leave the pilot

If you no longer want to chat with customers, you can leave the pilot. To opt out of messaging:

  1. Find the “Chat” card, located in the Home tab of your Google My Business dashboard.
  2. On the right side of the “Chat” card, click Opt out.
  3. In the dialog that appears, click Turn off.
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