Read and reply to messages

Your customers can get in touch with you in real-time from your Business Profile on Google. You can answer questions, tell your story, and attract more customers to your business. Messaging works best as a conversation between your business and your customers. To ensure the best experience for your customers, follow the messaging guidelines.

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How it works

Once you turn on messaging, customers will find a "Message" button on your Business Profile, and be able to message you at any time.

  • Messages will appear in your Business Profile on Google. You’ll receive notifications for incoming messages. 
  • You can customize the automated welcome message that customers will get when they message you.
  • You can share photos with your customers through messages.
  • If multiple people own or manage your Business Profile, each one can message with customers.
  • Customers may find your name and profile photo from your About me page.

If you're interested in the messaging API, please visit the Business Messages developer site.

Stored messages

Businesses who turn on messaging have their messages saved to the account they use to manage their Business Profile on Google My Business:

  • If you delete a message from one device, it’s permanently removed from all linked devices. You can no longer access them.
    • Important: The message is deleted from only your devices. The recipient can still find the conversation on their devices.
  • You can export and download messages to keep for your records or use in other Google products.
Turn on or off messaging
  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  2. Click Messages and then Settings Settings.
  3. Turn on or off Turn on messaging.
Tip: If you’re new to Google My Business, to turn on messaging, click Messages and then Turn on messaging.
Turn on or off Google My Business web notifications 

Notifications let you know when customers contact you, which is helpful to maintain your 24-hour response time requirement. If you turn off notifications, you'll turn off all notifications, including messaging.

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. Under “Web notifications,” check or uncheck the box next to “Customer messages.” 
Block a conversation
  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  2. Click Messages.
  3. Open the conversation you want to block.
  4. Click More More and then Block/report spam and then Block.

The conversation is blocked, and you'll no longer receive messages from the customer.

Delete a conversation
  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  2. Click Messages.
  3. Open the conversation you want to delete.
  4. Click More More and then Delete and then Delete.
The conversation will be deleted from your device but it won't be deleted from the customer's device.

Response time requirement

The following requirement is for any business that uses messaging on Google My Business.

When you receive a new message, you should reply within 24 hours. This may promote trust and encourage engagement with your business. To support timely responses, we may deactivate messaging for your business if you don’t respond within the time frame. 

Find average response time

Businesses can find and track their average response time in the app. You can get insights if you have messaging turned on in your Google My Business app.

These insights will display the average wait time for a message response using the last 28 days of data. You can choose a longer time period as well. You may be able to compare average response times for similar businesses nearby.

When customers search for your business on Google Search and Maps, they can get a status update for a messaging response time:

  • Usually responds in a few minutes
  • Usually responds in a few hours
  • Usually responds in a day 
  • Usually responds in a few days.

FAQ

What happens when messaging is enabled?
When you have messaging turned on, customers can message you at any time through the "Message" button on your Business Profile on Google. If you enable messaging for your business, you may also get a "Get quote" or “Request a booking” button in selected categories on your Business Profile on Search.
  • You’ll get notifications for incoming messages in Google My Business. 
  • You can customize the automated welcome message that customers get when they message you.
  • If multiple people own or manage your Business Profile, each one can message with customers. 
  • Customers may find your name and profile photo from your About me page.
How do I keep the message button active on Google?
All Google My Business messaging users should make sure to respond to messages within 24 hours of receiving one. If you don’t respond to your messages within a day, then to preserve the customer experience, we may remove the message button from your Business Profile. If the message is spam or of poor quality, make sure to mark it as spam.
How is response time calculated?
Your response time is calculated by the average amount of time it takes your business to reply to new messages from customers, based on the messages you've received in the last 28 days.
  • If you’ve received fewer than 10 messages in the 28-day period, the response time will use your last 10 messages.
  • If you’ve received fewer than 10 messages since signing up for messaging, the response time will use all the messages you’ve ever received.
How is response rate calculated?
Your response rate is the percentage of new messages you responded to in the last 28 days.
  • A response only counts when it's in reply to the first message of a conversation (that is, the first message you get after at least 7 days of no communication with a given customer).
  • A response only counts if you send it within 24 hours. 
  • If you've received fewer than 10 messages in the 28-day period, the response rate will use your last 10 messages.
  • If you've received fewer than 10 messages since signing up for messaging, the response rate will use all the messages you’ve ever received.
My messaging has been deactivated. How do I reactivate it?
If you lose access to your messaging button, you can turn on messaging again. To keep the messaging button active, you should respond to all new messages in less than 24 hours. 
Are there any messages not used to calculate response time and rate?
Yes. Welcome messages and messages you've marked as spam aren't used in the calculation of response time and response rate.
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