How to read & reply to messages from your Business Profile

Your customers can get in touch with you from your Business Profile. With the chat feature, you can:

  • Answer questions
  • Tell your story
  • Attract more customers

To ensure the best experience for your customers, follow the chat guidelines.

How it works

If you turn on chat, customers can use the "Chat" button on your Business Profile and message you at any time.

  • You get notifications for the messages that show up in your Business Profile. 
  • You can customize the automated welcome message that customers get when they message you.
  • You can share photos with your customers in the chat.
  • If multiple people own or manage your Business Profile, each one can chat with customers.
  • Customers can find your Business Name in the chat dialogue.

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

Store your messages

If you turn on chat, you can save your messages to your Business Profile.

  • If you delete a message from one device, you removed it from all linked devices. You can no longer open them.
    • Important: You can delete the message from only your devices. The recipient can find the conversation on theirs.
  • To keep for your records or use in other Google products, you can export and download messages.

Manage chat on Google Maps

Turn on or off chat in Google Maps

Important: Past chat history is unavailable for businesses when they set up chat for the first time. Subsequent messages to and from the business are recorded after initial setup.

To turn on or off messages:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business and then Settings Settings
    Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Turn on or off Messages.
     
Find your messages in Google Maps
Businesses can manage the messages feature from the Google Maps app when they turn on messages.
 
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business
    • Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
    • You can manage individual inboxes for each business you own.
Turn message read receipts on or off

If a recipient opens a new message, the sender gets a “Read” status. If you turn off read receipts, your customers don't get the “Read” status.

If you turn on chat, read receipts automatically turn on.

To turn “read receipts” status off with the Google Maps app:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. From the "Updates" tab, tap More More and then Manage messages and then Messages.
    • If you have multiple profiles, open the one you want to manage.
  3. Turn off Read receipts.
Delete your messages in Google Maps
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.

  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business.

    • Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.

    • Business can manage individual inboxes for each business they own.

  3. Open the conversation you want to delete.

  4. Tap More More and then Delete.

Manage notifications in Google Maps
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Account Circle Account Circle and then Settings Settings and then Notifications.
  3. Select "Your business."
  4. Turn on or off notifications.
Block a conversation in Google Maps
 
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business
    • Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
    • You can manage individual inboxes for each business you own.
  3. Open the conversation you want to block.
  4. Tap More More and then Block/Report spam.
Share photos in Google Maps

You can share photos of any size or format. There’s no limit to how many photos you can share at once.

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business
    • Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
    • You can manage individual inboxes for each business you own.
  3. Open the conversation you want to share photos in.
  4. Tap Photo Camera.
  5. Choose a photo or take a new one.
  6. Tap Share Send.
Tip: You can delete photos through the thumbnails menu.

Welcome Messages in Google Maps

Welcome Messages are automatically sent once a client contacts your business. These greetings can set the customer's expectations on when they are going to receive a response from you.

To add a Welcome Message:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business. 
    Tip:
    On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Tap Settings Settings and then Allow messages.
  4. Next to "Welcome message," tap Edit .
  5. Edit your welcome message and tap Save.
Set up Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To enable FAQ:
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Messages and then Business.
    Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Tap Settings Settings and then Manage frequently asked questions.

Manage chat on Google Search

Turn on or off chat in Search

Important: Past chat history is unavailable for businesses when they set up chat for the first time. Subsequent messages to and from the business are recorded after initial setup.

  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages.
    Tip:
    On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Tap Menu More and then Message settings.
  4. Turn on or off Chat.
Find your messages in Search

Businesses that turn on chat can manage the chat feature from Search.

  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages.
    • Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
    • Businesses can manage individual inboxes for each business they own. 
Turn message read receipts on or off

If a recipient opens a new message, the sender gets a “Read” status. If you turn off read receipts, your customers don't get the “Read” status.

If you turn on messaging, read receipts automatically turn on.

To turn read receipts off in Google Search:

  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages.
    Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Tap More More and then Message settings.
  4. Turn off Read receipts.
Delete your messages in Search
  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages.
    Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Open the conversation you want to delete.
  4. Tap Delete Trash.
Manage notifications in Search
  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap More and then Notifications.
  3. Turn on or off Customer messages.
Block a conversation in Search
  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages
    Tip:
    On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Open the conversation you want to block.
  4. Tap Block .

When the conversation is blocked, you no longer receive messages from the customer.

Share photos in Search

You can share photos of any size or format. There’s no limit to how many photos you can share at once.

  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages.
    Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Open the conversation you want to share photos in.
  4. Tap Photo Gallery.
  5. Choose a photo.
  6. Tap Share Send.

Tip: You can delete photos through the thumbnails menu.

Set up Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To enable FAQ:
  1. In Google Search, search for my business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Messages.
    Tip: On your computer, using Google Search, select Messages.
  3. Tap Menu More and then Chat settings and then Add FAQs.
  4. Tap Add a question.

Respond promptly

The following requirement is for any business that uses messages on their Business Profile.

You must reply to your messages within 24 hours. It can promote trust and encourage engagement. If you don’t respond within the time frame, we deactivate chat for your business.

Find average response time

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

These insights show average response times using the last 28 days of data. You can choose a longer time period and compare wait times for similar businesses nearby.

If customers search for your business, they can get a status update for a message 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 chat is enabled?
If you turn on chat, customers can message you through the "Chat" button on your Business Profile. Get quote or request a booking buttons may also appear on profiles in selected categories.
When chat is enabled:
  • You get notifications for incoming messages. 
  • You can customize the automated welcome message.
  • If multiple people own or manage your Business Profile, each one can message customers. 
  • Customers can find your Business Name in the chat dialogue.
How do I keep the chat button active on Google?
You should respond to messages within 24 hours. If you don’t, we may remove the "Chat" button from your Business Profile. If you get spam or poor quality messages, you can mark them as spam. Learn more about messaging guidelines.
How is response time calculated?
Your response time is the average amount of time it takes your business to reply to new messages from the last 28 days.
  • If you've received fewer than 10 messages in the 28-day period, the response time uses your last 10 messages.
  • If you've received fewer than 10 messages since enabling chat, the response time uses all messages received.
How is response rate calculated?
Your response rate is the percentage of new messages you responded to in the last 28 days.
Your response counts:
  • If you reply to the first message you get after at least 7 days of no communication with a given customer.
  • If you send your response within 24 hours. 
  • If you've received fewer than 10 messages in the 28-day period, the response rate uses your last 10 messages.
  • If you've received fewer than 10 messages since signing up for chat, the response rate uses all the messages received.
How do I reactivate my chat?
If you lose access to your chat button, you can turn on chat. To keep the chat button active, you must respond to all new messages in less than 24 hours. 
Are there any messages not used to calculate response time and rate?
Welcome messages and messages marked as spam aren't used to calculate response time and rate.
Are there any limitations in the FAQs that can be set up in messaging?
You can set up 10 messages. Questions can be maximum 40 characters. Answers can be maximum 500 characters and can include links.
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Get help from Small Business Advisors

Want to receive one-on-one guidance and tailored recommendations on how to make the most out of your Business Profile? Try booking an appointment with Small Business Advisors.


Important: This service cannot troubleshoot issues, including Business Profile verification or suspension, or Google Ads billing.

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