How to read and reply to messages from your Business Profile

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. Chat works best as a conversation between your business and your customers. To ensure the best experience for your customers, follow the chat guidelines.

How it works

Once you turn on chat, customers will find a 'Chat' button on your Business Profile and will 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 customise the automated welcome message that customers will 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 will find your Business Name in the chat dialogue.

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

Stored messages

Businesses who turn on chat have their messages saved to the account that they use to manage their Business Profile:

  • 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.

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. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Tap More More and then Message settings.
  4. Turn Chat on or off.
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. At the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
Turn message read receipts on or off

After a recipient opens a new message, the sender gets a 'Read' status under the message. This status appears for whoever sent the message in a conversation, either you or your customer. If read receipts are turned off for your business, your customers will not get the 'Read' status.

If you have messaging turned on, read receipts will automatically turn on. You can turn read receipts on or off with the Google Maps app.

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

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Tap More More and then Chat settings.
  4. Turn off Send read receipts.
Delete your messages in Google Maps
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Select the conversation you want to delete.
  4. Tap Delete Trash.
Manage notifications in Google Maps
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business.
  3. At the top right, tap Notifications Standard android/iOS notification icon.

Tip: Some businesses may be eligible to get text message notifications. To get texts, you must include your phone number.

Block a conversation in Google Maps
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Select the conversation that you want to block.
  4. At the top right, tap More More and then Block/report spam.
  5. Tap Block .
Report spam
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Open the conversation that you want to report as spam.
  4. At the top right, tap More More and then Block/report spam.
  5. Tap Block
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. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Select the conversation you want to share photos in.
  4. Tap Photo Camera.
  5. Select the photo you want to share.
  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. In Google Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  2. Tap More More and then Chat settings.
  3. Next to 'Welcome message', tap Edit .
  4. Enter a welcome message.
  5. Tap Save.
Set up Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions is a feature that creates automated responses to common questions that users may ask about your business. There are two types of FAQs that you can use:

Custom FAQs

  • These are questions and answers that you create which can be specific to your business.

Automatic FAQs

  • These are Google generated questions and answers based on information on your Business Profile. Automatic FAQs can currently answer questions about these features:
    • Opening hours
    • Appointments
    • Contact info
    • Delivery info
    • Location or address
    • Accepted forms of payment
    • Your website URL

Tip: You can choose to use Custom FAQs, Automatic FAQs or both. You’ll get a notification for any automatic responses that are sent with the user’s profile photo and a copy of the automatic response.

To add Custom FAQs:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Tap Menu More and then Chat settings.
  4. Tap Add FAQs and then Custom FAQs.
  5. Add the question and the automated response.
  6. Tap Save.

To turn on Automatic FAQs:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app .
  2. In Maps, at the bottom right, tap Business and then Messages.
  3. Tap Menu More and then Chat settings.
  4. Tap Add FAQs and then Automatic FAQs.
  5. Turn on Automatic FAQs.

Tip: If Automatic FAQs provide incorrect answers to users, check that the info in your Business Profile is up to date and consistent.

Respond promptly (time requirement)

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 waiting 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

FAQs

What happens when chat is enabled?
When you have chat turned on, customers can message you at any time through the 'Chat' button on your Business Profile on Google. If you enable chat 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 Business Profile. 
  • You can customise 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 will find your Business Name in the chat dialogue.
How do I keep the chat button active on Google?
All Business Profile chat users should make sure that they 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 'Chat' button from your Business Profile. If the message is spam or of poor quality, make sure that you 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 that 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 chat, the response time will use all the messages that you’ve ever received.
How is response rate calculated?
Your response rate is the percentage of new messages that 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 that you get after at least seven 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 chat, the response rate will use all the messages that you’ve ever received.
My chat has been deactivated. How do I reactivate it?
If you lose access to your chat button, you can turn on chat again. To keep the chat 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 that you've marked as spam aren't used in the calculation of response time and response rate.
Are there any limitations when setting up the FAQs messages?
  • You can set up 10 messages.
  • Questions can be maximum 60 characters.
  • Answers can be maximum 500 characters and can include links.
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