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How to read & 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.

Important: As a precaution in light of COVID-19, we're operating with a limited team. It may take longer than usual to connect with us. We recommend our Help Community and YouTube Channel. Thank you for your patience.

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 may find your name and profile photo from your About me page.

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 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.

Manage chats on Google My Business

Turn on or off chat
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google My Business app My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location that you'd like to manage.
  2. To turn on or off the chat feature:
    • Turn on: Tap Customers and then Chat and then Turn on.
    • Turn off: Tap More More and then Settings Settings and then Chat. Then turn off Turn on chat. You can turn on chat again at any time.
Turn on or off Google My Business app notifications

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

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open your phone’s settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications and then Notifications.
  3. Under 'Recently sent', turn on or off the Google My Business app.
    • If you can't find the Google My Business app, tap See all from last seven days
Block a conversation
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google My Business app My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location that you'd like to manage.
  2. Tap Customers and then Chat.
  3. Open the conversation that you want to block.
  4. Tap More More and then Block/report spam. The conversation will be blocked and you'll no longer receive messages from the customer.
Delete a conversation
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google My Business app My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location that you'd like to manage.
  2. Tap Customers and then Chat.
  3. Open the conversation that you want to delete.
  4. Tap More More and then Delete. The conversation will be deleted from your device (but won't be deleted from the customer's device).
Share photos

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 phone or tablet, open the Google My Business app My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location that you'd like to manage.
  2. Tap Customers then Chat.
  3. Open the conversation that 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.

Manage chat on Google Maps

Turn on or off chat in Google Maps

To turn on or off chat:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Chat and then Business
  3. Tap Settings Settings. Then, turn on or off Chat.
Find your messages in Google Maps
Businesses that turn on chat can manage the chat feature from the Google Maps app.
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Chat and then Business
    • Merchants can manage individual inboxes for each business that they own.
Delete your messages in Google Maps
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.

  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Chat and then Business.

    • Merchants can manage individual inboxes for each business that they own.

  3. Open the conversation that you want to delete.

  4. Tap More More and then Delete. The conversation will be deleted from your device.

Manage notifications in Google Maps
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Account Circle Account Circle and then Settings Settings and then Notifications.
  3. Select 'Your business'.
    • Turn on a notification: Next to the notification, turn on the switch.
    • Turn off a notification: Next to the notification, turn off the switch.
Block a conversation in Google Maps
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Chat and then Business
    • You can manage individual inboxes for each business that you own.
  3. Open the conversation that you want to block.
  4. Tap More More and then Block/Report spam. The conversation will be blocked, and you'll no longer receive messages from the customer.
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 phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Tap Updates Updates and then Chat and then Business
    • You can manage individual inboxes for each business that you own.
  3. Open the conversation that 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.

Response time requirement

The following requirement is for any business that uses chat 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 chat 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 chat turned on in your Google My Business app.

These insights will display the average waiting time for a chat 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 chat 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

Get your chat insights

  1. On your mobile device, open the Google My Business app My Business.
  2. Tap Customers and then Chat.
  3. At the top, you'll get your response time.

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 My Business. 
  • 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 may find your name and profile photo from your About me page.
How do I keep the chat button active on Google?
All Google My Business messaging 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, Google may remove the message button from your Business Profile on Google. 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.
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