Google’s Business Messages – Recent Announcement

Google’s Business Messages – Recent Announcement

Google has quietly announced that they are deprecating their business chat option of Google’s Business Messages on July 31st 2024. This announcement affects your business if you have turned “ON” the Chat option on Google’s Business Profiles.

Post July 31st, consumers searching for your business on Google search or Maps will no longer be able to view the “Chat” option. Also, if you have brand agents set up for chat, the agents will also no longer be available on both mobile and desktop versions. For sure this presents a problem for businesses using Google Chat as a standard option to track leads and visitors. 

While this definitely closes out one channel of communication for businesses, it also presents an opportunity to transition users onto other, more mainstream 2-Way communication channels such as Whatsapp for Business, Insta DMs and others. If your business manages multiple brand agents, you will need to speak with your official Google Business Messages partner to turn off the agents or unlaunch them. 

You can find more detailed information on this announcement from the official Google handle here

As official partners of Google Business Messages, Zceppa is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for our customers and we present some viable options.

Start Early – Socialise consumers to other 2-Way DM options 

We believe that the best way forward is to plan ahead and get an early start. Start with identifying an alternate chat option – Whatsapp, Insta DMs, FB Messenger or even a website widget. For existing Interact customers of Zceppa, we are happy to transition you to alternative chat channels of your choice between now and July 31st. 

Adding WABA links to GBM Welcome Message

On the Google Chat welcome message, add Whatsapp for Business or a website chat widget link. If you are an existing Zceppa Interact customer, you can easily set this up from Settings → Interact → Google Tab like below. Click on “Save” to ensure this new message with the alternate channel is saved.

When customers visit your Google Business Profile they will see the updated Welcome Message wit the clickable chat link. Clicking the link will enable them to chat with your business on Whatsapp, which could actually make it easy for your customers. 

Also, as an added step, ensure you add your WABA number and link across your digital assets like Website, Insta, FB Pages, Youtube and TikTok – The more customers know where to find you, the easier it is to get found.

When the user clicks the link, they can directly chat from their Whatsapp & your business will receive the messages in your Zceppa Interact Inbox. Based upon your notifications setting you will receive new enquiry notifications from Zceppa.

As an official partner for Whatsapp for Business, Zceppa’s Unified Inbox can quickly transition your business chats from GBM to Whatsapp with near-zero disruption. 

So what are you waiting for, let us know today by writing to [email protected] and we will ensure you never lose a lead again!

Good Read – Why is Whatsapp for Business important for inbound DMs? 

Google Business Profile – URL Section – Add WABA Links

Another simple option that can work is adding your business number to the URL section within your Google Business Profile – specifically the appointment URL can work well for this purpose.

We see several local businesses take advantage of their existing Whatsapp for Business numbers link including appointment booking. Adding the WABA link under appointments link could be another easy way for consumers to start interacting with your business once they land on your Google Business Profile after the Google Chat deprecation option.

Open your Google Business Profile in Edit Mode & navigate to the URL Section. Add a URL to this section that can redirect the user to your Whatsapp or another widget.

When a consumer searches for your business online, the appointment link will appear with the redirection provided. This can actually kick-start a conversation, a booking flow or even a shopping flow to your website or AI agent directly.

Conclusion – Direct DMs are here to stay

In conclusion, being able to directly interact with a business via chat and DMs is a no-brainer today. Helping users reach your business via messaging channels of their choice is mainstream – both via search and social platforms. With the potential deprecation of Google’s Business Messages, businesses have to think out of the box to navigate users to the appropriate landing page/digital asset to ensure there are no lost leads & superior customer service is always ON!

With Zceppa’s Unified Inbox and partnerships it is simple, speedy and easy to re-tool your Google Business Profiles for continued user conversations. Sign up for a free trial today 

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