To enable businesses to answer inquires and connect with potential consumers who are interested in the products or services messaging capabilities have been introduced on Google Maps.
Verified businesses having a Business Profile can turn on the messaging service and reply to customers and address their queries, on Google Maps. If the business uses a messaging partner, it can sign up to access the Business Messages API.
The feature can be accessed on Google Maps from the business messages section in the 'Updates' tab, and soon businesses will also be able to see messages from Google Search (via the Customers menu on the Business Profile) and message customers directly from the computer.
Google mentions that an uptick has been observed this year in the number of times a business has been contacted. People have initiated more than twice as many messages to merchants from Business Profiles on Search and Maps, since the beginning of the year.
Along with clicking on the 'Message' button on a Business Profile, customers can also initiate a conversation by a post created b the Profile. They will also be prompted to send a message if a phone call goes unanswered by the business.
Google has been seemingly bridging the gap between enabling a business to be discovered and providing features that equip a business for direct communication with potential customers and having a digital presence, a front that social media platforms have been helping the businesses with.
Recently, Google Maps also launched a Community Feed in the Explore tab that features reviews, photos, posts, and articles, with an option to follow local experts and business profiles, and give a thumbs up to posts users like.
With the new addition, Google Maps would boost the process of conversion of a potential consumer to a consumer, as Google is the place where most businesses are discovered.