Google’s Business Messages in the chat ecosystem
With nearly 2 billion active users, Google owns 90% of the worldwide search engine market. There’s no arguing that Google is the internet to the majority of people, and it’s synonymous with online search, or, better yet, finding information. How often have you “just Googled it?”
Prior to this, another messaging giant has emerged from Google, Facebook and Amazon triology. Facebook has established itself as a messaging and chat behemoth for retailers and brands. With three distinct and immensely popular messaging platforms—Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp—Facebook boasts a combined user base of 3.9 billion users. China’s WeChat, with just over 1.1 billion active users, is the only other messaging app in the world that even comes close to those numbers.
But 2020 will be the year Google stakes its claim in the messaging game, effectively revolutionizing the last mile of the customer journey. And a time when retailers need every tool at their disposal today to lay the foundation for success tomorrow, this is crucial.
To make this possible for its users – Google offers a “message” feature for shoppers directly within Google Maps and organic search, allowing anyone to connect with nearby businesses.
By moving past the traditional messaging app model and introducing a new conversational layer to Google Maps and Search, Google is making a host of interactions with local businesses possible.
This “Message” button will single-handedly have the power to alter the customer support and sales paradigm for retailers of all shapes and sizes.
So, what can Google’s Business Messages do?
- Google’s conversational layer works for businesses across the retail spectrum. It integrates rich features, including product cards, call-to-action buttons like “Order” and rich media (images and video), to make conversations with customers more lively and immediate. Customers are led to this new play via organic searches for a business on Google or Google Maps. It then integrates the same user interface (UI) elements found on other messaging platforms, like Facebook Messenger, so customers will benefit from a seamless experience.
- To kick off the conversation, customers need to press the “Message” button in a business directory, and they can instantly ask a question to a specific business. Chatbots then handle the first line of the customer service interaction with concise information that allows users to know they’re talking to a chatbot, while also providing them with the option to speak to a person. For example, Aeromexico’s chatbot starts a conversation with “Hi! I’m Aerobot from Aeromexico. What can I do for you today?”
- After the first interaction, chatbot conversations move on to the customer’s questions and what they are looking for specifically. The customer’s intent could range from making an appointment at a Toyota car dealership, checking Sephora’s business hours, seeing if Aeromexico’s flight times have changed or ordering that double-cheese pizza from Domino’s.
- The chatbot answers the customer’s query or if it’s too complicated and requires human attention, seamlessly forwards to an in-store team member who is ready to pick up the conversation right where it left off.
- Finally, customers either convert right inside the chatbot, like by clicking on the “Order” button or head to the retailer’s store in person.
Could this revolutionize the world of customer service forever?
We all know the pain of clicking through seemingly endless interactive voice response (IVR) menu options, struggling to find the information we’re looking for. Given a choice, would you opt for navigating through the IVR system or start a conversation with a chatbot that will get you the answers in seconds? The second option, right? We’re there with you on that one.
The irony of this situation is that setting up customer support or a call center costs businesses $1.3 trillion every year. Imagine spending that kind of money on something shoppers would prefer to skip altogether on any given day.
The shopper of today often browses websites, looking for contact information. On the phone, even the most mobile-optimized websites struggle to engage users; website navigation suffers, and customer experience takes a hit. Enter Google’s messaging layer—integrated directly into existing services—to counter issues of mobile-friendliness and ease user difficulties before they happen.
Business Messages is going to be a win for customers and businesses alike. Shoppers will enjoy instant conversations and elevated experiences. At the same time, businesses will be able to turn their customer support from a cost center to a revenue center—boosting sales via real-time engagement.
Business Messages will augment the local search experience
By adding the business messaging layer to the Google search platform that users are already familiar with, Google is streamlining the communication process between brands and their potential customers. Searches will become instantly conversational, thanks to direct communication, cutting out the pain points brought on by IVR phone calls. This way, businesses keep and direct consumers where they want them: on their page and on the way to their store.
Imagine how messaging could streamline customer service for a company and how this simplified process would benefit from the messaging service through Google platforms. Google’s latest messaging strategy could become the catalyst for democratizing business messaging on a global scale.
Getting Started with Heyday and Google’s Business Messages
Conversational AI platforms can act as the technological bridge between the Business Messages and brands looking to unlock on-demand conversational experiences. By training AI to respond to the most popular questions brands and businesses receive on a daily basis, we can reduce customer service costs drastically. With the chatbot as a customer’s first point of contact, up to 80% of calls can be automated. Through automation, companies save a ton of money, while also boosting sales thanks to smooth communication and improved user experience. It might have been good while it lasted, but this streamlined process is the nail in the traditional call-based customer service coffin. R.I.P., 1-800.
Want to build your own conversational experience on top of Google Maps or Google My Business? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.