Google has launched Google business messages without much fanfare. It's just a small button that pops up when someone searches for your business on Google. But from the conversation industry perspective this is HUGE.
Do you know that the small call button drives millions of calls in a year for pizza joints and other retailers in the US. Businesses spend more than a trillion dollars supporting billions of customer service calls each year. Now imagine how many chat conversations the "Message" button can drive.
Think of how customers interact with business.
1. Search on Google.
2. Click on web site link.
3. Web site shows chat pop up and tries to force the user to chat.(Annoying. I know :))
4. User clicks on chat and starts conversing with a bot or an agent.
This flow can now be completely changed. The new flow can be:
1. Search on Google.
2. User clicks on Message and starts conversing with a bot or an agent.
What if you could design a
customer experience that helps
people directly in the time and
place that their need arises?
The website can be taken out of the equation. The irony of this is that a site which indexes websites is taking the web site out of the equation :)
Obviously the above flow works for well known brands where the user need not visit the brand web site to learn more about it.
Monumental change to conversation landscape
How to get started
- Know: Best cloud telephony company, best lawyer etc.
- Go: Where is Ozonetel?
- Buy: Best rate for iPhone? Where can I buy an iPhone, Book a hotel etc
- Do: Airtel customer service etc
- Restaurants: Get table booking status, open table status etc.
- Lawyers: Get quote for a writ etc.
- Retail: Get price of items from local store. Ask about delivery details. Find opening and closing times.
- Doctors: Book appointment. Find opening and closing times.
- Edtech: Doubts in homework. This can be a good lead gen.
- Recipes: You get stuck in cooking, directly talk to an expert.
- Real estate: Get quote. Book site visit. Get queries answered about projects.
- Insurance: Get quote from a chat agent.
- Healthcare: Get queries answered by doctors. Find availability of medicines.
You get the idea :)
- Gatekeeper: The first thing we need to thing about is how now Google becomes more of a gatekeeper to your business. But given the prevalence of Google and the impact of search on business, there is no way but to implement it for your business.
- Spam: Your chat agent may get a lot of spam. For example job seekers will spam your chat system with queries about job offers. You can try to filter some through bots, but you can be sure you will get a lot of queries which are not directly related to your business.
- Chrome dependency: Currently, this only works on Chrome. And you will also need to have Google maps installed for this to work. So this works for people who search your business on Chrome on a mobile. Just keep this in mind.
- Features: Not all features are supported right now. Text, images and suggested replies work currently.
Please share in the comments what are your thoughts on this new service by Google. If you have any queries on how to use this for your business please feel free to ping us at email@example.com and we would be more than happy to help you out.