Jon Hall

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Hi all, I was hoping to find out your opinions on GMB's messaging feature. Now that it's been around awhile, are you turning Google Messaging *on* or *off* or *it depends*?

I have my own biases but I'll bottle them in for now ;) From what I can tell, it hasn't been huge topic here one way or the other.

@Brian Barwig posted an excellent overview of the feature here: New Google My Business Messaging Options And it sounds like Sterling Sky is turning Google Messaging ON: "We believe these are a terrific addition to the GMB rolodex and should be taken advantage of."

But there are also some mixed reviews from those using Google Messaging in different industries, notably the comments on this thread from people turning it OFF: Google My Business Messaging and Metrics are getting a boost

What say you? What say your clients? Are you turning Google Messaging ON or OFF? Thanks ❤️
 
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From an enterprise perspective, it's off, 100%. GMB's interface for dealing with messages is made totally for SMBs. It's not scalable for larger companies, which is a damn shame. If it ever gets to the point where it has an interface which is useful on the enterprise scale, I could see us adopting it. It's important to meet the customers where they are. I can understand the hesitance to use Google's interface versus getting the website traffic but we'd get some good data off the conversations to improve our site and make it answer their questions better. We're implementing an online chat solution this year which I'm hopeful about and having that infrastructure built, the people who answer those messages, would make it much easier to expand into GMB's messaging system.
 

Jon Hall

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Thank you, @Annika Neudecker! I'm really interested in your point about the messaging interface and its utility for larger companies (not least because I'm tasked with building a UI for text messaging used by SMBs, agencies AND enterprises :).

Here are some of the things that I've identified (or which have been identified to me LOL) as important to enterprise messaging use. I'm curious how you'd amend this list:
  • Multiple user (or "agent") access and access control to conversations
  • Clear user "ownership" of individual messages or conversations
  • Conversation "status" setting to have visibility into and filters on open vs. resolved conversations, etc.
  • Contact segmentation to support targeted outreach, re-marketing, etc.
  • Centralized repository of "standard" messaging for the brand, i.e. message templates, automations
  • Hours-based automations that maintain responsiveness when agents are away but stay out of the agents' (and customers') way during business hours
  • Reporting that covers outcomes (leads/sales) as well as KPIs related to use of the channel: response times, customer satisfaction, etc.
I'm big on building companies' own text messaging capacity independent of Google and Facebook products for all of the reasons @MiriamEllis mentions above. But also because we don't have to wait for Google to build the features we need ;) @JoyHawkins and @Nicole Basham above point out specific deficiencies in Google's messaging product, too, which seem to make it hard for brands to fully embrace.
 
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  • Multiple user (or "agent") access and access control to conversations
  • Clear user "ownership" of individual messages or conversations
  • Conversation "status" setting to have visibility into and filters on open vs. resolved conversations, etc.
  • Contact segmentation to support targeted outreach, re-marketing, etc.
  • Centralized repository of "standard" messaging for the brand, i.e. message templates, automations
  • Hours-based automations that maintain responsiveness when agents are away but stay out of the agents' (and customers') way during business hours
  • Reporting that covers outcomes (leads/sales) as well as KPIs related to use of the channel: response times, customer satisfaction, etc.
In an absolutely ideal world, I'd love to have these features:
  • Clear indication of what location the customer is messaging via, including address and store number, to provide context to agents
  • Interplay with internal systems to allow agents to quickly access our own tools - for example, our internal informational site for each location, our CMS, and our reservation system
  • Message history, showing what interactions the customer has had through this channel with previous agents
  • Advanced tagging system for closed conversations which plays into the analytics, allowing agents to select the reason for the conversation and outcome
Some of these might be a little pie in the sky but I can dream, right?
 

Amy Toman

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Late to the party here, but I'm inclined against these for two reasons:

1. If you turn Messaging on and use some categories, you opt into "Get a Quote," and the services listed are not editable. So if you don't provide those services, you disappoint clients.
2. The app issue stated above. If you're an SAB and the message is received on your phone, you may not be able to reply quickly, or from your phone, during your workday.

So while I think there's good opportunities for this feature, I generally recommend keeping it off, or trying it for a bit to see if it works for your business.
 

Jon Hall

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Thanks @Amy Toman! For me, what you really distill down here is the "funny not funny" thing about Google Messaging: it simultaneously opens up an opportunity for businesses AND manages to turn that opportunity into a liability thanks to Google's constraints and control :rolleyes:

No wonder the consensus here seems to be to turn it off or use text/SMS unless your business happens to be able to work effectively within the confines of the Google product. For which I like your litmus test: "try it for a bit and see."
 
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