Google has officially launched the messaging feature for Google My Business users based in the US. This allows Google My Business businesses to go to their dashboard and turn on messaging. Once activated, a customer looking at your Google local panel or maps listing can click the “message” button to communicate with you via text messaging.
Google began testing this feature last year in November and has now officially rolled it out to their US based customers.
Here are some screen shots of the process.
On your business dashboard you can turn on messaging either from the promotion box in the middle or by clicking on messaging on the left side navigation:
You need to add your mobile number that you want to manage these messages over:
Then verify the number with a code Google sends to that phone and then configure your welcome message. You can also toggle the feature on or off here.
I do wish they had an option to turn it on or off at certain times or just automatically turn it off and off based on your business hours.
Once activated, customers will see it in the mobile results for your local profile. Notice the “message” icon:
When they click it, it takes them to their text message app:
The business on the other end will get the message either via Google Allo or their native text messaging app:
Eventually, Google will show the customer the approximate wait time for the time it takes that business to reply to messages on average:
Here is Google’s official help document on this feature.
Forum discussion at Twitter.