Google is introducing a new update for Google Maps and Search apps to enable businesses to connect with customers through personal messages. Although customers can leave a public query for businesses by using the 'Ask a question' feature, the new message option will allow customers to get prompt replies on either Google Maps or Search directly over queries on parking space and more. The feature only works when a verified business on Maps and Search has enabled the message option. At the moment, business owners use message feature on Google Maps, while Google Search app will get the option later this month.
Google in a blog post states that when business owners turn messaging on from the Business Profile, they can start replying to customers on Google Maps app from the business messages section within the Updates tab present at the bottom left of the screen. For customers, a new Message button will appear right on the businesses' profile on Maps. Furthermore, if customers try calling a verified business via Maps and the call goes unanswered, customers would be prompted to send a message. Business owners can turn on the messages feature by opening Google My Business app > Settings > Select Messages > Turn on.
Google further said that businesses would be able to see their messages right from Google Search and message customers directly from their computers as well. More details over the message feature for Search are expected from the tech giant.
Meanwhile, Google is updating performance insights to enable businesses on Google Maps and Search, learn more about their customers. Starting this month, the company is rolling out new metrics for business profiles that will allow them to understand how customers discover their business(es). "Soon you'll see a more detailed list of the search queries customers used to find your business on Google. At the beginning of next year, you'll see updates to the performance page that show whether customers saw your business via Google Maps or Search and if they saw it from a computer or mobile device," the company explained.
Through the updated insights, businesses will get information for the past six months. The performance insights are available to view via Google My Business tools.