Read and reply to messages

Your customers can get in touch with you in real-time from your Business Profile on Google. You can answer questions, tell your story, and attract more customers to your business. Messaging works best as a conversation between your business and your customers. To ensure the best experience for your customers, follow the messaging guidelines.

Important: As a precaution in light of COVID-19, we’re operating with a limited team. It may take longer than usual to connect with us. We recommend our Help Community and YouTube Channel. Thank you for your patience.

How it works

Once you turn on messaging, customers will find a “Message” button on your Business Profile, and be able to message you at any time.

  • Messages will appear in your Business Profile on Google. You’ll receive notifications for incoming messages.
  • You can customize the automated welcome message that customers will get when they message you.
  • You can share photos with your customers through messages.
  • If multiple people own or manage your Business Profile, each one can message with customers.

Stored messages

Businesses who turn on messaging have their messages saved to the account they use to manage their Business Profile on Google My Business:

  • If you delete a message from one device, it’s permanently removed from all linked devices. You can no longer access them.
    • Important: The message is deleted from only your devices. The recipient can still find the conversation on their devices.

Response time requirement

The following requirement is for any business that uses messaging on Google My Business.

When you receive a new message, you should reply within 24 hours. This may promote trust and encourage engagement with your business. To support timely responses, we may deactivate messaging for your business if you don’t respond within the time frame.

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  2. Click Messages and then Settings Settings.
  3. Turn on or off Turn on messaging.

Turn on or off Google My Business web notifications

Notifications let you know when customers contact you, which is helpful to maintain your 24-hour response time requirement. If you turn off notifications, you’ll turn off all notifications, including messaging.

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. Under “Web notifications,” check or uncheck the box next to “Customer messages.”

Find out more about messaging here:  https://support.google.com/business/answer/9114771 

Messaging guidelines

The Google My Business (GMB) messaging feature provides customers and merchants with an easy way to communicate. To ensure the best experience when interacting with each other, please follow the guidelines below.

The following policies outline forbidden behaviors and provide information on how to block a conversation or opt out from the service.

We reserve the right to suspend your access to Google My Business chat in case of serious or repeated violations of the product policies. Make sure to also follow the general policies for Google My Business.

Guidelines for merchants

Personal and confidential information

Make sure that you don’t provide or request sensitive information during a chat with customers. Sensitive information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Social Security, passport, or other government identification numbers
  • Login credentials, like passwords

Avoiding sensitive content during chats keeps your and your customers’ information safe. Lastly, using personal information in ways that the other party has not consented to is strictly not allowed.

Unacceptable responses

Slow or unreasonable response times to messages received from users represent a bad user experience for your customer. For example:

  • Failure to respond to the user
  • Waiting an unreasonable period of time to respond to the user

It is also unacceptable to send irrelevant or unwanted messages to users who have contacted you. For example:

  • Messaging about a product or service unrelated to the original request
  • Repeated messaging with no response
  • Excessively long message or excessive use of emoticons and URLs

Misrepresentation and misleading claims

Do not impersonate an organization or individual. Do not make false statements about your identity or qualifications, such as falsely claiming to be an authorized representative of a company. Please also refer to our overall guidelines on representing your business on Google.

Do not provide inaccurate promotion information that omits or obfuscates how the user will be billed or charged.

Response time requirement

To help build a better experience for your customers, you should reply to your messages within 24 hours of receiving them. This can promote trust and encourage engagement with your business. To support timely responses, we may deactivate messaging for your business if you don’t respond within the time frame.

Guidelines for merchants and consumers

Inappropriate content

Conversations should be focused on the business and services offered, avoiding any inappropriate content, including:

  • Content that promotes or condones hatred or violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity
  • Harassing, bullying, or threatening content towards individuals or groups
  • Graphic or violent materials for the sake of disgusting others
  • Sexually explicit or pornographic images or videos
  • Content that exploits or abuses children

Spam, Malware, and Phishing

Chat is intended for quality conversations between merchants and users.

  • Do not spam, including sending unsolicited messages or unwanted promotional or commercial content.
  • Do not share content or engage in behaviors that harm or interfere with users’ devices, network operations, or other infrastructure.
  • Do not use this service for phishing scams.

Illegal activities

Do not use this service to engage in illegal activities or promote dangerous and illegal acts. Fraudulent or illegal activities aren’t tolerated on Google and may result in account suspension and removal of business information from search results. In those cases we may report you to the relevant authorities.

It’s also your responsibility to comply with all applicable laws and regulations when using this feature.

Terrorist content

We do not permit terrorist organizations to use this service for any purpose, including recruitment. We also strictly prohibit content related to terrorism, such as content that promotes terrorist acts, incites violence, or celebrates terrorist attacks. If posting content related to terrorism for an educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purpose, be mindful to provide enough information so viewers understand the context.