Google withdraws the business listing chat function

May 31, 2024 Posted by Maisie Lloyd Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Google withdraws the business listing chat function”
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Maisie Lloyd
Digital Content Specialist

I'm passionate about recording the world, but most of all driven by creativity and collaborative environments. My experience revolves around the production of digital content, pertaining to graphic design, writing copy, and video and audio content.

Google have announced a change to their offerings, the call and chat feature associated with business listing will be scrapped on the 31st of July 2024. The announcement came as businesses were emailed by Google, warning them of the upcoming adjustments.

The email reads “We are reaching out to share that we will be winding down Google’s chat feature in Google Business Profile on July 31, 2024. We acknowledge this may be difficult news – as we continually improve our tools, we occasionally have to make difficult decisions which may impact the businesses and partners we work with. It’s important to us that Google remains a helpful partner as you manage your business, and we remain committed to this mission.

Google will stop creating new conversations after July 15, and chat functionality will fully end on July 31. Please note, customers will still be able to find and contact your business via Google Search and Maps – and learn more information about you from your website links, business description, photos, and anything else you share on your Business Profile.”

What does this mean?

Users will no longer be able to contact businesses using the feature, and businesses will be unable to access the history of calls and chats with customers. Customers seeking out contact information on Google will still be provided with the businesses’ contact details on maps and the Search Engine Results Page ( SERP).

Existing customers can expect to be notified by the 15th of July, which they’ll be given a warning about the phasing out. Any users attempting to start a chat on the 15th will be unable to do so.

Downloading your history

For businesses wanting access to their chats and call history, they will still have the opportunity to do so up until the 30th of August 2024,  it can be accessed and downloaded with Google Takeout.

Google Takeout allows users to retrieve and download all of their data collected by Google. This encompasses all Google products, allowing users to export and store their data separately to Google.

Seeking alternatives?

Businesses have been advised by Google to find an alternative means for their customer communications. It’s of great importance that you offer a telephone number or email for customers to contact your business through.

 Offering basic customer services allows your business to develop strong customer relations and improve the business for the customers using it. This also gives the customer the opportunity to contact you ahead of time about their requests.

Here are some of the alternatives we would suggest:

  • Zendesk – Allows customer communications from any platform to be fed into a single chat (per customer) on Zendesk. The CRM also offers an AI chatbot which you can program to answer to specific questions.
  • A chatbot provides customers with answers without taking away from the time of real employees.
  • Live chat is a great way to offer human responses to customer queries without the need for multiple phone lines.
  • Telephony systems – associated buttons linked to specific queries. This will allow the customer service team to sort through queries quicker and easier by having each call already assorted.
  • Social media will continue to be one of the greatest tools for customer service, it allows for real-time updates and for communication between customers and businesses. 
  • For some businesses offering a video meeting/consultation is the best approach to customer services, this can be done utilising Microsoft Teams, Google or Jitsi to do so.

The change is likely to see many businesses looking for different ways to communicate with their customer base. We’re interested to know if this is a feature you have used, and if so, how would this impact your rapport with a business?

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