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Texting: the Good, the Bad & the Money

Texting: the Good, the Bad & the Money

You’ll definitely agree, we now live in an era where individuals, specifically younger generations, value instant gratification and immediate feedback.

Google has now leveraged this trend, launching the ability for users to send text messages directly to businesses from organic results through Google My Business. Previously available only in Google AdWords, this feature now offers an incredible opportunity for businesses to minimize the gap to their target markets.

Increase your traffic

If utilized correctly, this new tool can further increase click-through rates, capture more leads and improve the level of customer service. More importantly, this can give customers a better overall impression of your business, strengthening their retention. It’s important to remember that Inbound marketing is about choosing the right channels to allow your customer to find you, however,  if these channels aren’t maximizing conversion, you’re not being as effective as you can be. Google is adopted by nearly everyone with an internet connection, so capitalizing on this new messaging tool makes sense across businesses in any industry.

How To Activate Google My Business Texting

At the current moment, this feature is only available to US citizens. However, once this is released to Canada and other countries, you can activate this simply by going to your Google My Business dashboard and clicking the new “messaging“ tab that can be found on the left sidebar.

Once activated, a “message” button will appear on your local listing.

 

Take a Look at The Data

Think about it; how many times have you sent a text and wanted a quick response? A study done by Open Market on millennials concluded that with 75% of millennials would choose a text-only phone over a voice-only phone. If conversions are your main KPI, then you can see the importance of being available to customers at all times via text.

We decided to conduct our own market research here at Gustin Quon, aiming to understand the most preferred communication medium for consumers when reaching out to a local business. We surveyed women and men between the ages of 18 and 65+  in Canada and the US with the simple question:


When contacting a local business to ask a question or book a reservation… which electronic contact medium would you prefer in lieu of calling?

  • Email
  • Webchat
  • Text (SMS)
  • Social Media

 

Across all age groups, our results gathered that Email (54%) and Text Message (28%) were most valued methods of communication.

How to Reach Millennials

                                                                                                                           Ages 18-34


Overall, Millennials are far more open to trying different mediums of communication when reaching out to businesses. Respondents in this age group found Sending an Email much less desirable than older generations. The younger half of this age group, 18 to 24-year-olds, were most inclined to use Web Chat (42.8%) and 25 to 34-year-olds preferred using Text Message more than any other medium (36.8%).  

Unsurprisingly, younger respondents valued mediums that have a better chance at yielding an immediate reply. As such, communication mediums such as email may decline with advancements in instant messaging, especially when it comes to customer service.


How To Reach Baby Boomers

                                                                                                                                   Ages 55+

Respondents over the age of 55 were much less inclined to use any medium other than Email.  However, our results show that there is still a small percentage of these respondents adopting methods like Web Chat and Social Media Direct Message (1.6% and 11.9% respectively).

Bottom Line

Prompt customer service will become more valued as new and faster mediums begin to emerge. This will become an essential part of building trust between a brand and a consumer. Becoming an early adopter to Google My Business text messaging can help businesses differentiate from competitors, especially

on a local level. Below are some brief tips on how you can leverage this tool to meet your business’ needs.

  • Be responsive
    Take each message seriously. Use this as an opportunity to tell your brand’s story by being authentic – not robotic. Your average response
    time will be shown right on your GMB card, so make sure you respond promptly!
  • Edit your number
    Not everyone can respond at all times, so editing the receiving number to someone who is available at that moment can optimize response time.  You can also turn off this feature during closed hours.
  • Check your stats
    Not surprisingly, Google allows you to track the number of conversations, conversions, and a number of clicks. Use this as a benchmark and work to improve these rates.

 

Let us know any great wins you have seen with GMB texting!