A new pilot feature has just been announced which allows business managers and company website owners chat directly with their potential clients from the pages of Google search.
Googly My Business has recently updated their online help facility with exciting details of a newly launched pilot program that has been designed to help business owners reach out and chat with potential customers directly by means of the local knowledge panel.
If you sign up to test the feature, a new button will appear on your local Google search listing. If a customer then clicks on this recently added button, a new instance of online chat will be initiated which allows customers to message you directly from the SERPs.
When Can I Use This New Feature?
At the time of writing, the new messaging feature is only available to those who have received an official invitation to participate. If you have not heard from Google in relation to this new pilot scheme then you will just have to wait as the new chat feature has not been rolled out to everyone as of yet.
When a target audience member chooses to send you a live chat message, the message itself will be sent using the SMS number provided in your business contact details or through Google Allo.
More detailed information is available in the Google Help Document which is provided here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7177958.
Once you have opted into the service, Google will let the searcher know whether or not you are available to message. They also provide a typical response time (in minutes) so that customers will know when to expect an answer or response.