New call feature added to Google My Business

    Posted on October 8, 2020

     

    Google has announced work on a new Google My Business (GMB) feature that will enable business owners to log customer calls that have come directly from Google.

    Upon the launch of the new feature, a new “Calls” tab is set to be added to the GMB app. In this tab, all calls – answered and missed – from customers made through the business’ GMB profile will be logged. It has been noted that this tab will only log calls, not texts, and they will be stored for 45 days. In addition, the log will only be available in the app, and not on the desktop version of GMB.

    Currently, this new feature is in beta testing with a number of US businesses, but businesses are now receiving a notification in GMB informing them of the new feature and allowing them to “try it out” when it becomes available. Although it’s early days for the feature, Google has published a help page that provides uses with information about the call history log prior to its launch. On this page, Google says:

    “You can use call history to keep track of phone calls from your customers on Google Search and Maps. Your calls are all in one place to help you respond to missed calls and stay engaged with your customers. These calls may make it easier for you to find and do business with customers who found your business through Google.”

    This feature provides obvious benefits, as it not only provides you with a convenient log of customer calls, but it also allows you to track how much custom your GMB profile is generating. However, every feature has its downfalls, and the downside of this particular feature is that by using the log, a business’ genuine phone number is disguised.

    This is because, for the log to work, Google must create a forwarding number. While customers will still see the genuine number of the business in its GMB profile, when they click “Call”, the forwarding number created by Google will be used. On the business end, when it receives the call, it will first hear an automated message stating “Call from Google”.

    Once launched out of beta, businesses will have the option to either opt in or out of the feature, so if they don’t like the sound of the forwarding number, it doesn’t have to be used. However, this does mean, of course, that the call log won’t work.

    At the moment, there is no information regarding how long the beta testing will take place for. However, the news of the feature is promising, and should encourage businesses to set up a Google My Business profile if they do not already have one. If you need help in establishing an online presence for your business, get in touch with us at Engage Web.

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