Why Google Is Saying Goodbye to Business Profile Chat & Call History

Written by Explore Digital June 28, 2024

Add two more headstones to the Google graveyard: Starting July 31, 2024, Google will remove Google Business Profile chat and call history features to streamline and simplify its services. This decision has raised concerns among business owners relying on these tools for customer interaction.

Here’s what to expect from Google’s upcoming changes:

  • On July 15, 2024: New customers can no longer chat with your business via Google. Existing chat participants will be informed of the phase-out.
  • On July 31, 2024: Chat functionality on Google Business Profile will cease entirely, halting new messages and eliminating access to call history. Customers can still locate and contact your business via Google Search and Maps.

An Overview of Google Business Profile Chat & Call History

Google launched the call history feature for Google My Business (now Google Business Profile) in October 2020. The Google Business Profile chat feature was also introduced around this time as part of Google’s efforts to enhance business-customer interactions via their platform​.

Since their introduction, these features have enhanced the way businesses interface with customers by providing direct and efficient communication channels. The tools enabled businesses to respond promptly to inquiries, swiftly resolve issues, and cultivate stronger customer relationships.

By offering a seamless and convenient way for customers to reach out, GBP chat and call history improved the overall customer experience.

These features have also allowed businesses to meticulously track and record interactions, ensuring no query goes unanswered while providing valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior. This comprehensive record-keeping contributed to improved customer service, as businesses could refer back to previous conversations for context.

Why Did Google Decide to Discontinue These Features? Our Insights

Now, Google says they plan to do away with Google Business Profile chat and call history features to improve the overall user experience. Instead, Google aims to focus resources on enhancing other core functionalities that provide greater value.

It’s speculated that the changes could be due to:

  • Privacy concerns. One conclusion is that Google may be eliminating these features to decrease the storage of sensitive communication data, as seen below. This can help reduce the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to private information.
  • Charging for the features. Another thought is that Google may remove Google Business Profile chat and call history and then bring them back as paid features.
  • Adding more AI tools. Replacing these features with AI enhancements might provide better data analysis, more personalized customer interactions, and improved communication, helping businesses keep up in the fast-changing digital world.

Screenshot of call history within Google Business dashboard

Will Changes to GBP’s Chat & Call History Affect Your Business?

This is what most business owners are asking when they hear about Google Business Profile chat and call history being removed. What happens next?

The effects may vary depending on who you ask:

  • The impact on businesses is the loss of a direct communication channel with customers through Google’s interface. Businesses will need to find alternative methods to manage customer interactions and track call histories. However, customers will still be able to find and contact businesses easily via Google Search and Maps.
  • It may be a good idea to download Google Business Profile chat/call history before the features are fully deactivated, Search Engine Land says. This move encourages businesses to adopt a multi-channel communication strategy to ensure continued engagement without relying solely on Google features​.
  • Overall, reactions from industry leaders are mixed. Some view it as part of Google’s strategic realignment, focusing on other areas with potentially higher value. Adam Dorfman from Reputation highlights that Google has a history of introducing and discontinuing features, often due to low user engagement or shifting strategic priorities.

When it comes to reactions from actual business owners using Google Business Profile chat and call history, many have expressed disappointment on platforms like X. This is especially true for small business owners who rely on these features for direct customer communication.

Others believe this change is an opportunity to diversify customer interaction channels and enhance privacy by reducing data storage within Google’s ecosystem.

It’s possible that these changes may push businesses to seek alternative platforms, like Meta’s business chats on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, potentially impacting Google’s market share in business communications.

Graphic of magnet pulling users through social media.

Concerned business owners can work to improve Google Business Profile engagement after the removal of these features using several strategies:

  • Optimize your profile: Ensure all business information (address, hours, contact details, etc.) is accurate and up-to-date. Upload professional and engaging photos of your business, products, and services, and frequently update your profile with new posts about promotions, events, or new offerings.
  • Leverage reviews: Not only is it helpful to actively encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Google Business Profile, but it’s also important to engage with customers by responding promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews. This shows that you value customer feedback.
  • Utilize Google Posts: Use Google Posts to share updates, offers, and events. This feature allows you to keep your audience informed and engaged. Posting regularly can help to maintain visibility and relevance; highlight new products, share success stories, and provide useful tips related to your industry.
  • Engage through other channels: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X can be used to drive traffic to your Google Business Profile. Also, include links to your Google Business Profile in your website and email communications to encourage customers to engage with your profile.
  • Stay informed: Regularly reviewing and updating communication strategies can help your business remain agile and responsive to customer needs. Staying updated on the latest trends and technologies can also make communications more appealing and accessible to your audience.

Taking these steps–along with others like implementing local SEO strategies and tracking customer behavior through analytics–can make it possible to maintain and even improve Google Business Profile engagement, despite the removal of chat and call history.

We Get Google, and We’re Here to Help

Struggling to stay current on Google’s frequent changes? Need help implementing any of the tips listed above? Let us lighten your load and expertly direct your SEO strategy. Contact Explore Digital to schedule an introductory call.

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