Google now offers a powerful CRM feature… for free

Google has quietly added a feature to its business profile lists that can give any business, regardless of size, a powerful CRM feature. And it costs nothing.

First, let’s make sure you know about the Google Business Profile. This is where you can set up information about your business so that when people search for you, this information appears on the right side of their search results. I’m sure you’ve seen this before with other companies you’ve searched.

For example, if you search for my company (The Marks Group), you’ll see our address (we’re a virtual business, it’s a PO Box), hours of operation, health and safety information (our PO Box is very clean) as well as our phone number and ratings (usually good). There are also links to our website, directions to our location (in case you want to meet at our PO Box), and the ability for visitors to call us directly from the Company Profile webpage. Good stuff. Every company should have this. If you don’t, you can set up a business profile for your company here.

But let’s turn to customer relationship management. When you purchase a mainstream CRM system, you want to integrate it with your website so you can capture leads. You may also want to set up the chat feature to answer questions. Better yet, you might want to use AI so that standard or common questions are answered automatically, which saves everyone a lot of time. This is standard CRM stuff and if you don’t, you should.

But now Google offers a new feature that allows you to perform these tasks even if you don’t have a CRM system. The company has quietly expanded its Q&A capabilities in its company profile.

According to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) publication Search Engine Countrythis was noticed by SEO professional Stefan Somborac. This feature allows you to create up to ten FAQs with questions of up to 40 characters and answers of up to 500 characters. You can also include links to your website.

This is a powerful CRM feature…and it’s free. By setting up your questions, you can capture visitors who Google you and direct them to wherever you want. Not only do you provide useful and immediate responses to prospects, but if you configure your responses appropriately, you can capture their lead information by offering them some sort of call-to-action on your website, such as a whitepaper, brochure, or other type of assets . And once the prospect has provided their contact information on your website, you can (hopefully) have your CRM configured to capture that information as well. Even if you do not have a CRM application, you can still receive this information by email.

To enable automated FAQs for your Google Business Profile, Matt G. Southern of Search Engine Land says you need to follow these steps:

-Search for ‘my company’ in Google in a web browser.

-Click on Customers and then on Messages.

-Click Menu, then Message Settings, then Manage FAQs.

-Click +Add a question

I’m jumping on this CRM feature now. You should too. Good hunting!

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