Google My Business

Why You Should Think Twice About Activating GMB Messaging

By March 26, 2021 March 31st, 2021 12 Comments
Request a Quote - GMB
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Recently, Sherry Bonelli alerted me to a rather disturbing fact about the Google My Business messaging feature.  When she went to a Google My Business listing and clicked on the “Request a Quote” button, she saw something that the business owner might not like.  After submitting her quote, it gave her a screen that asked if she wanted to send the quote request as well to other businesses, who are competitors of the one she just contacted.

 

Request a Quote - GMB

I tried to replicate this and was able to.  I tried the “request a quote” button on 3 different GMB listings (different cities, not related at all) before I got one that did this.  It’s important to note that this did not happen on every listing I tested it on and it only happened on mobile devices (not computers).  Similar to Sherry, after submitting a quote to a lawn care business, I was prompted to send my quote to 2 other competitors in their area:

The steps I took to get this screen were:

  1.  I went to Google.com on my phone in Chrome and did a keyword search.
  2.  I clicked on a specific business that opened up its knowledge panel.
  3. I clicked “request a quote” on that business and submitted my request.
  4. The image above was what I saw next.

I also wanted to see if this would happen if I searched for a specific business in step 2 and it did.

The steps that were taken:

  1.  I went to Google.com on my phone in Chrome.
  2. I searched the specific name of an insurance agent (branded search).
  3. I clicked “request a quote” on that agent’s listing and submitted my request.
  4. The image below is what I saw (note: I contacted an Allstate agent, both recommendations were State Farm agents)

 

Why Should I Care?

As someone that advises business owners, I feel strongly that this is a terrible experience for them.  While it might be helpful to consumers, it’s generally not a business’s best interests to prompt their leads to contact their competition as well.  Google has been really pushing the messaging feature lately , but given this fact, I think it’s best to think twice before activating it.

Joy Hawkins
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12 Comments

  • Tony says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty crummy. Yelp’s been doing that for a while, looks like Google’s playing copycat now ;-( Not surprising, anyway, Google has never claimed they value the business owner’s experience, it’s all about the “user/consumer”.

    On the other hand, Google will probably argue that if you’re on top of your game and answer before anyone else, you’ll be more likely to get the business (which may be true in some cases).

  • Paul Davies says:

    Thanks for the putting that article together Joy , that is handy to know. It’s not a real popular feature down here in Australia yet , but I’m sure Google will continue to push it.
    Lucky that most consumers are impatient and will still click the ‘Call’ button ( for now anyway )

  • Jason Moss says:

    I get what you’re saying but looking from a different perspective, one could argue that you’d want it on, in hopes of being one of the recommended businesses to get another quote from. Would be extra opportunities to win business. However, if someone is doing a brand search for a specific business and then gets told to get quotes from others… that’s when it sucks.

  • Ed Brancheau says:

    IF you’re marketing you business or setting your clients up properly, you shouldn’t be worried at all.
    First of all, I set my clients up to get reviews and 4 and 5-star ratings so that when this kind of stuff pops up, they look better than 80% of their competition and just as good as the other 20%.
    Looking at that first example, most people wouldn’t even bother asking for a quote from any of those businesses because two don’t have any reviews and the third or has two reviews. Not really inspiring.
    And if you have more reviews and a higher score, I think this will make you stand out even more. I can imagine most people thinking, “Why do I want to waste me time talking to an inferior company?” The only people that might get a quote from lesser companies are those that are solely focused on price and I don’t want them anyway.
    Second, most people are going to get three quotes anyway. (Although, I wonder if there’s a way to head this off at the pass where you make it seem like, “Hey, check out my competition and get some quotes and then come back to us when you confirm we’re the best choice.”
    Third, similar to what Tony said, I set my clients up on a system that follows up with an immediate text message and voice drop. And I highly encourage my clients to personally respond within five minutes because 93% of customers choose the business that responded first. And I don’t know about you but my personal experience is that 99% of businesses don’t respond within five minutes.
    Finally, while I know you’ve actually experienced this because I’ve verified it’s existence with other people, I couldn’t find a business where the “Request a Quote” was in the listing. And, in my experience, business owners just don’t have a clue about this kind of stuff. After all, how many of them still haven’t claimed the business on GMB? So, I don’t know how much Google is even rolling this out.

  • Definitely Not Bruno says:

    This is like socialism for SEO. You work hard to get ranked, then others get the lead too.

  • Denis Lawlor says:

    This sounds like ebays listing method – you list an item for sale and pay for that listing and your listing is covered by other items for sale. That is why I very rarely sell on ebay.

  • I’m just waiting for GMB to start charging $30/month to have a logo (since Yelp’s doing that).

  • Google once again, waits until Yelp has proven it’s useful features, before duplicating the exact same thing. Yelp is in the lead. Google follows. It’s okay to still hate Yelp, though.

  • Joseph says:

    It’s a little misleading for the author to say “send the quote as well to other businesses, who are competitors”, because that sounds like sending my pricing to competitors. Really, Google is asking if you want to request quotes from other companies. Not good to bring competition into the fray, but at least their not asking you to publish my pricing.

  • Thank you for posting this. I am a bit shocked and was unaware that Google would try to sway people away from a business like that.

  • Testing my messages to get a quote last week, got to say what a terrible idea. Like a stab in the back.
    Especially after working hard to perfect the system and response times it kinda makes my service like comparing the price of Apples and there is only a small space to sell your self in that message.
    Only good thing I’m now convinced not to rely on these big messenger type apps ok they got all the add ins like appointments payments, so I will stick with Calls and Text messages Emails,

    Seriously thinking of switching it off

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