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Google Business Profile Call History and Chat Features Shutting Down – Best Alternatives

If you have a Google Business Profile (GBP) for your company, you likely received an alarming email regarding your profile’s call history and chat feature. Google recently reached out to business profile owners announcing that they will be shutting down both Google Business Profile’s chat and call history features within Google Business Profile.

google business profile call history and chats shutdown

This has left both business owners and digital marketers in a tight spot to backup important data and find alternatives quickly.

Google Business Profile Chat and Call History Shutdown Timeline

July 15, 2024 – Visitors will no longer be able to initiate a new chat session with your business via your Google Business Profile.

July 31, 2024 – Google will no longer show call history within your Google Business Profile reports. Additionally, users will not be able to respond or see existing chat sessions.

August 30, 2024 – Google will purge the call history records and they will no longer be available for download. If you want to backup any past history, an export must be completed before this date.

How to Backup Your Chats or Call History Data via Google Takeout

If you want to backup historical data, Google states that you can use Google Takeout to download the associated data within your account. Keep in mind that Google Takeout can be used to download all your Google data, so you’ll need to select which info you actually want to export.

Check out Google’s guide on using Google Takeout.

Why Does Losing the GBP Call History and Chat Feature Matter?

Many small businesses rely on the call history to track their incoming calls to their business, making it easier to connect with potential customers who found them through Google.

Similarly, the chat feature is albeit more useful in that it provides a direct mechanism for potential customers to message a business through their Google Business Profile directly within Google Search.

The timeline for the shutdown seems very accelerated, especially since Google usually gives many months, or even years, when it shuts down other features. As a result, we’ve provided a few recommended alternatives (with even better features) to Google’s call history and chat feature in case you want to maintain similar functionality that your customers and staff have come to expect.

Alternatives for Call History and Call Tracking

Honestly, we’ve never recommended that our clients rely on Google Call History data. At best, the feature can give an incomplete picture of your call history, nor does it actually help with accurate cross-channel marketing attribution.

Instead, we’ve always recommended using a more robust platform-agnostic call monitoring and tracking software. By using platform specific call tracking software, like GBPs call history, you are limited to each platform’s whim of shutting down or drastically modifying the feature. Plus, you must manage multiple different platforms to understand which leads came from Google search, Google Ads, Social Media Ads, etc.

Instead, we recommend you try out a robust call tracking tool like WhatConverts. It’s what we use here at Igniting Business for our own call tracking needs, as well as that of our clients. Additionally, WhatConverts also tracks form submissions, online chats, e-commerce transactions, and way more info than Google provided.

Alternatives for Google Business Profile’s Chat Feature

We actually do like Google's chat feature for some scenarios, especially since it was free. So, it’s a bit disappointing to see this feature going away so quickly. We have some clients who use Google’s chat feature, but many others prefer to use feature-rich chat services that integrate with more platforms, including directly within their website.

We’ve used quite a few chat platforms over the years with varying success. Really, almost any of the popular chat systems can work if you customize them enough for your business and can justify the price. One chat platform we see most frequently used and enjoyed by our clients is called Zoho SalesIQ. They have a free package for small businesses with limited features, as well as robust paid versions that start at $7/month.

Additionally, their chat software can integrate with your website live chat, mobile app chat, Facebook Messager, Telegram, Whatsapp, Instagram, Line, WeChat, and various CRM’s. As a result, chats from multiple platforms all come in through one centralized dashboard.

You can try out their free or paid packages.

Frustrated with Constant Technology Changes?

Technology changes at a ridiculous, and sometimes frustrating speed. As business owners, new technologies can be amazing. However, when a tool is taken away that’s integrated into your daily business processes, it can be very painful. We get it, and we feel your pain too.

When we find reliable tools that are tried and trusted, we try to share those tools with our readers. To get more of our tips, announcements, and recommended tools delivered to our inbox, subscribe to our free monthly newsletter.

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