How easy is it for prospective clients and job seekers to contact you?
Even if you list a phone number and email address on your website, you can lose contacts between finding that information and making that call or writing that email, then add the time it takes for your business to respond. This could be costing you valuable leads.
Artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, and live chats may sound impersonal, but they can be great tools to support clients and caregivers at the very top of your funnel.
To cut down on relay time, consider Google Business Messages.
What Is Google Business Messages?
Google Business Messages is a live chat tool that lets search engine users contact your agency directly from a search engine results page, or SERP.
Where your Google Business Profile shows up on a SERP, you can add the chat function, which allows search engine users to easily contact your business without having to go looking for a phone number, email address, or contact form.
This tool is a powerful addition to your home care marketing plan or caregiver recruiting strategy. It can boost your local SEO and build your funnel of professional connections.
How does it work?
There are two ways to use Google Business Messages:
- You can set up the chat function to send messages directly to a person in your home health care agency who can respond in real time. Think of it like an instant message between a search engine user and a customer service rep at your home care agency.
- You can set up Google Business Messages with a third-party partner to enable AI-powered chat that can engage with searchers in real time. Think of it like a virtual assistant. No humans required.
Which one is right for your business depends on the volume of inquiries you get, your budget, and your staffing resources.
Using Business Messages to connect users to a real person at your agency enables fast, personal connection, but it also means that a person needs to be available to respond immediately—lag time can make your business look inactive and unresponsive.
Using this tool along with third-party AI chat is an investment, but it means you can immediately connect with customers 24/7. Through its partners, Business Messages is available in 70 languages, so you can talk to nearly any customer or caregiver that comes your way.
What an AI-powered Google Business Messages session might look like
Let’s say there’s a caregiver looking for a new job. A friend told them about your home care agency, so they Googled your name.
On the Google search results page, the caregiver finds your Google Business Profile and also a live chat feature.
Caregiver: Hi, are you hiring?
AI-powered chat: Yes, we are! Here’s a link to our careers page. Did you have a certain kind of job in mind?
Caregiver: I’m a home caregiver with three years of experience.
AI-powered chat: Excellent. We have a few open caregiver jobs right now. Where are you located?
Caregiver: I’m in central Houston.
AI-powered chat: We have an opening in Houston. Here’s more information about the job and a link to the application. Are you interested in scheduling a 20-minute screening call to learn more about the position?
Caregiver: That sounds great! I’m available on weeknights after 5 p.m.
AI-powered chat: Here are some available times:
- Wednesday, July 13, at 5:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 13, at 6:00 p.m.
- Thursday, July 14, at 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday, July 14, at 6:00 p.m.
Caregiver: July 14 at 6:00 is best for me.
AI-powered chat: Perfect. One of our home care agency recruiters will call you at that time. What’s the best number to reach you?
Caregiver: (804) 555-0923
Different AI partners will specialize in different types of customer service, so be sure to shop around on Google’s partners page for one that can support your needs.
How to use Google Business Messages for your home care agency
There’s pretty much no limit to the ways you can use Business Messages to support users and help bring in new clients and recruit caregivers into your agency seamlessly and personally. These include:
- Scheduling appointments and interviews. Use Google Business Messages to schedule appointments with potential clients or screenings/interviews with qualified caregivers.
- Answering basic company FAQs, like the services your home care agency offers, the areas you serve, and the insurance carriers you work with.
- Sending resources directly to interested searchers. Potential clients may come to you with basic questions about in-home care services. You can use Business Messages to provide them with more resources on who needs home care, how much it costs, and ways to pay. Prospective caregivers may come looking for information on your recruitment process.
- Screen potential candidates by collecting basic information, like years of experience, licenses and training, availability, and job preference.
Should you use Google Business Messages?
Fast, seamless communication with prospective clients and potential caregiver candidates is always a good move. It can help you build relationships, fill your funnel with leads, and shepherd them through the sales or hiring process.
Whether you use Business Messages to chat human-to-human or human-to-AI depends on your resources.
No matter which you choose, Business Messages doesn’t replace the human factor, it complements it.
Consumers expect live chat features to engage with them immediately (otherwise, it’s basically an email), so make sure you don’t create unnecessary lag time, and AI tools satisfy immediate needs around the clock, but they should ultimately lead to human connection.
Need help with your agency's Google Business Profile?
Your home care agency's Google Business Profile can be an invaluable tool when set up correctly. So, if you need a hand, reach out to the experts at Home Care Marketing Pros and let us help you grow your home care agency!