Google is allegedly testing a new Live Chat feature for businesses that will use Google Hangouts to allow customers to chat directly with companies, without having to go their website and search for the live chat function, activate the web app and go from there. The new feature is currently in testing, but it seems the company will be rolling out the feature worldwide soon enough. Since the new live chat feature in Google search is still in development, we are expecting many more improvements, changes and integration to be made by the search engine giant.
For now, the live chat feature is only being tested within search results on Google both in web browsers and mobile web browsers, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the company integrated the added search results that contain direct links to live chat through Hangouts in Google Maps and other applications. The Google Now cards of companies which are participating in the test can now be seen containing another link which will lead the customer directly to their live chat operators, if they are available.
As customers get more and more intertwined in the internet of things, many have told us that they would rather prefer live chat instead of making calls in order to acquire information or perform certain actions and reservations with companies worldwide. It’s a symptom of depersonalization of services, so to speak, as many of us would rather text than talk. The most obvious reason for this would be that phone calls cost money, but the underlying cause is that many things can be misunderstood in conversations over the phone. In any case, the new live chat feature Google is testing is definitely a good idea, as it could end up being the ultimate time-saver for both companies and customers.
— Matt Gibstein (@MattGibstein) February 24, 2015
We don’t if or when the feature will roll out globally and be made available for every business that can support live chat, but if the feature does become real soon enough, it would prove that Google is trying to take over all communications between customers and companies. Since the most popular search engine around the world is Google, it’s natural that the more information and features search results include, the easier it is for people to find what they are looking for in an instant, without having to switch between applications. Besides the new live chat feature, when one searches for a restaurant, for example, Google serves all the information one might need, including price levels, open hours, address, contact information, reviews and directions. The live chat feature only adds to the already comprehensive Google search service and I’m sure people will jump at the opportunity of using live chat to make reservations, inquire about menus and offers or plain ask for customer support.
Are you among those who would rather live chat through text messages with a company representative rather than use phone conversations for communications? Do you think the live chat feature Google is testing will have a significant impact on the way in which we communicate with enterprises and services? In my opinion, having a live chat option is always excellent, because sometimes you can resolve issues or perform tasks faster through text than through live conversation. Nonetheless, information obtained directly and through the phone seems to be more trustworthy, for some reason.