Over the last two years, we’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of people using messaging to connect with businesses. Whether it was checking hours of operation, verifying what was in stock, or scheduling a pick-up, the pandemic caused a significant shift in consumer behavior.
- 45% of users are spending more time on messaging services because of the pandemic
- 85% of consumers would like to message brands directly
With the rise in demand for messaging, consumers expect communication with businesses to be speedy, simple, and convenient. For businesses, keeping up with customer inquiries can be a labor-intensive process, and offering 24/7 support outside of store hours can be costly.
To help businesses seamlessly deliver helpful, timely, and engaging conversations with customers when and where they need help, we introduced AI-powered Business Messages.
What is AI-powered Business Messages?
With AI-powered Business Messages, you can connect with your customers in their moment of need, in the places they’re looking for answers—such as Google Search, Google Maps, or any brand-owned channel. For instance, check out how Walmart customers in the US are able to receive real-time information on product availability, straight from a search results page.
People turn to Google when they are searching for answers to their questions, looking to buy something, or trying to accomplish a particular task with one of our many tools. In fact, 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.
At Google, we know how important it is for interactions with a brand to be personalized, helpful, and simple. With AI-powered Business Messages, customers are able to chat with virtual agents that understand, interact, and respond in natural ways.
We are also combining smart automation with the ability for customers to chat with live agents when it’s really needed. This approach saves your customers precious time, while also saving you money. And with Business Messages automatically handling many customer inquiries in the background, businesses have the option to distribute their human customer service agents to address other needs.
Getting started with conversational AI is easy with Bot-in-a-Box
We know it can be difficult to get started with AI. That’s why we are utilizing existing Google AI tools like Dialogflow—part of Google Cloud Contact Center AI—to create the capability within Google’s Business Messages called Bot-in-a-Box, which makes getting started with Conversational AI easy. Bot-in-a-Box allows for fast and effective adoption of automation for businesses of all sizes.
Enabling Business Messages with Bot-in-a-Box can be as simple as leveraging an existing customer FAQ document you already have, whether it’s from a web page or an internal document. And since the conversational AI is powered by Business Messages and Dialogflow working together, your chat bot is able to understand and respond to customer questions automatically without the need to write code.
Bot-in-a-Box also supports other critical journeys like “Custom Intents.” That means that your bot is able to understand the different ways customers express a similar question and respond accurately by using machine learning capabilities.
In April 2021, Wake County courthouses in North Carolina partnered with Tango Technology to implement Business Messages when it became apparent that being able to provide the public and attorneys with around-the-clock access to information would significantly reduce the pressure on courthouse staff. Using Bot-in-a-Box, Tango Technology was able to customize a solution for Wake County Courthouse, Justice Center, and Clerk of Superior Court in just four days.
“With the combination of Google’s Business Messages, GCP, and Dialogflow, we were able to spin up an AI-driven bot for the courts in days. And the technology stack allows us to continually improve by adding functionality in an agile process.”— Mike Lotz, Co-Founder, Tango Technology
With Business Messages, North Carolina courthouses saw a 37% decrease in the call volume handled by courthouse staff. With 398,298 fewer phone calls during the first year of operation, the AI-based messages helped Wake County Courthouse work more efficiently and productively.
We’ve seen many brands benefiting from AI-powered Business Messages. For instance, Levi’s saw a 30% increase in off-hours shoppers and surpassed 85% customer satisfaction scores after implementing Business Messages. They also drove 30x more store-related questions than Levi’s website chat.
Bring Google’s conversational AI to your storefront with Business Messages
Google’s Business Messages makes it easier for businesses of all sizes to engage their existing or potential customers in a virtual conversation, when and where they need it.
To learn more, watch our Cloud Next session here or visit us at g.co/businessmessages. We have specialized services to help you get started and can share the wisdom of our channel partners and dedicated experts who specialize in unleashing the potential of conversational AI.
By: Jay Akkad (Group Product Manager)
Source: Google Cloud Blog