UPDATED 13:20 EDT / NOVEMBER 17 2021

AI

Google’s Bot-in-a-Box brings conversational AI to more businesses

Google LLC today rolled out Bot-in-a-Box, a new feature for Business Messages that uses the company’s conversational artificial intelligence capabilities to deliver engaging text experiences to customers.

Business Messages is an AI-powered system released by Google Cloud that loops in customers via text chats that can be launched from the places that they normally seek answers such as Google Search, Maps or brand websites and apps.

According to a report from eMarketer, the pandemic has pushed more people to use text with 45% of users spending more time messaging. As a result, a larger number of people seek out apps and text to connect with businesses.

Using Business Messages, chatbots can process conversational text and respond with natural sounding replies. The bots can also be programmed to connect to databases and display local inventory, pricing plans and other scripted information on demand. And if that’s not enough, it can hand off the conversation to a human for continued support if needed.

The addition of Bot-in-a-Box makes getting started with conversational AI even easier by making use of Dialogflow, the technology that powers Google’s Contact Center AI service. This new feature makes it easier for businesses to rapidly add conversational text automation without the need for additional coding or scripting.

With Bot-in-a-Box, a brand could get Business Messages up and running with something as simple as an existing customer-facing Frequently Asked Questions document. Since Dialogflow does all the heavy lifting, there’s no need to write any code, so an employee can write a document listing potential questions and answers and the bot does the rest of the work in understanding and responding to the customer in the text chat.

Using Google’s advanced natural language parsing capabilities, it is also capable of understanding “Custom Intents.” That means that the bot can understand the same question expressed in different ways and still respond accurately by using machine learning capabilities. For example, in ordinary conversation there’s no difference between “Where’s my order?” and “What’s my order status?” or “Tell me about my order.”

In one use case, Wake County courthouses in North Carolina partnered with Tango Technology to help reduce the burden on staff related to answering phone call inquiries about scheduled court cases. The pandemic had left the court short-staffed while calls had increased.

Using Bot-in-a-Box, Tango implemented a solution in just four days that reduced the number of calls by 37% — which amounted to about 398,298 fewer calls during the spring and summer.

“The Business Messages chat feature allows our clients to obtain information on the most frequently asked questions without having to tie up one of our team members,” said a spokesperson for the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court.

More information is available about Business Messages as well as the new Bot-in-a-Box function at Google’s web portal and through the Cloud Next video information session.

 Image: Google

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