Google Cloud wants to up your business AI with Bot-in-a-Box

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(Image credit: Google Cloud)

As more consumers are now sending messages to interact with businesses online, Google Cloud (opens in new tab) has introduced AI-powered Business Messages to make it easier for both small and large businesses to respond to customer requests.

Over the last two years, the search giant has seen a significant uptick in the number of people using messages to connect with businesses (opens in new tab) to check their hours of operation, verify if an item is in stock, scheduling a pick-up and more.

As messages are quickly becoming the go-to way to interact with businesses, consumers expect communication with them to be speedy, simple and convenient. However, for businesses, keeping up with custom inquiries can be quite labor intensive especially outside of store hours.

Google Cloud's AI-powered Business Messages allow business owners to connect with their customers on Google Search (opens in new tab) and Google Maps (opens in new tab) where they're likely already looking for answers. This new service allows customers to chat with virtual agents that can understand, interact and respond in natural ways. 

At the same time though, Google Cloud is combining smart automation with the ability for customers to chat with live agents when they need too. Since Business Messages automatically handle customer inquiries in the background, businesses can distribute their human customer service agents to address other needs.

Bot in a Box

(Image credit: Google Cloud)


As getting started with AI (opens in new tab) can be difficult for any business but especially so for small businesses, Google is utilizing its existing AI tools like Google Cloud Contact Center AI's Dialogflow to create a new capability called Bot-in-a-Box within Business Messages.

Bot-in-a-Box makes getting started with conversational AI easy as it allows for fast and effective adoption of automation regardless of the size of your business. Enabling this new functionality can be as simple as using an existing customer FAQ document you already have regardless of whether it's from a web page or an internal document.

Since the conversational AI is powered by Business Messages and Dialoglfow working together, a business' chatbot (opens in new tab) is able to understand and respond to customer questions automatically without the need to write code. Bot-in-a-Box also supports “Custom Intents” which means that a chatbot is able to understand all of the different ways customers might express a similar question such as “What's my order status” and respond accurately using machine learning (opens in new tab) capabilities.

Businesses interested in using Bot-in-a-Box and AI for Business Messages can check out this page (opens in new tab) to find one of Google Cloud's partners that specialize in setting up and using this new service.

We've also featured the best live chat software (opens in new tab) and the best help desk software (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.