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Google Business Message FAQ


On Sep 15 2020, Google released their first video on Google Business Message and its usefulness. The video can be found here.

What's important to note is that Tellephant and Aiyo Labs are part of the Google Cloud for StartUps program and can help your business get on Google Business Messages live and running in no time.

A full transcript of the video is below. Enjoy! 

Business Messages APIs-  Make every connection count

Katie Osberg: Hi there. My name's Katie Osberg and I lead global retail partnerships for Google's new and exciting suite of business communication products today. My colleague, John, and I can not be more thrilled to share our most recent launch, Google business messages, but before we dive into what our product is, or even ours, it's helpful to understand why this technology is so critical as with all great tech evolutions.

The solution often starts from a problem and ours is no different. So briefly, I'm going to ask you to put your user hat on for a moment and humor me as I pose a few questions. How many of you have experienced at least one or more of the following situations over the last couple of months? Might you have had to rebook travel, perhaps you remember the feeling of going to multiple stores and still not finding the product you were looking for?

Or could it be that you were working from home or perhaps the kids for completing their e-learning course and suddenly your internet went out? In almost all situations users needed to get in touch with brands or businesses, but because there was an outreach spike, these critical connections were seemingly impossible.

Almost every business was promoting on either their website or answering sheet. That call wines were up and wait times at work sexually law. Do you provide alternative means to get in touch and resolution, at least in a manner that is convenient, say on the user's terms, seeing impossible. Now, if I have the customer, when I hear exceptionally long wait times, I think great.

This is going to take forever and who has the time to wait on hold anymore? Time and attention has become increasingly more valuable and will be exacerbated by the global pandemic. This concept is not new. Users sources just simply pull them too many directions, but the same could be said for businesses.

Now, in addition to the overwhelming demand to speak to someone caused by the global pandemic, it's no secret that businesses have also been tasked with an influx of new responsibilities. For example, most are instituting new health standards to keep employees safe and many are adjusting the operational protocols to meet new and evolving consumption behaviours.

Absolutely users demand to diversify interaction channels. Businesses are going to have to rethink the way they communicate with customers. Subset interactions are more meaningful result in resolutions and ultimately drive connections that count. Now we do understand that we're often responsible for facilitating that connection between a user and a brand.

And over the last 20 years, we've worked to perfect the art of surfacing, the right product, service and business and the moments that matter. But as technology evolves, we've come to understand that servicing a call button or perhaps a link to a contact us page might not be the most effective way for us to facilitate this connection.

In fact, these connections can be incredibly expensive for businesses and extremely frustrating for users. Did you have a business with 1.3 trillion, 265 billion customer service calls each year. At 67% of people have raised their hand indicating that they would rather message a business than speak with a person.

The communication experiences of today are expensive, frustrating, and frankly inconvenient, which is why users have begun to demand conversational messaging solutions, not just from Google, but from their favorite brands and businesses to be successful in this space. It just became abundantly clear that three things must be true about your messaging experiences.

They must be asynchronous, enabling users to pick up and exit the conversation at their convenience, automated returning responses to users in real time. And finally assisted users to determine which products or services are right for them today. As a result of these learnings, we couldn't be more excited to share how we've evolved the Google search experience to facilitate making connections that cap over to you, Sean.

Sean Faulkner: Thanks Katie. My name is Sean Faulkner and I lead developer relations for Google's business communication products. And I'm going to take you through our conversational solution business messages. So what exactly are business messages? Business messages lets your customers message your business directly from your search and maps results.

As Katie described, many business conversations begin on a Google surface, like search on maps. And until recently customers from, with calling your business for support or digging through your website to find the right means to contact you. This is a message you can provide customers with high quality help through your search and maps results.

Instead of the customer being redirected to your phone system or website, they will see a message button where they can begin that conversation.

So how do you go about creating a conversational experience for your business with business messages? Let's take a look. As a consumer, your customer user journey, because as it does today, by searching for that business on Google search, once you find the business you're trying to contact, instead of only seeing call directions and website buttons and that business enabled with business messages, we'll also have a message button tapping on the message button.

We'll launch a conversational surface where you can begin chatting with that business. These conversations can begin on an iOS or Android device behind the scenes. What is happening is messages. Sex from consumers are passed through the business messages, API through to a messaging partner or your business directly by a configured web hook.

Once you receive the message, you can pass that message to a live or digital agent. This diagram shows this process in a little more detail. The user or consumer begins on search and maps books up a business, opens a conversation with that business is crazy with a customized welcome message and begins a conversation messages from the consumer are passed through the northbound API and push your web book as a Jason object, the web parses to receive the object that contains the consumers message, the preferred language of the user timestamp information or unique conversation ID and the consumers display name.

Within your web book, you can read that message to a digital agent as your first line of defense for handling common customer support issues or pass the conversation over to a live agent to handle more complex user journeys.

Business messages help you leverage the existing user behavior and contact your business through search or maps, where you can continue to take advantage of the discovery and reach of these products. While providing a more direct way for you to have real and meaningful, personalized conversations with your consumers, the business messages platform, any API supports rich features like cards, carousels, suggestions, chips, photos, and actions that help you deep link into your website or app.

But utilizing these rich features, you can create an engaging user journey to capture leads, sell products or solve customer support issues.

Like combining the discovery and reach of your business on search. Along with the rich features, I just imagined in automation through a digital agent, you can help your consumers solve customer issues without the cost of a phone call or a live agent like with an app or website, the business message is rich features help you direct the user through supporting user journeys that can be fully automated.

Digital agents can be treated using tools like Google cloud's dialogue flow. Our tool for creating agents that understand natural language companies like Walmart and these dialogues flow to not only power their digital agents on business messages, but also I made a large majority of customer support inquiries needing their libations, and they are able to handle more complex and unique requests.

This is a message that is an innovation and creating true customer connections. The rich features of the platform, help people have guard rails around your automated experiences. So you can steer your consumers through a happy path to solve problems. But I cited the fancy features. This is a conversational platform.

Your customer is conversing directly with your business. You don't always need tools like DialogFlow to help you to automatically respond quickly and naturally to customers regardless of the time of day or current load on your live agents. The combination of natural entry point from search, the rich user interface and the powerful automation provided by tools like dialog flow represent a true technological innovation.

In fact, we see these major shifts in how consumers interact with technology and businesses every 10 years or so. Back in the seventies, we had mainframes in the eighties. We had desktop computing in the mid nineties, the internet, and then in the mid on mobile and the smartphone revolution. It's now hard to imagine a world today without a smartphone, we're all walking around with a small computer in our pocket.

This would have been unheard of 20 years ago, but he completely changed how your consumers interact with your business. You had to adapt to creating an app for your business, redesigning your website to adapt to smartphone screen sizes. And now I believe the next shift is happening around AI messaging and personalized, rich conversations.

This message is a Google solution to help your business adapt to this technological evolution. All right, let's take a look at a couple of real world examples. This first demo is from Walmart. Who live with businesses for some of their locations in the United States. They deployed a digital agent for experience where they use dialogue load to create a conversational agent that can address common customer support issues like opening senior hours, COVID-19 protocols and looking up store locations, their business messages webhook is using no JS to call the dialogue flow API is to power the digital agent.

They did a lie iteration on their automation reviewing where their regional dialogue or lesion was enabled to help and make iterative improvements. They're now handling the majority of customer support requests through the automation. Let's take a little bit of their experience. Let's begin our journey to speak to my local Walmart, the Google search.

So we've got Walmart, San Jose, I'm showing a few different potential locations. I use the Walmart Supercenter that I know. I see the local assumed result to be in my chat experience. A tap on message, which opens a conversational overlay with this specific Walmart. I see a customized welcome message, letting me know what the Shabbat can help me with.

I choose to agree to continue my conversation. Once the chatbot proceeds my acknowledgement, my conversation with the digital agent begins from the greeting. I can see a chipless, various types of user journeys. The chat bot supports things like hiring pickup times, inventory hours, store safety and so on.

There's really a lot that the chatbot can help me with. I'm going to choose store hours. When I choose this item, the request is being sent back through the business messages, API to the Walmart web book. And then the web hook is sending this request to dialogue, to a computer response based on the query.

And in this case, a specific Walmart application that I asked about because it's a chat interface, I can also just type in the request. So I'm going to ask, do I have to wear a mask once I hit send the same process to handle this semester through Walmart's digital agent? And we can see that since July 20th, all shoppers have to wear a mask.

This is super helpful. I'm going to ask one more question. This time I asked, is there a limit to how many people can be in the store at once? Once Walmart receives this request, they respond, what do you mean? They're taking measures to promote social distance and they include a link out to read more about these measures.

So with Walmart's business messages and experience, I was able to find out the hours and the COVID-19 protocol requirements from my local store call without having to wait to speak to a live agent or dig through the Walmart website for the information, because Walmart is leveraging dialogue phones experience.

I can also have a natural conversation with the bot, which is really, really amazing. The second demos from Baltimore's Australia's largest supermarket chain. Like Walmart, they use dialogue flow to create a digital agent first approach. They put a lot of their company's personality in the automation following conversational design best practices.

So just starting with a persona, creating a unique voice and example dialogue besides handling simple questions and answers. The agent also helps customers look up inventory within their local Wars. Let's take a look at their demo as with Walmart. I begin my Woolworth's chat experience with a Google search for a local location this time in Sydney, directly within the search results.

I see the location I'm looking for and I can tap on the message button. I see that I am talking to all of Woolworth's virtual assistants and there are some conversation starters I can use to begin my conversation. I'm going to start by trying to find a product. All of this prompts me from the product, and I'm going to try to find hand sanitizer.

It's something that we all likely need right now.

Looking at the query and it does a great job of setting expectations about the stock level, my results for this specific store come back in a carousel. And I can see that, although the first brand is out of stock, there is another brand available. And in fact, it's even available in aisle 14. I know my local store has hand sanitizer.

I'm going to search for another product by simply typing in. I'm also looking for 10 Tams. One of my favorite Australian treats, the same process is carried out where all of us will get to understand the question and look up the stock levels for this specific store and product. Once my results are returned, I see that there are stocks available in a few different flavors they're available in aisle nine.

Now that I know what I need available. I'm going to look up the location store hours. So I know when I can pick out my hand sanitizer, Tim Tams, it looks like most stores are back on regular hours. All overturns both the store hours for the location. I was interested in as well as others close by so that I have a few different options.

You can also see that there's more information available through the store locator. Which is an action that links deep in the war's website, where I can get more information about the store location. This walrus business messages, chat bot is live across locations in Australia. The real-time inventory lookup is a powerful experience for customers sending us potentially unnecessary trips to the store.

Two examples of existing experiences on business messages. Today, there are many other customer journeys that you can potentially create on the platform for your business. To talk about the future of messaging. I'm going to pass this back to Kate. Thank you very much. 

Katie Osberg: Thanks Shawn. It's not all that users will not only expect this technology, but eventually demanded from their favorite brands and distances. And as this happens, you'll start to see a natural evolution and the sophistication of these conversations today. These conversations may be limited to simplify cues and the pursuit of fast. Easily accessible information in a streamlined format, but they too should be sophisticated enough to surface appropriate and factual information.

Let's take a look at an example, neat dash Bridgeport runners, virtual assistant. And this example, you'll see that I've asked dash when my store opens in the morning and he promptly returned at 7:30 AM. He also addresses my curbside pickup inquiry and finishes by asking if there's anything else I need help with.

Now, again, the back and forth here is mainly FAQ driven, but even within the language dash uses, for example, it sure is you feel his eagerness, which is aligned with our personal best practices. Sean touched on earlier. The next evolution we can expect to see with these experiences is consulted or discussions.

This can lead to conversational commerce or even assisted decision making. For example, determining which apartment only to be connected with before handing off the experience to a skilled live agent in the upcoming example, you'll see the dash has the ability to take customer context, make calculated recommendations, and finally facilitate conversational commerce all within the confines of a frictionless chat.

Let's take a look. In response to anything else I can help with. I let dash know that I'm running a 5k and ask him for shoe recommendations with his enthusiastic attitude. Dash quickly returns a handful of shoes that suit my needs. Once stash confirms that the product I'm looking for is in fact available.

I promptly am deeply linked to the website to transact. Here. I'll notice that my store and curbside has already been preselected, making my checkout process infinitely easier. Then within the messaging experience, I'm past the appropriate tracking information and notified when my order is ready to be picked up.

Pretty cool. Right? Really, we looked at the future of this technology. We fully expect that come 20, 21, or maybe even late 20, 20 marketing diesel. We build conversational strategies into their immediate plans. This is because these conversational experiences enable brands to build loyalty and maintain one-to-one relationships with their users, ultimately increasing the overall lifetime value of their distinct customer base personalization will reach new Heights.

As contextual information is used to reach out to customers in new and assistive ways. Let's take a look. In this final example, you'll see the dashes reached back out to me, not only to see how my training's been going, but also to ensure I like my new shoes. He then surfaces many helpful options, including running content, other products I may need as well as 5k tips.

When I clicked through, on the running content chip, you'll see that I passed a running techniques video that could be incredibly useful as I prepare for the upcoming race. What's unique about this experience is that Dash-In asked for the sale. He didn't even push me any promotions. He focused on the user and was able to connect with me in a way that few brands, as we look to the future that is conversational marketing, ask yourself, are you ready for today, tomorrow?

And the future of messaging? If your answer is yes, we'd love to get you onboarded. If your answer is now, that's okay too. It's not too late to build an effective strategy. And should you have any questions we're here to help. If you'd like to learn more about Google business messages, please take a look at our website, be sure to fill out the interest form from all of us on the business communications team.

Thank you for your time. And we look forward to hearing from you.

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