Turning search queries into AI-powered conversations with Business Messages

What is Google’s Business Messages?

Business Messages is a mobile conversational channel that combines entry points from Google Maps, Search, and brand websites to create rich, asynchronous messaging experiences.

Example of Business Messages chat entry point for Bridgepoint Runners

How do I get started?

To get started with Business Messages, you can register as a development partner on our developer website. You can also get up and running quickly by following our quickstart guide.

Life of a Business Messages message
Example of where to copy an agent test URL

AI-powered conversation with Bot-in-a-Box

Business Messages’s Bot-in-a-Box makes getting started with conversational AI easy. Bot-in-a-Box takes advantage of Google AI tools like Dialogflow to easily convert an existing FAQ into an automated Business Messages solution. Within minutes, you could launch a lifelike virtual agent that provides relevant responses to the most common questions a business receives from customers.

FAQ-powered automated conversations

Creating a Business Messages Helper bot

Create an agent dialog
Overview of a newly created Business Messages agent
Agent information editor for a Business Messages agent

Setting up Bot-in-a-Box

The first step to setting up Bot-in-a-Box is to enable the Dialogflow integration. Currently, Bot-in-a-Box only supports the Dialogflow Essentials (ES) version of Dialogflow. However, you can integrate with Dialogflow Customer Experience (CX) by calling the CX APIs directly from a configured Business Messages webhook and programming the conversion to and from the Business Messages APIs.

Enabling the Dialogflow integration
Example FAQ sheet created for Business Messages
Upload an FAQ as training data for Bot-in-a-Box
Example conversation with Business Messages Helper Bot

Adding in a custom intent

As a final step, we are going to add a custom intent to the Dialogflow project we setup that can respond with rich content when someone taps on the “About this bot” suggestion or enters a similar question in the conversation.

Creating a custom intent for responding to “about this experience” type inputs
Example text-based response from a custom intent
Example of creating a custom payload to respond with a Business Messages rich card
Example rich card response form Helper Bot

Final thoughts

Google’s Business Messages is about enabling all businesses to welcome their customers and open a conversation, where and when they need it, as naturally as when a customer enters a store. Dialogflow is Google’s natural language understanding tool that processes user input, maps it to known intents, and responds with appropriate replies.

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Sean Falconer

Sean Falconer

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Google Developer Relations — BizComms — All opinions are mine and mine alone.