Google Dialogflow is a powerful conversational AI platform that can be used to create smart virtual agents to assist customers and employees through a myriad of tasks. Google has been in the conversational AI business for a long time and has some of the most advanced natural-language-understanding (NLU) and natural-language-processing (NLP) capabilities.
The main purpose of this platform is to create virtual agents (also known as conversational agents or chatbots) that can be deployed on mobile apps, websites, popular social media and messaging platforms.
The Need for Instant Gratification
In a world of high-speed internet and one-day deliveries, consumers are used to the speed and convenience of online businesses. This means waiting isn’t acceptable anymore and the need for instant gratification is growing every day. Businesses know that a slow loading website or delivery times longer than a week are enough to put off a majority of the customers. What many aren’t aware of though is that the same principle applies to almost every aspect of customer service.
While there is still a large group of people who’d rather wait a few minutes and talk to a human representative, most people would choose to have their query solved instantly and that involves the use of conversational agents. At the same time, conversational AI has become advanced enough to answer the vast majority of customer queries. And when it can’t, a seamless transfer to a human counterpart ensures that the customer gets their problem solved without having to take any additional steps.
Why Choose Dialogflow Over Other Conversational AI Platforms
1. Advanced Language Understanding
Google Dialogflow uses the natural language understanding (NLU) models based on BERT, a popular language model used for machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). Dialogflow is capable of differentiating between different contexts and also accurately assess the intention of the user. Dialogflow agents are also capable of deviating from the main topic/question and discussing sub/topics while still keeping the conversation on track - making its speech flow much more natural.
2. Cloud-based Custom Hardware
One of the biggest benefits of using Dialogflow is that like every other Google Cloud service, it is fully-hosted on Google’s secure and reliable servers. This means the business does not have to worry about availability or about on-premises hardware.
Another advantage to using Dialogflow is that the AI engine is able to leverage Google’s own custom hardware called Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) that are designed specifically for machine learning workloads, significantly cutting down processing times on complex algorithms and models, taking hours instead of weeks with TPUs.
3. Advanced Monitoring and Analytics
Dialogflow is one of the most complete platforms for creating conversational agents. It has a complete suite of monitoring and analytics tools offering end-to-end management of your conversational agents. Developers can create CI/CD pipelines, run experiments, tests, and debug from within the Dialogflow console without requiring any third-party services.
4. Cross-platform Support
Dialogflow conversational agents are omnichannel - meaning you only need to build an agent once before deploying it on different channels and platforms. In addition to website support, Dialogflow also offers integration to popular platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Google Assistant, Viber, Skype, Twitter, Twilio, and many more. Dialogflow also supports webhooks so potentially limitless integrations.
5. Support for 30+ Languages
The world is more connected than ever and language shouldn’t be a barrier. That’s why Dialogflow also supports more than 30 languages and variants in both of its variants. Click here to view the entire list of supported languages.
6. Native Interactive Voice Response
Dialogflow’s Native Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a powerful feature that helps turn text-based conversational agents into voice-based agents. Google Dialogflow also has telephony support out of the box for partners such as Genesys, Avaya, and Cisco as well as an advanced one-click telephony integration option for easy and quick expansion.
7. Agent Visualization
Dialogflow has an incredible GUI and console that reduces dependence on coding and instead encourages visualization. The console visualizes how each agent talks and essentially “thinks” in the form of graphs and flows that change in real-time as the agent is updated.
The Business Value of Conversational Agents
Conversational agents are a cost-effective solution to numerous business challenges in 2021.
For instance, a major challenge among SMBs is the increasing competition and limited scope of product differentiation. There are multiple products and services for everything and competing on price isn’t an option. Consumers have this dilemma too - when the product and price are the same, how do they make the decision? The answer is customer experience.
Conversational agents are one of the most effective tools for increasing customer engagement, especially modern agents that leverage AI and ML for more lifelike conversations. These tools do an excellent job of adding a new degree of personalization and a “human-element” that was always missing from online experiences.
Dialogflow Implementations in Major Industries
Conversational agents built with Dialogflow are capable of leveraging artificial intelligence to make online shopping more engaging, faster, and easier.
Lego, Subway, and H&M have already deployed conversational agents with great success. These agents perform the duty of an online shopping assistant and use conversational AI to ask a series of questions to understand the customer’s tastes and preferences. In addition to this, they also have a powerful recommendation engine that uses AI to find products and services most suitable to the user’s requirements.
Another powerful use of conversational agents is the potential to add a checkout feature. Conversational agents that double as shopping assistants can also be given cart and checkout functionality to increase the likelihood of conversion. Consumers can make the purchase right from the chat window of their messaging platform of choice.
Timely communication is critical in the travel and tourism industry but popular communication channels like email marketing and SMS aren’t what they used to be. In 2021, 58% of consumers use messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram as their primary way to staying connected with friends and family. As a result, there is a shift towards deploying conversational agents on these platforms to communicate with customers more naturally.
This has also led to the adoption of conversational agents as a popular Point of Sale alternative in the travel and tourism industry. Consumers can use a conversational agent to browse through deals and travel packages, check and purchase flight tickets, and make reservations. Furthermore, the same platform can be used to get important notifications and price alerts.
Conversational agents have numerous use cases for extending marketing efforts but the most popular implementations is customer success and lead management.
Conversational agents are useful due to their lead and client management capabilities. Here, agents can reach out to leads/clients and engage them with a lifelike conversation. Advanced AI helps tremendously in sensing consumer intentions and driving the conversation towards an action (such as browsing their products or up/cross selling).
Although less hyped up than some of the eCommerce applications, conversational agents have become a major presence in the education sector, especially with the rise of online classes. Many education institutes are experimenting with chatbots with tasks such as assigning homework to students and taking attendance. Conversational agents also give students a platform to get instant answers to queries regarding a wide variety of topics, which is especially in school/college events or during admission weeks.
Easily accessible and quality healthcare is still limited for a large portion of the country. Even in the United States, there are remote areas with very few healthcare facilities which make non-urgent healthcare such as regular check-ups quite difficult.
To overcome this, numerous healthcare organizations around the world are experimenting with both text and voice-based conversational agents that are capable of providing medical assistance on numerous health topics.
On a consumer level, conversational agents in the healthcare industry are often used to give consumers an easy-to-access platform for making appointments, keeping track of tests and medication, and also be used as an automated but engaging way to take patient feedback.
Although Conversational AI is often seen as a technology only useful for outbound communication, conversational AI is commonly used internally. For instance, conversational agents have become a core part of HR automation and management in many companies.
One of the most powerful use cases of conversational agents is to use it as a screening tool during onboarding. Major companies such as L’Oreal have used this technology to save hundreds of hours during recruitment by making a conversational agent the first point of contact instead of an HR employee to ensure all of the documents are submitted correctly. The agent can also answer company-policy-related questions and reference the Employee’s Handbook to both new and existing employees.
Dialogflow is one of the most complete conversational AI platforms and thus one of the best ways to getting started with conversational agents. And like almost every other Google cloud service, it has virtually no barriers to enter but an incredibly high skill ceiling. This means that while getting started is relatively easy, you should still consider taking on a skilled Dialogflow engineer to extract the full potential of conversational agents. Book your free consultation with one of D3V’s certified Dialogflow engineers today to explore how to best harness conversational tech for your specific business model.
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