An agent is a conversational representation of a brand. For example, Growing Tree Bank might be an agent for the financial services company Growing Tree. Users see and interact with Growing Tree Bank when they have conversations about banking with Growing Tree.
Often, only one agent represents a whole brand, but sometimes it's useful to have more than one agent. For example, imagine Growing Tree starts a credit card service and wishes to handle inquiries about credit cards separately from banking inquiries. They can then create a Growing Tree Credit Cards agent to talk to customers about credit cards.
Users start a conversation with your brand through an entry point like your business's page in Google Maps. You can customize your agent's behavior based on the entry point and monitor which entry points drive the most visibility for your agent.
An agent can be associated with one or more locations. For example, if Growing Tree has bank branches in both New York and Chicago, they can associate the Growing Tree Bank agent with both locations. The agent can respond differently depending on which location the user's conversation is about.
A representative is the individual or automation that composes a particular message on behalf of the agent. Business Messages supports BOT and HUMAN representatives.
A HUMAN representative is a live agent, while a BOT representative is any sort of automation. Messages with BOT representatives appear with a small icon that helps set users' expectations for the types of interactions they might engage in.
Representatives may either be the primary interaction type or the secondary interaction type for an agent. The primary interaction type is the first experience the user gets when they initiate a conversation with the agent. For example, if the primary interaction type is BOT, the user automatically starts their conversation with a BOT representative. If the user wants to speak with a HUMAN representative, they can trigger a handoff from bot to live agent by requesting to speak with a live agent representative.
Different representatives can have different operating hours. For example, a BOT representative may be available at all hours, while a HUMAN representative may only be available from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.