Office Hours: July 27, 2021

This newsletter follows each Business Messages Office Hours meeting, summarizing news from Google and from our brand and partner ecosystem.


Industry news 🧨

Sector overview

M&A activity and funding:


Top questions this week 🙋

"Is there any limit on how many CSAT we can send to a conversation ID in 24 hours?"

Yes, you can only send one survey per 24 hour period. Details on surveys can be found here.

"What causes a conversation to expire? We've seen some messages fail saying the conversation is expired." You can only send messages to a user within 30 days of the last message you received from that user. Each new message from the user starts the 30 day window again. More details can be found in the guide The life of a business messaging conversation.

"How can I test an agent or location that is not launched?" Whenever you create an agent or a location, there is a list of test URLs associated with that object. If you do a GET call on the agent or location, you can get the list of test URLs for that object.

When you navigate to the test URL on a device, it will open the conversation with the business. This is the same experience a user would see if they were starting a conversation with the business from Search, Maps, or a third-party entry point like a URL.

Details on agent test URLs can be found here and on location test URLs here.

"Can CSAT be disabled?" If you are launching to Google entry points, the survey will always trigger. You can programmatically control when it gets triggered with the send survey API, but if you don't trigger it, we will do it automatically.

If you are launched on a third-party entry point like URL or widget, then the survey will not be automatically sent by us.

"Can we create agents for non-verified Google My Business businesses?" For testing purposes you can, but you can't launch them.


Free, 1 hour training session focused on launching to Search and Maps! 🎒

Want to hang out with Adam (+ his dog) some more? Sign up here and learn how to get your agents to show up in Search and Maps. Training session is taking place on August 17th.


What's new? 🚀

Customizable surveys now available!

Create customized surveys through the API and in the Business Communications Developer Console. With it you can extend the feedback surveys of an agent to a total of five questions with up to two template questions and up to two custom questions. See details here.

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Automation with Dialogflow

Integrate with Dialogflow and create bots powered by FAQ documents via our APIs! Details available here.

Verifying locations in Business Messages

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We have updated and simplified how location verification works. Previously, based on a single location that you added, we would attempt to find all associated locations through a process we called "chain expansion". However, this led to some confusing situations where too many locations were automatically imported.

To simplify this, if the brand is part of a chain, you must add all locations for that chain where you have permission to enable messaging. To verify all the locations you added, request verification for just one location. Once we verify that location, we will automatically verify the other associated locations that you have added. After verification, if you add additional locations, you will need to request location verification again.


Agents of the week 🤖

Assistive shopping experiences from 1-800-Flowers, Popeye's by Heyday and Soepp & Wayback Burgers by TableDuck!

Search for items and add to the cart. Checkout through the business's website.

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Submit your agents to get showcased at Agent of the week!