Numa, a concierge platform built on artificial intelligence technology, has integrated into Google Business Messages, to help small and mid-sized businesses have conversations with consumers who ask questions.
It allows businesses to receive calls or texts through Google Search or Google Maps using Google Business Messages.
“Google hand-picked partners and granted access to their API for this launch,” Tasso Roumeliotis, founder and CEO of Numa, told Search & Performance Marketing Daily, via email.
Roumeliotis, who co-founded the company with Joel Grossman, also founded Location Labs as an early pioneer in mobile and location-based technology. He built the company to more than 200 people and eventually sold Location Labs for $220 million to online security firm AVG in a deal worth up to $220 million.
Numa became part of Google’s program for Business Messages, enabling the company’s developers to learn and build with the technology, influence the roadmap and standards, and become among the first to offer upgraded messaging experiences through Google Search and Google Maps.
A “message” button in Google Search and Google Maps allows consumers to communicate with companies at no extra cost.
The subscription-based service can choose to provide automated responses or custom responses, depending on the questions being asked by consumers. It also learns based on machine-learning models.
The virtual answering service, which connects to existing phone lines, also can coordinate curbside pickup without tying up the phone line, answer missed calls, and collect contact information in an opt-in format from customers so they can be notified via a mass text as business conditions change.
Restaurants can use the service as a text-to-order feature, even if it doesn’t have an online ordering site. It transcribes phone calls and starts a text chat when requested. The data is logged and analyzed.
Chipotle began using technology to test AI-generated voice technology for phone orders in 2018, along with Denny’s, Dunkin’, and Domino’s Pizza, turning it into a more sophisticated version of voice assistants.