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In September, Google announced the beta launch of Dialogflow CX, the newest version of the company’s suite for building conversational experiences. As of today, Dialogflow CX, which is now used by over a million developers, is generally available as a part of Google’s Contact Center AI and includes a set of new capabilities for advanced virtual agents.

As customer representatives are increasingly ordered to work from home in India, the U.S., and elsewhere, some companies are turning to AI to bridge the resulting gaps in service. The solutions aren’t perfect — there’s always going to be a need for human teams, even where chatbots are deployed — but COVID-19 has accelerated the need for AI-powered contact center messaging. As early as 2019, one-third of contact centers had begun to implement and invest in AI and robotic process automation, according to a Deloitte survey.

Dialogflow CX is designed for contact centers that deal with conversations and deploy across platforms including mobile, web, smart devices, chatbots, interactive voice response systems, messaging apps, and more. It offers intent detection and a visual flow builder that allows developers to build, understand, and maintain conversations. Moreover, Dialogflow CX has an architecture that supports 20 independent flows, 40,000 intents per agent, and over 20 languages supported on the voice channel, plus an ability to use the same flow for multiple languages. The service also features end-to-end encryption and support for virtual private cloud services, a network link that connects Dialogflow CX to backend customer relationship management and enterprise resource management systems without going over the public internet.

Google says Optus, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Australia, has been using Dialogflow to power virtual agents in one of its support applications. A portion of these come from Dialogflow CX Prebuilt Agents, a library of virtual agents that ostensibly accelerate time to production. The prebuilt agents can answer questions like “I need help paying my bill” or “I haven’t received my order, where is it?” without requiring custom programming.

“Contact center agents have become a lifeline for many businesses. They are on the front lines of generating revenue and delivering great customer experiences for your brand — all while working from home,” Google product manager Shantanu Misra and Dialogflow head of product Antony Passemard wrote in a blog post. “Dialogflow CX can seamlessly and accurately switch between topics, handle supplemental questions, and operate across multiple channels to minimize live agent interventions. It was designed specifically for enterprises with large-scale, high-complexity environments to enable a new level of collaboration and efficiency for customer experience teams.”

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