Google Is Asking Small Businesses If They’ll Take Calls from A.I. Robots

The robots are here to help your business. At least, that’s what Google is proposing. We recently shared how Google Duplex—the phone-calling robot and extension of Google Assistant—will begin reaching out to businesses this month. And now it’s happening. Google wants to know one thing: Will you take calls from A.I. Robots?

These “robots” won’t call you just because they want to; instead, Google Duplex will call you on behalf of human users.

Surveying for Google Duplex

Search Engine Land details how Google is testing “buying temperature” for Duplex. Greg Sterling writes, “Google is asking Google My Business profile owners whether they’re willing to accept “Google Assistant calls.” The company explains that this means two things: 1) let customers use Google Assistant to book reservations and appointments and 2) allow Google Assistant to confirm factual information about the business.”

See the Google My Business screenshot below. Notice how “Accept Google Assistant calls” is automatically and already checked. If a business doesn’t want to take calls from Duplex, the business has to actively opt out by unchecking that box. Businesses should check their My Business dashboard from time-to-time to determine if the “Accept Google Assistant calls” is available to them.

Improving Local SEO and Business Efficiency

Let’s take a moment to consider what Greg’s second point from above means for your business. Search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) use ranking signals to determine where to place a business in Local search results. One ranking signal is confirming the validity of your business in the eyes of search engines. Therefore, you should do everything you can to let Google know you’re legitimate. This includes allowing Google Assistant to confirm information about your business.

Why would a business want to receive calls from Duplex? The simple answer is this: Google Assistant allows your potential customers or clients to reach you how they want to. Google also explains using Duplex can “reduce no-shows to appointments by reminding customers about their upcoming appointments in a way that allows easy cancellation or rescheduling.” See the visualization of how Google Duplex works below.

Featured photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Google My Business photo from Search Engine Land is a screenshot by Gain Local

Google Duplex visualization photo is a screenshot by Gain Local