Google acquires customer service automation startup Onward | Industry

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Google acquires customer service automation startup Onward | Industry 1

Google has acquired a small that builds tools for businesses looking to their service or sales workflows. and some of its key employees, including co-founders Rémi Cossart and Pramod Thammaiah, as well as CTO Aaron Podolny, will be joining Google. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The startup gives businesses an AI-powered chat solution to get customers what they want while making the most efficient use of their resources through .

Cossart and Thammaiah pivoted the startup from a more consumer-facing product called Agent Q, which was a sort of shopping virtual assistant that people could text and quickly ask for product recommendations. The team billed it as a product marriage of Magic and Consumer Reports.

The co-founders eventually determined that there was more worth in bringing this kind of functionality to businesses that could use it as a way to automate interactions with customers in a tailored manner.

The bot service basically sought to make it easy to answer the simplest questions with answers pulled from a database while building flows that could help more detailed questions get addressed with just a few follow-ups.

For these more complex customer queries, Onward created a visual bot builder to allow users to quickly chat decision trees that could help address their customers’ requests while also knowing when it was time to hand things off to a human.

The service could be easily integrated with products like Salesforce, Zendesk, Shopify and HubSpot.Google acquires customer service automation startup Onward | Industry 2

“Throughout this journey, we’ve remained focused on unlocking the magical experiences that are possible when computers understand the subtleties hidden in a user’s actions and messages.” a blog post on the Onward site reads. “With Google, we’ll be able to expand the reach of the technologies that power Onward.”

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