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Google Duplex Live For Some Haircut Appointment Bookings

VentureBeat reports that Google made the Duplex technology live for some haircut appointments, for barbershops, salons, etc. This way Google can help businesses that are shorthanded, at least with making appointments.

VentureBeat wrote “the new Duplex haircut appointment feature, which can be used from any device with the Google Assistant app or access to Google Search or Maps, is largely similar to the existing restaurant booking flow. After tapping on the Request an Appointment button from Search or Maps, users have the option of three treatments: a men’s haircut, a women’s haircut, or a general haircut. After selecting one and entering a preferred appointment date, time, and time range (e.g., 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.), users have to indicate whether they’ve been to the business before and optionally enter the name of a stylist, as well as provide contact information like a name, phone number, and email address.”

Here are screen shots:

To be fair, Google has been testing it since 2018 and they even used it more recently to see if businesses were open during lockdowns and reopenings.

Google even added settings in Google My Business to configure if you want to handle appointments using Duplex for your business. Then in 2019, Google began opting business into this automatically.

Duplex then calls the business and has an exchange with the receptionist on the other end of the line. Using natural language processing, the assistant provides information like treatment, dates, times, and names without interrupting and while contending with delays, a range of accents, and unanticipated questions.

I am just not sure how this actually saves businesses with staffing issues? I mean, doesn’t a person at the business answer the phone call that Duplex is making? It is not like a machine at the business is answering. I know Google does try to integrate with booking software and if the business has that, scheduling can be automated. But Duplex here speaks to a person at the barber or salon.

In any event, it is cool to see this being used more broadly.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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