UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced it has launched its popular chatbot on the Google Assistant, giving customers another convenient way to retrieve information on package deliveries and other UPS services via the Assistant on Android phones, iPhones, smart speakers like Google Home and other compatible devices.
The chatbot’s expansion to the Google Assistant also marks an important step for UPS as it makes new inroads into Artificial Intelligence (AI). The company, which aims to engage its customers and consumers through the online platforms they prefer, introduced the chatbot in 2016 through Facebook Messenger, Skype and Amazon Alexa.
AI and machine learning, along with big data and the internet of things, underpin many of the technologies that support UPS’s global logistics network.
“UPS is constantly building new ways to make it even easier to do business with us,” said Jerome Roberts, UPS vice president of global product innovation. “The AI-enabled UPS chatbot is available where our customers need it to be, and its functionality is getting better all the time.”
Last year, UPS integrated the chatbot with UPS My Choice® service, allowing customers to obtain detailed information about their incoming packages and recent deliveries without providing a tracking number. UPS My Choice service is free, and it gives consumers more control over their residential deliveries. Members can receive an email or text message the day before a shipment arrives. UPS My Choice service has more than 43 million members globally.
The chatbot’s integration with UPS My Choice service made UPS the first U.S. package delivery company to offer a chatbot experience specifically designed for authenticated users.
The UPS chatbot provides a convenient and conversational interface. For example, customers can ask the chatbot “are any packages coming to my house?” or “has anything been delivered to my house?” and receive an easy-to-understand response. Google Assistant users can find the UPS chatbot by saying “OK Google, talk to UPS” or “OK Google, ask UPS about my packages.”
“AI interactions are becoming increasingly more significant at a time when customers perform more business online,” said Andrew Van Beek, UPS vice president of applications development. “This trend demands smooth user experiences, including those that occur via chatbots.”
To learn more about UPS efforts to build AI into its package delivery business, listen to the podcast on the topic at UPS Longitudes Radio.