Article Synopsis :
Conversational interfaces – those boxes the humans have become used to speaking to – have established themselves in our society’s homes.
Once the stuff of Star Trek, people are using them to go shopping, remember what’s needed at the shops, turn their lights on, cook an egg or raise the temperature of their home, after being caught in a rain shower.
As they use these interfaces, so the relationship strengthens. This offers brands an opportunity to make their own relationships with consumers more human, too.
Humans and robots unite
This report from Capgemini looks at how consumers are seeking humanised interactions with bots, and how brands can build a more authentic and emotional connection with consumers instead of just the traditional transactional interaction.
This study looks at both the voice assistant and also the computer chatbot that receives data that is keyed in by the user.
Multiple skills make bots popular
The reason these assistants are popular is because they can do much. Amazon’s Alexa is said to have 50,000 skills or functionalities, is compatible with 20,000 connected devices, and used by more than 3,500 brands.
Google’s voice interfaces can support more than 30 languages and the company plans to roll out voice capability to 80 different countries.
Microsoft and Amazon have agreed to a partnership between their Alexa and Cortana voice assistants to enable additional functionalities and greater reach for their customers.
Meanwhile, other organisations are adopting and rolling out chat assistants. They are used to streamline customer service operations or move consumers to the point of sale by giving them store, pricing, and product details along the way.
Businesses need to catch up
Consumers have taken to these tools like a duck to water, but organisations have not got to grips with expectations.
The report finds only a few have what it calls a “mature approach” to these tools. And most of the use cases are all about convenience. Yet once they are comfortable with the technology, consumers are ready for greater personalisation, even an emotional connection, and value.
This research is based on a survey of 12,000 consumers and 1,000 executives from three different industries – consumer products and retail, financial services, and automotive.
The report outlines insights into consumers’ needs, the levels of deployment, benefits realised, and what makes one company successful.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsYou need only look around you to understand how voice assistant technology has pervaded society. At work, thorough the media and perhaps even your own home –young children, for instance, use them to access the music and radio programmes rather than physical music or radio sets.
The consumer appetite is great, but business is not taking full advantage of this opportunity.
Even those who are using these bots are not necessarily understanding the full power, says the report. It would seem to be an opportune moment for those engaged to understand whether they are simply cashing in, or are preparing to catch up.
Technology is only as good as its method of delivery and if businesses don’t give consumers what they want, they will go elsewhere.
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