Chatbot versus voicebot conversations – which customer experience would be better?
We sometimes take for granted that talking is a more natural communication construct compared to text. In fact, if we turn it around, listening is the most efficient way to gather information as the fastest human sense with millisecond processing. The efficiency comes with a few requirements and secondary influencers including nuance and tone, emphasis and pacing. It’s something we’ve been doing for thousands of years versus the blip of time typing has invaded the communication paradigm, so it’s only fair to assume the will for voicebot – an evolution of the chatbot - would be next on the list of AI-influenced interactions.
We’ve already seen similar scenarios playing out with our move from typing questions in search engines to asking questions to devices. So why not voicebots in place of already accepted customer service or work assistant chatbots?
In the contact center chatbots are essentially a given, but the execution of these conversations as voicebot would be different – they would need to be more focused and controlled to support those nuances of dialogue we again, sometimes take for granted – not only in what the answers are but how they’re delivered would be key. Their development would be akin to personality development, where interaction tone and manner are aligned with an organizations brands attributes and customer experience strategies, so the interactions are differentiating while optimizing the customer journey.
Those interactions would need to be based on persona, history, location, context, the questions being asked and so on, to meet human to machine voice dialogue expectations. Will the voicebots have subtle accents for perceived empathy? Will the tone be clinical and emotionless for time-critical interactions where misunderstandings are not an option? Will the tone change if the customer is upset? The “human-ality” of the bot resources will be interesting to watch – perhaps they will become an extension of the workforce.
That being said – as AI and digital transformation subsumes organizations, a possibly more interesting question is “what is the future of contact centers”? As these and other disruptions lead to optimization of the customer journey - is today’s positioning and role of the contact center still relevant? If we’re moving to a machine to machine paradigm for ultimate efficiency, why create voicebots at all? Something to consider in a future blog.