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Why You Need Conversational UI

March 13, 2019

Conversation is the new UI.

When most people think of User Interfaces (UI), they imagine visual platforms where the user interacts using a screen and keyboard. Increasingly however, forward-thinking businesses are adopting Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) to reach their customers.

The game-changing technology behind this trend is Natural Language Processing, like Google's Dialogflow. Using Google’s APIs, any business can develop technology that understands written or spoken speech and replies to questions with a response in real language.

The best known examples of CUI are voice assistants like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s also being widely adopted for more specific tasks. These include chatbots like the fintech Plum and voice search like Google Search by Voice. It’s also used to direct customer queries in Natural Language Routing solutions for contact centres like our Marks and Spencer project.

By 2021, Gartner predicts that 50% of enterprise companies will spend more on bot development than they will on traditional mobile app development [x].

Key Benefits of Chatbots

  • No education needed: customers don’t need to learn new skills to use a chatbot.
  • Frictionless: conversation is a natural human mode of engagement.
  • Personalisable: your chatbot can be plugged into your CRM so it can understand context and deliver custom content.
  • Omnichannel: chatbots communicate through your customers’ preferred channels (phone, SMS, whatsapp, Messenger), over voice or text.
  • Less self-consciousness: customers feel more comfortable sharing personal information with a chatbot because tech won’t judge them [x]. This is immensely valuable in sensitive industries like finance and health.
  • Cost reduction: it is much cheaper to build and maintain a chatbot to than it is to hire and employ a customer service agent [read more].
  • Not an app: to use a chatbot, customers don’t have to download yet another app, which they are increasingly reluctant to do.

People use messaging apps more than any other apps: 90% of our time on mobile is spent on email and messaging platforms. In 2015, time spent on messaging apps surpassed social networks [x].

Conversational UI gives businesses the ability to meet customers on their preferred channel. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have APIs that allow businesses to plug chatbots directly into the app. DVELP partners Twilio offer an SMS API that means businesses can reach customers on virtually any mobile device.

CUI also includes voice. Voice-based interactions offer faster, easier and more natural communication. According to Gartner, by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen [x].

2018 was the year smart speakers hit critical mass [x]. Market leaders like Uber and Dominos integrate into voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, allowing customers to make purchases without a screen.

CUI is changing the way we interact with technology every day. The opportunity is wide open for companies who want to stay in business.


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