Will voice assistants and chatbots join forces?

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The combination of voice search, voice assistants and artificial intelligence is a potent one. We know that the popularity of voice search is growing and that brands need to prepare for it. We reckon that as the user experience in voice search continues to improve, it will change our consumer habits. Imagine, what if your voice assistant is intelligent enough to make appointments for you or buy your favourite groceries?

When we as marketers think of the actions we want consumers to undertake with our businesses, booking something or buying something is right up at the top of the list. When we seek to improve the ease with which customers can complete these tasks, we call it conversion optimisation.

What is conversion optimisation?

Just to take a step back, what we’re talking about is how effectively your website or app encourages users to undertake the actions you want them to. For instance, buying products, leaving their contact details or downloading content. Conversion optimisation is something we talk about when we are trying to improve upon the efficiency of a platform for the benefit of both the user and the business owner. User experience, content, design – they all play a role.

Why isn’t voice search mainstream?

Simple. The experience can be unfulfilling, frustrating and harder work than typing a query into a device. We talked more about this in our previous article about the future of voice search.

Voice search is an imperfect user experience at present. There are trust issues around data and purchasing. But voice assistants successfully carry out tasks such as setting alarms, finding directions and playing music on an increasingly frequent basis in our lives.

It’s all about ease and speed

We humans are an impatient and lazy bunch, but we’ve also been conditioned to expect accuracy and speed with every digital interaction. We don’t suffer slow-loading web pages or poor quality search results. We’ve learned to take the path of least resistance to the answer we seek.

Ease and speed - Page loading speeds - Voice Search - AB Creative Agency - London & Exeter

So, imagine when a Google Assistant can not only undertake a search and return relevant results extremely quickly, it can also help you achieve your end goal. Imagine asking the Google Assistant a question about a restaurant booking and then your voice assistant being able to engage with a chatbot to make your booking for you. Wouldn’t that be an amazing customer experience? Well, it’s real.

Will chatbots replace humans in online customer service?

For the most part, probably! As chatbots and the artificial intelligence that drives them becomes more sophisticated, they will be able to manage increasingly sophisticated queries. Chatbots use Natural Language Processing to interpret conversational queries and then respond with an answer. According to Gartner, by 2020 as much as 85% of customer service operations could be handled by a virtual assistant.

So, it’s not a stretch to imagine that if the rate of change in voice search persists, the growth in voice assistants conducting customer service tasks on behalf of customers could be a reality for the majority of us.

This could mean that we’re all solving our problems, answering our questions and getting where we want to go faster, more easily and with fewer steps in the customer journey than ever before. This is the ultimate nirvana for conversion optimisation.

How do I get started with a chatbot?

The simplest way to get started building a chatbot is not to think about the technology, but the conversation flow you want to facilitate. In its simplest form, what answers to common questions could a chatbot provide? A simple chatbot can be designed with set responses for specific questions.

In the past, you would have needed coding experience to bring this bot you’ve envisioned to life but that’s no longer the case. One of the tools we’re really enjoying playing around with at the moment that offers a no-coding way of creating a Facebook Messenger bot is Chatfuel.com.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to make your own Facebook Messenger ChatBot – subscribe to the blog to get emails as we post more on this topic.

Check out the rest of the articles in the series, Voice Search: Future or Fad?

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Author:

Sarah is the Head of Digital Marketing & Strategy at AB... and enjoys helping organisations get the most from their marketing activities. With an affinity for a data-driven approach, she specialises in customer and user experience, SEO and PPC management. At the moment, she's really interested in voice search. Sarah is Google-certified in both Adwords and Analytics and has over 10 years experience in digital marketing. She also has an MSc in Digital Marketing Communications and joined the AB... team in April 2017.

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