Look who’s talking

Mike Taylor | 27 May 2019

I’m human. Aren’t I? You’re reading words spouted out of a fully-fledged chunk of flesh. You’re sure? Absolutely sure? No niggling doubts? No bots in the vicinity?

As the line between digital and human voice blurs, consumers’ suspicions are on the up. And rightly so. Bots’ capabilities are accelerating and distinguishing exactly who you’re talking to isn’t the picnic it used to be.

From Facebook messenger to text messaging, more and more brands are handing the baton over to chatbots to service their customers and sell their products. By leveraging machine learning and natural language processing, AI is one step ahead; accounting for each customer’s conversation history, understanding the intent behind customer requests and responding to questions in a more human way. Terrifying? Mildly. Efficient? You best believe it.  

By collecting information about users, the bots are helping businesses understand what their audience wants, how they want it and when. In an age of ‘brand experience’ this isn’t just a case of customer service, bots are feeding into crucial personalisation, vital to the brand experience.  

Alexa. Siri. Google Assistant. They know us; the good, the bad, the ugly. The more they learn about us, the more they are right about us. Trust grows, we disclose more.  

So, does your business require a virtual assistant? There isn’t one answer for all. But as customers continue to crave convenience, the demand for digital chatter is certainly increasing. The world’s leading research and advisory company, Gartner forecasts that by 2020, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human. Chinese WeChat bots can already set medical appointments, call a taxi, send money to friends, check in for a flight – the list goes on.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a bot for the sake of a bot – it is something to be aware of. If you want to move forward with bot support, you need to determine the below early on:

  • Goals: clearly define the list of functions your bot needs to perform.
  • Channels: understand where your audience prefers to communicate – your website, mobile, Facebook Messenger, app, or any other messaging platform.
  • Application: choose your way of creation, using ready-made chatbot software or building a custom bot.

Here at BBT, we, of course, have the know-how to get you up and running. Our team of experts have the capability to implement your preferred software or build you a personalised custom bot from scratch.

As for machines fooling us into believing they’re human? We’ve come a long way from Alan Turning’s famous test, but I think we can all agree we know when there is a human behind the keyboar00010100010100011100