Conversational UI is Becoming the Preferred Consumer Interface – 12 Reasons Why (2019)
No more hunting and pecking around websites. No more trying to figure out the navigation. No more searching in vain to find the right page to answer your simple questions.
Conversational AI, the intelligent engine behind AI assistants and Voice User Interfaces (VUIs), is about to make your love affair with your devices and the Internet and your devices even stronger.
Artificial Intelligence is swiftly enabling chatbots to reach a point where talking to your computer, mobile device, or your lights and thermostat feel more natural than click to swiping a mouse or screen.
Why Conversational UI Adoption is Accelerating
We’re not designed to type on a keyboard or scurry around on screens with a mouse or trackpad. These were all clumsy interfaces to assist humans to interact with very literal computational machines effectively. But, our default communication mode is the conversation.
So, as computing power, data storage, and information processing become greater, making computers more intelligent, we can return our user interfaces to more natural modes – conversation.
Here are just a few of the reasons conversational UIs are surging.
1. Talking and asking questions feels more natural
In the real world when we’re trying to solve problems, get answers, or support a decision we often have a conversation.
Ordering a pizza, making an appointment, opening a checking account, or even getting directions often feels more natural, and less prone to error when we talk to a person. Unfortunately, because these one-to-one customer services interactions don’t scale many businesses have forced customers to adapt to less personable online ordering systems.
Conversational AI is now allowing us to go back the old days of personal, one-to-one customer service.
2. Becoming the default means of interaction
As smartphones’ and smart speakers’ AI assistants become ubiquitous (Google smart speakers just hit 1 billion installed devices), consumers will expect to engage with your company via a conversational user interface, 24/7.
3. Frictionless interface and navigation
Voice interfaces don’t have a learning curve. You don’t have to figure out where to click or how to navigate to the information you want.
Conversational AI, especially as it improves, enables voice interfaces to support the most complex consumer requests. Even in the context of a sales conversation, the interaction between customer and brand becomes less intimidating to the customer and less frustrating to sales.
Chatbots and conversational UIs can condition and optimize many customer interactions to deliver a more satisfying experience.
4. Inherently personalized
Conversations are naturally personal. Conversation AI is increasingly allowing us to build systems and interfaces that can scale personal one-to-one, customized service conversations that feel like real-life human customer service experiences.
5. Drives a better UI/UX design
Deploying conversational AI encourages us to create better user interfaces and experiences. By thinking more intently about personas, stories, and scripts, we’re moving our interface design to a more personal and intuitive place.
6. Technology and people are ready
The combination of smartphones, smart speakers, and smart home devices (i.e., IoT) has helped to prepare both technology and people to engage with conversational interfaces confidently. As conversational AI continues to advance and these experiences improve, we are witnessing people begin to opt for voice interfaces over more traditional graphical interfaces.
7. Interfaces are dissolving
As technology embeds in everything and connects to everything traditional graphical interfaces become impractical. As a result, we are witnessing interfaces either dissolve or consolidate into smartphones and smart speakers.
This dissolution of graphical user interfaces is necessitating the assistance (literally) of AI-powered, conversational assistants.
Benefits to Conversational AI Engagement
Conversational UI, powered by conversational AI is coming. But, are there benefits to this mode of interacting with technology and brands?
Let me continue to count the ways.
8. Meaningful interactions build trust and engagement
Unlike the faceless, non-responsive, non-adaptive (I’m not talking about screen size here, but rather human-like interaction) website or contact form experience, conversational user interfaces generate meaningful interactions. Customers drive the experiences and brands efficiently satisfy their requests.
These meaningful interactions build trust and engagement, and ultimately conversion from visitor to customer.
9. Supports decision making
Conversations naturally gravitate to decision support systems. When we engage in a conversation with a customer, they begin to ask questions and reveal insights into what is preventing them from buying or moving forward with your brand.
Introducing conversational interfaces often triggers the customer to initiate the sales conversation. Often much earlier than when they engage with a more traditional graphical interface.
10. Works across platforms
Voice interfaces generally work the same across platforms. I talk to my Google Assistant the same way whether I’m talking to my Chromebook, iPhone, or Google Mini. It also allows me to interface with my thermostat, lights, and doorbell, again using the same voice interface.
All of my experience design happens behind the interface and does not need to be radically adapted, like graphical interfaces, depending on screen or device limitations.
11. Naturally responsive and personalized
Conversational AI allows for voice interfaces to greatly exceed what is possible with graphics interfaces in delivering human-like natural and personalized responses and experiences, at scale.
12. Increased user attention
When you’re talking to another person or a conversational bot, you must be engaged. You’re part of driving the conversation. You have to ask questions and give responses to get what you want. You have to pay attention.
Unlike graphical interfaces, there is no mindless scrolling, swiping, and scanning that often leads to frustration (probably because you didn’t read the screen).
And when users are paying attention and driving the conversation, they are more receptive to your offerings and satisfied their experiences.
Conversational AI is driving consumers’ growing preference for Voice User Interfaces
Conversational AI platforms like Clinc are democratizing the ability to deploy voice user interfaces to customers that are increasingly expecting and preferring this interface. Learn more about how Clinc can put a human in the room to deliver personal, one-on-one customer service experiences.
Contact one of our Conversational AI deployment specialist today.
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash
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