Conversational interfaces have netted themselves into the fabric of our lives. Consumers are using them to turn on the lights, to cook an egg to perfection, furthermore to research & explore onto it and buy goods. With consumers building a strong bond with these interfaces, they also represent a fantastic opportunity for brands to humanize and scale up the relationships they have with their consumers. Wherein it involves using the learnings from the new type of interaction to offer experiences that are contextually relevant, helpful, and personal.
There are two distinct ways in which a conversational interface works: chat conversations and voice conversations. Consumers interact with chatbots using both the interfaces daily, with each having its own set of boon & bane. The huge difference between a messenger chatbot and a voice chatbot or a voice assistant is the way people interact with them.
A chat-based messenger bot exists in one or more messaging platforms, including features of text and web chat messengers. This enables users to interact on a device screen through a text or button presses.
However, in the case of voice bots, users interact with the bot using their own voice in a natural way. The voice both thereupon responds leveraging pre-recorded messages, text-to-speech responses or an amalgamation of both. A voice enabled chatbot could be called upon in many devices such as smart phones, smart speakers (such as Siri, Google Home or Alexa), wearables (Apple Air Pods) or other IOT devices.
These chatbots enable users to accomplish tasks precisely hands-free. The advantage of using a voice chatbot is its ability to exist on multiple messaging platforms, that shall be synchronized across various devices. Some messenger bots are also available through smart speakers - which function like platform themselves - enabling them to perform dual actions as a voice chatbot as well as text-based bots.
Major Difference Between Text-based Chatbot & Voice-based Chatbot
A messenger chatbot might be more tempting to users because they can easily begin chatting with it on their phone. Unless voice chatbots exists on a user’s phone or computer, interacting with it requires buying a new smart speaker device. That said, voice activated chatbots are the ideal interface when hands-free interaction is necessary, like walking the user step-by-step through a recipe when their hands are full.
However, Texting and messaging have become the dominant mode of communication for millennials. That makes messenger chatbots a more natural fit for communication with the user. The ubiquity of mobile devices also provides a lower barrier of entry to the user when it comes to using a messenger bot.
That said, while smart speakers have not yet hit the mainstream, they’ve done very well over the holiday season. Amazon reported that its Echo Dot was its best-selling item across the holiday season, meanwhile, Google Home devices were given a dramatic discount in a push to enter more homes. Also, Apple’s hotly anticipated Home Pod speaker is soon on the way. The smart speaker market seems hopeful in 2018, which will make it easier than ever for everyday uses to interact with voice activated chatbots.
Again, the interface that best fits your bot hinges on your use case. Consider whether a screen is essential to your user experience (for example, someone booking a hotel room with a chatbot might want to swipe through a carousel of photos before selecting the room or hotel they want). Also consider where and when the user will call up the bot. A voice activated chatbot is perfectly suited for someone driving, jogging or otherwise busy. By having a clear idea of your audience and the context of their relationship with the chatbot, which interface is right for you should become obvious.
Consumers are becoming restful engaging with conversational assistants. On the same time, they are also developing explicit expectations on where they want the bot to come in from, when they want the human to come in, and for what sort of queries & questions. When they are used in the appropriate situation, voice and chat assistants have significant potential to transform the customer experience. This is about how being customer centric is key to deliver a superlative experience again and again.