There are a few things any company should know before getting started.

First, let’s define conversational UI: It is a chatbot experience that processes language in a natural way, as if you are texting or speaking with another human being. In short, both chatbots and voice assistants fall within the conversational UI category, and organizations should consider both mediums when seeking to simplify their customer experience and create lasting value and trust. Consumers and companies alike believe these assistants can and will be able to solve problems across the customer experience, but unfortunately we are not there yet. So, how can your organization circumvent the Trough of Disillusionment and deliver a valuable conversational UI experience your customers will love? Here are the three steps you need in order to set your company up for success:

No. 1: Focus on a specific set of problems or skills. 

We’ve all seen it too many times–organizations look at conversational UI as a full-service solution to solve all of their customers’ issues, and they become burdened and overwhelmed at the prospect of creating, delivering and maintaining such an expansive tool. Outside of resource challenges, a chatbot or voice interface without a focused set of skills will inflate user expectations and ultimately let down your customers. We must come to grips that voice and chat will not solve everything for everyone, but it can be powerful tools in solving specific challenges along your customer journey, such as handling online enrollment, or triaging customer support questions.

No. 2: Identify where conversational UI should come into play in the customer journey.

Once you have determined a set of problems or skills you are looking to address for your audience, it’s time to figure out what stage in the customer journey in which this belongs (And hopefully you have identified at least one or several customer journeys for your organization. If not, we can help!). Determining where your conversational UI experience lives during your customer journey will help your organization answer some meaningful questions:

This last question is critical. As you place your conversational UI idea on your customer journey map, you will inevitably have to…

No. 3: Pick your medium. 

Media expert and philosopher Marshall McLehen, who famously conceptualized and predicted the rise of the internet 30 years before its inception, coined a critical phrase that you must consider when building a conversational UI experience: “The medium is the message.” In layman terms, how you present information effects how that information is perceived, and conversational UI can be presented in a multitude of different ways.

Consider these two factors when determining how your conversational UI will be presented:

Will you use voice, chatbot, or both?
Where will your customers and/or prospects find the tool? In an app? On your website? A customer portal?

If you successfully analyze and work through these three steps, you will be well on your way to creating a conversational UI tool that enhances your customer experience and builds value and trust with your consumers.

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