Businesses worldwide use conversational AI to achieve business goals and ultimately improve financial standing. However, all conversational AI solutions are not made equally. The starting point for every conversational AI solution has to be the end user.
Conversational AI solutions must be designed to bring value to the end-user; making their lives easier and giving them a way to engage when and where they want. This starting point provides the framework for bringing together the building blocks for the right utility, design and interlocks to conversational AI success.
Any organisation looking to implement a conversational AI solution should investigate the specific experience and expertise that potential service providers have in the areas of:
- User interface design
- Knowledge management/workflow and conversation design
- Technology integration
- Security, safeguarding, privacy, ethics
- Orchestration and management
User Interface (UI)
UI design expertise is essential to conversational AI effectiveness. The interface is the gateway through which users interact with a conversational AI chatbot, voicebot, or virtual assistant. Therefore, every characteristic of this interface must be designed to ensure interactions are intuitive, enjoyable and importantly respond in a human-like way.
Because the UI design will influence the user experience, and shape confidence and trust, when considering a conversational AI partner, it is important to see their credentials. Ask for examples of the UIs they have created that have achieved on-brand outcomes. Successful conversational AI requires a UI that delivers the right information, effortlessly, seamlessly and in a user-friendly way.
Knowledge Management and Conversation Design
Every chatbot, voicebot and virtual assistant needs to access information to be able to ‘converse’. This is where knowledge management comes in and its role in successful conversational AI cannot be underestimated. It has a critical role in ensuring the right information is conveyed to the user, and it powers the conversation.
Knowledge management enables information to be effectively repurposed – ensuring users are able to engage with brands on their platform of choice whenever they want.
When choosing a conversational AI provider check that they have extensive experience and expertise in building knowledge bases and optimising information. The information needs to be organised and well structured, making the knowledge base the root of effective conversational AI and vital to ensuring a better customer experience.
Similarly, proven experience in conversation design is a must have. Chatbots can only be human-like in their conversations if they engage in ways that comes across as natural and helpful to the user.
Creating a human-centric experience goes beyond technology and algorithms, it requires understanding of language, psychology and sociology. Conversation design cannot happen by chance, or seen as a ‘nice to have’.
Having the technical and creative skills to create an effective conversational design must be a core capability of your conversational AI provider.
The prolific adoption of cloud computing has led to a service-oriented approach to software now being mainstream. Coupled with the demand from users to be in control of when, where and how they interact with brands, has driven the need for integration capability to be non-negotiable when choosing the right conversational AI partner.
Ensure that your conversational AI provider makes use of a micro-services platform architecture. This type of architecture will enable better scalability, and it will also allow for much broader integration capability. Afterall, the success of a conversational AI solution is linked to its reach – meeting customers on their application and platform of choice.
Ease of integration, with seamless connections to CRM systems to enable more personalised communication, as well as integration to other business systems such as invoicing, inventory etc. will ensure better experiences and your conversational AI solution will deliver real business value. This capability should be as simple as an API plug and play.
Effortless integration with third-party systems and channels will also enable seamless and consistent, real-time omnichannel communication enabling interactions when, where and how the user wants.
To deliver on the promise of conversational AI of providing a ‘service’ to users more efficiently and effectively than ‘traditional methods’ your provider must have extensive integration capability to all major internal and external applications and platforms. Without this capability your conversational AI will be limited in its capability and effectiveness.
Security, safeguarding, privacy
The rise of fake news, misinformation and deep fakes as well as the increased rates of spoofing, phishing as well as other scams has shone a spotlight on cybersecurity. The criticality of protecting and safeguarding conversational AI, and to mitigate reputational and financial risk is growing in urgency every day. Ensuring humans remain firmly in control must be non-negotiable when considering a conversational AI platform.
The capability to prevent unverified or unchecked communication that contains bias, discrimination, inaccuracies, and/or untruths must be demonstrated by any conversational AI provider you are considering, to avoid users being misled and ensure communication remains honest. If a conversational AI provider cannot demonstrate transparency in the algorithms used, safeguards for detecting bias and the capability of human oversight, then it is doubtful that responsible and ethical AI is part of their operating model.
Orchestration and management
Conversational AI is said to make the customer experience better. This must be balanced with the solution also making the employee experience better and the organisation more efficient and effective. To achieve this, the right conversational AI provider will be the one who offers a single orchestration and management platform that is the home for all development, integration, knowledge management, security, safeguarding, analytics, performance dashboards etc. One log in, one sign on, one place to meet all requirements.
Making it easy for the business to access, have insight into and control their conversational AI must be easy, straightforward and natural. A customisable, microservices based architecture will ensure the unique requirements of each organisation can be accommodated, with full access to the latest technological advancements in conversational AI to leverage as appropriate to remain competitive and/or give them an advantage.
Our V-Studio is the most advanced conversational AI platform available. We have a team of expert engineers experienced in the fields of UI, Knowledge Management, Conversation Design, Security, Service Architecture, and Platform Engineering.
If you would like to take a tour inside our V-Studio platform, book a demonstration and we will show you the engine that powers our V-Person chatbots, voicebots, emailbots and virtual assistants.