What Are Conversational Interfaces? The Basics

Introducing Conversational Interfaces

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Published: December 11, 2020

Rebekah Carter

Conversational interfaces have been gaining a lot of attention lately, particularly in a world where digital conversations are becoming more common. The technological advancements of the last few years have made “talking to devices” an everyday concept. However, there’s still a way to go before conversational UI reaches its full potential.

A conversational user interface (CUI) is essentially a digital interface enabling users to interact with software following the same principles of human conversations. CUI is more natural and social, making it feel as though you’re connecting with another person.

Let’s take a closer look at conversational UI, and what’s possible with this technology.

What Does a Conversational UI Look Like?

There are various kinds of conversational UI in the current landscape.

The most common kind of CUI is the chatbot – a visual interface that allows for instant messaging conversations between a device, and a customer. There are AI-driven bots that use Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to understand and respond to human requests, and rule-based bots that can only respond to specific trigger words.

In the chatbot landscape, conversational UI is often used to refer more to the kind of bots customers can have a real discussion with. These are the bots that can analyse information more effectively and come up with appropriate responses.

Another form of conversational UI is the voice or virtual assistant. These are bots that can communicate with customers without any graphical interface. They’re powered by voice recognition tech, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. You may be familiar with these tools in the form of things like Amazon Alexa, and Google Home.

Virtual assistants are becoming a more popular form of conversational UI because they allow people to actually have genuine discussions with machines to some extent. These tools rely heavily on natural language understanding to ensure the right results, however. Failure to properly understand customer needs can lead to serious issues with conversational UI.

The Benefits of Conversational UI

Conversational UI solutions can be there for customers no matter what, on a 24/7 basis. These tools don’t need to rest or sleep between shifts. They can respond to questions constantly and help to represent your brand’s unique personality. Conversational solutions save customers time, support businesses in serving up excellent user experiences, and even improve the way that companies use resources.

Bots with conversational interfaces can help to automate repetitive tasks that would otherwise take up a lot of human time. However, they do it in a way that brings brands closer to the customers that they interact with. Conversational tools aren’t just a great way to get customer issues sorted faster, they can improve the way that you showcase your brand’s personality too.

Using the right conversational solutions, business leaders can transform the way they serve their clients. Conversational systems like chatbots and virtual assistants essentially enhance the modern workforce, by giving employees access to more support, and providing new ways for customers to serve themselves.



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