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Think “CONVERSATIONAL EXPERIENCES”, “Conversation First” AND “WISDOM OF CHATBOTS”
We are rapidly transcending from Customer Experience to Digital Experience to Conversational Experience.
Think “Mobile First, Cloud First” will be relegated as Think “Conversation First” becomes the new mantra for smarter and faster interactions.
Think “Conversation First” has also the potential to reinvent productivity with a shift from the “Wisdom of Crowds” to the “Wisdom of Chatbots”.
CHINA: BAIDU LAUNCHES HOME CHATBOT DEVICE GOING HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH USA TITANS
Baidu announced the launch of a Chinese speaking Chatbot device for the home that can also do conversational advertising and conversational commerce. This Chatbot is called Xiaoyu Zaijia (Little Fish) and responds to voice commands using a combination of pictures, text and speech. Unlike Google Home and Amazon Alexa it goes beyond just speech as it includes a touch screen. Little Fish will be available from March 2017. Little Fish’s hardware has been developed by Chinese robotics firm Ainemo Inc using Baidu’s AI operating system DuerOS. This paves the way for lots of different types of home robotics.
Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng said that:
“AI has been growing steadily – every year our AI has been 50% better. Those of us on the inside feel the acceleration now but we have been feeling it for the last decade. Just as 100 years ago, the electrification of our society transformed industry after industry, I think AI tech has now reached that stage.”
JAPAN: KDDI EVOLVA TO LAUNCH CHATBOTS
KDDI Evolva has been offering call center services in Japan for more than 60 years, and combines business process outsourcing (BPO) services with IT solutions to maximize customer value. KDDI Evolva is now building a more sophisticated customer experience management services, with a new Chatbot that uses artificial intelligence. The KDDI EVOLVA Chatbot is already undergoing operational testing on their platform.
ACTIVE AI STARTUP RAISES US$3m FUNDS
Active AI is developing a Chatbot Platform for banking underpinned by IBM’s Watson. The co-founder and CEO Ravi Shankar says that “conversation is the new UX.” The company’s mission is to enable banking through messaging apps like Facebook Messenger. Active AI has successfully raised US$3 million from IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital. Its Chatbot helps bank’s customers to do things like check recent transactions, transfer money to friends, or pay bills..
SAMSUNG VACUUM CLEANERS BECOME CHATBOTS
Samsung has revealed Powerbot VR7000, a robotic vacuum you can control with your Amazon Echo Chatbot. The company says that, in fact, all its new WiFi-enabled Powerbot vacuums will work with Alexa. This follows the launch by a Samsung vacuum cleaner competitor called Neato Botvac, which already uses the Alexa “Skill” for basically to start and stop cleaning. This is the beginning of domestic robots using Chatbots for the conversational interface.
SAMSUNG NEW PHONE TO HAVE STATE OF THE ART CHATBOT
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to include the launch of a Chatbot called Bixby, that is underpinned by their 2016 acquisition, VIV Labs. This new ‘platform’ will be based on Natural Language Processing and is expected to be a step change beyond Apple’s Siri and Google Now.
Vice-President Rhee In-Jong stated:
‘We are developing a key major interface, which will bring a totally new paradigm an open API platform. The current Galaxy smartphones need separate applications for users, for instance, to order pizza or coffee. But, the new AI platform will order things without going through separate applications’.
SAMSUNG VIV THREAT TO ALPHABET (GOOGLE)
The Samsung new NLP platform underpinned by VIV Labs, covered earlier, is likely to weaken Google’s hold on the mobile market using Android and Google Apps. At the sametime it provides an alternative to Google Search, which has the potential to threaten Alphabet’s core business, search-based advertising. No wonder so much advertising is appearing re: new Google Pixel smartphone.
Though the new Samsung IOT (Internet of Things) devices are tactically using Amazon Alexa for their Chatbot dialogue (such as vacuum cleaners mentioned earlier), it is inevitable that these devices will be supported by their own conversation-as-a-platform (powered by Viv Labs). So the battle ground won’t simply be limited to the smartphone market, but all devices that can support Chatbots.
SAMSUNG WITH MICROSOFT CHATBOT THREAT TO APPLE
The Samsung new NLP platform underpinned by VIV Labs, covered earlier, is likely to weaken Apple’s hold on the mobile market using its iPhone, as Samsung bypasses the need for apps and starts to use the one conversation-as-a-platform to interact with any dialogue-enabled devices in the home, where Samsung has a strong presence. The Samsung strategic partnership with Microsoft will bring with it the access to Office 365 and Cortana Intelligence Suite. The cross-fertilization of the respective Samsung / Microsoft conversation-as-a-platforms enables a sophistication way beyond Apple’s offerings. No wonder Microsoft dumped its Nokia mobile phone business after failing to take on Apple and focused on its Universal Platform strategy of which Samsung is just one partner.
LENOVO LAUNCHES COMPETITOR TO AMAZON ECHO
Lenovo has announced its Smart Assistant, which is a device for the home with 8 embedded speakers, which can pick up commands from 16 feet away. It is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo. However, Smart Assistant uses Amazon’s Alexa for the Chatbot software. Sounds like a win-win for Amazon.
THE CASE FOR CHATBOTS TO DIGITALLY REINVENT CALL CENTERS
Forrester Research “Age of the Customer” states that brands can no longer be content with ineffective service platforms of the past. Research from Zendesk states 82% of customers have stopped doing business because of bad service and 95% of customers share bad experiences with others.
The days of automated voice systems to press a number for the predefined support, often leading to further levels of numbered options, mixed with long wait times are surely now regarded as archaic. Urrrgh!!
Just as bad is finally reaching a human agent that does a hand-off as they don’t have the knowledge to handle your situation. Urrrgh!!
Sometimes the handoff from the human is back to the automated voice system. Urrrgh!! Urrrgh!!!
And, even more frustrations prevail when the Contact Centre and the Website or Mobile App are NOT aligned or are in conflict. Urrrgh!! Urrrgh!!!
The time for brands to digitally reinvent the Call Centre, inbound and outbound, along with all the other digital touchpoints are now with us!! Chatbots are triggering a paradigm shift as customer dialogue becomes the modus operandi across all touch-points.