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Chatbot? Virtual Assistant? Digital Assistant? What’s The Difference? - Sestek - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Chatbot? Virtual Assistant? Digital Assistant? What’s The Difference?

Conversational technologies have been on our agenda for a long time, and these technologies are expressed with various concepts such as bots, virtual assistants, digital assistants, chatbots, etc. Is it really necessary to have so many terms that we witness new ones being added every day? Are these increasingly confusing concepts that important?

As someone who has spent 20 years in the technology field and believes that communication is a multi-channel experience, I have never liked the term “chatbot” since I first heard it. If we look at the history of this technology, which has become increasingly popular since 2016 and presented as if it were a new discovery; we can see that its foundations were laid in 1950 with the discovery of the “Turing Test” by a world-renowned mathematics professor named Alan Turing. The Turing Test determines whether a machine can demonstrate human intelligence. If a machine can engage in a conversation with a human without being detected as a machine, this means it demonstrates human intelligence.

The Evolution of Customer Service Automation


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In fact, in the process triggered by the Industrial Revolution, the basic expectation of human beings from technology was the more effective use of machines in many fields that require manpower. The increasing use of machinery in the customer service area, which we, as Sestek, also focus on, has often resulted in customer dissatisfaction, especially in the first examples in the past.

Primitive versions of voice recognition, bots, and similar technological solutions started to be used in the 1990s. Although they provided cost advantages to companies, they were insufficient in terms of customer experience and therefore led to customer dissatisfaction. In recent years, rapid development in AI technologies such as deep learning, machine learning, etc., increased the success of such technologies positioned in the customer service automation field.

The Real Matter is the Right Experience Design

Bot, chatbot, virtual assistant, digital assistant… Whatever the name given to technology, the basis of a successful self-service solution lies in the correct design of the customer experience. Instead of only cost-oriented designs, bots that offer human-like conversations -except reflecting their emotions as humans do- and provide 24/7 service have entered our lives.

I’m sure that some people reading this piece will say, “When we call or text banks, we don’t want technologies that don’t make us talk to real people.”. But believe me, those who deal with a properly designed system integrated with the right technologies, within six months at the latest, report a better satisfaction result than their previous experience.

In this regard, I would like to explain with an example why technology has gained an unstoppable speed. You may think it would be more practical for a 70-80-year-old user to tell customer service about his problems with a live representative. But, let’s imagine that the virtual assistant provides personalized service to that person as soon as he calls customer service, understands everything he says, and performs his transactions five times faster than in the past. In such an experience, both the service recipient and the service provider will be happy.

An Undeniable Need: “Omnichannel”

We have seen in the pandemic that our service demands have almost completely moved to the digital environment, and our communication experience has changed irreversibly. One of the most important issues when positioning bots here is to offer an “omnichannel,” that is, a “single experience” independent of the channel. Namely, you get service from an e-commerce company, and when you contact customer service, you expect it to give you the same experience from every channel. When you call the contact center, submit a support ticket on a website, or communicate with WhatsApp or a voice assistant, you have only one expectation: You want your request or problem to be understood and answered accurately as soon as possible. At this point, there are many solutions that look like “chatbots” at first glance but can’t actually offer this experience. These solutions, which work independently of other customer channels, remain unaware of the dialog initiated by the customer in a different channel. This means that the customer has to express herself again and again in every channel, thus causing loss of time and customer dissatisfaction.

Conclusion

Whether it is called “chatbot,” “virtual assistant,” or a different term, these technologies, which are at the center of customer service automation today, are based on the principle that users receive service by communicating with systems. When designed correctly, these technologies enable transactions in a much shorter time for users. With the automation they provide, they offer cost advantages and efficiency to businesses. Regardless of the purpose of use, these technologies need to be developed based on customer needs and introduced to customers in a way that best meets their expectations. In other words, the customer is at the center of the business, and only the work carried out based on this fact can be successful.

Source: https://www.sestek.com/2021/09/chatbot-virtual-assistant-digital-assistant-whats-the-difference/

Publish Date: September 21, 2021 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Consultancies

 
1.) 
3D Vision Consulting

. Contact Center setup, management and transformation across all key components including Vision & Strategy, People, Technology, Quality, Processes, Communication and Facilities.
• Customer Experience strategy, design and implementation across multiple delivery channels.
• Design and implementation of full-cycle Ticket/Complaint Management Process/System.
• Develop Customer Satisfaction, Staff Satisfaction and Staff Motivation strategy and programs.
• Develop end-to-end Business Processes, efficient SOPs and well-structured SLAs.
• Build modern customer communication channels including Live Chat, AI Chat Bots, WhatsApp and Social Media Integration.
• Design Sales/Telesales structure, p...
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2.) 
Call Center Masters

Giving consulting services to call centers

3.) 
CC-CMM Certification Institute

CC-CMM Certification

4.) 
COPC

Service Journey Thinking
Service Journey Thinking is a comprehensive approach for improving the experience customers have along the service journey. It considers the service journey not only from the customer’s perspective, but it also examines the components that support the experience, including people, technology, processes and policies. By applying Service Journey Thinking, COPC Inc. helps brands promote greater efficiency, improved performance and reduced cost within their operations. For customers, this means reduced effort, improved satisfaction and enhanced loyalty.

5.) 
CTCOMM

Genesys PureConnect
Call Centers, Contact Centers and Cloud Solutions Consultancies

6.) 
Customer Support Asia

Offshoring
Customer Support Asia assures the success of service offshoring initiatives in the Philippines. Our consultancy serves both:
- clients that have service partners in the Philippines, and need to implement a major service initiative (performance/CX improvement, service change, site expansion, etc); and
- clients that desire to outsource services to the Philippines for the first time, and need expert help to qualify an an "ideal fit" partner, and manage an end-to-end service transition

We support both contact center services and "back office" BPO projects, limiting our practice to sites in the Philippines

7.) 
CX Central

Contact Centre Specialist Consulting
CX Consult provides specialist contact centre consulting with decades of experience across Australia and Asia/Pacific lead by industry expert Justin Tippett. Services include health checks, optimisation, outsourcing (local and offshore), technology upgrades, strategy and more.

Whether you have a 5 seat contact centre or a large multi-site operation we'll provide you with expert advice to ensure you can achieve your business objectives.

8.) 
ERIC YOUNG ASSOCIATES (Tele-Centre Assist Inc.)

Contact Center Consulting & Profit Improvement (Lean Six Sigma), Inside Sales, Efficiencies, Call Center Audit, Technology & vendor selection, Telephony, Recruiting, Training, Performance Management, Customer Journey Mapping, Software (CRM) Implementations

9.) 
Lieber & Associates

Contact Center Consulting
Lieber & Associates assists organizations with contact center issues.This includes management, processes, training, and technology. The firm's assessments evaluate and make recommendations for 15 call center areas ranging from call seasonalities to staffing to better use of the telephone systems. Contact center technology services range from new technology selection and implementation to problem-solving and optimization to technical trouble-shooting. Senior consultants have more than 20 years of experience each and are leaders in their discipline. Clients span most business sectors.

10.) 
Mpathy Plus

Mpathy Plus transform service, improve performance and provide operational support. We work in all areas of customer service and contact centres from initial strategy, feasibility studies, business cases, project management through to operational reviews, resource planning etc. We are independent and have vast experience of implementing, managing and changing contact centres and the customer experience.

11.) 
Outsourcing Solutions

Outsourcing Solutions Europe is an advisory firm that helps companies to find the right contact center/BPO partner to serve European customers

12.) 
PCA Advisors Ltd

Contact Center Sales - growth and marketing strategies
I work with contact centers to position their companies to take advantage of opportunities that exist for them. We also work with their existing sales team to improve their communication and hunting skills. 'Growth' is our greatest ability.

13.) 
Pelorus Associates

Marketing Communications
Pelorus Associates is a market research and marketing communications company that assists developers of contact center solutions by providing in-depth market research and by authoring white papers, e-books, and blog posts.

14.) 
proceo.consulting

We can help You boost Your business results by:

- Building or developing high performing multi-channel customer care operations

- Improving metrics like Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Retention rate, Inbound conversions

- Developing Your teams' skills to excel front and back-office operations and Customer relations

- Preparing and executing efficient Voice of the Customer and Customer Advocacy approach

- We will help You manage challenges and risks when changes affect people, operations and technology.

15.) 
Vads

PT VADS Indonesia provides consultancies with trainers, modules, a development programs for individuals and/or teams. Types of consultancies provided by PT VADS: Knowledge Process, Transformation Consultancy, Customer Services, Contact Center, Leadership, Interpersonal Development, Motivation, Training for Trainers and Digital Marketing.

16.) 
SCC Services Group

Contact Center Operations Performance Management
In today’s competitive business environment, contact center and marketing professionals are constantly challenged to manage a growing business, achieve superior performance levels and at times are asked to support services and products that are becoming more complex.

Faced with this reality, the consulting disciplines that SCC Services Group focuses on are operations management and service delivery excellence in the customer service, contact center and brand marketing arenas.

Our consulting practice puts emphasis on:

- Contact Center Operational Assessments
- Human Capital Management
- Organizational Structure
- Brand Marketing
- Strategic Planning
- Sales and Customer Care Tra...
(read more)

17.) 
The Taylor Reach Group

Established in 2003, The Taylor Reach Group is an award winning, call, contact centre and customer experience consulting and advisory firm. The company is based in Toronto and has offices in New York, Atlanta, Washington, Ottawa, London, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Beijing. We are vendor agnostic and do not partner with technology or outsource agencies. The only one who pays us are our clients. Each of our consultants possess a minimum of 20 years of ‘hands-on’ call/contact center operational management experience. We do not sell the pyramid, the seasoned experts you deal with through the sales process are the same people who will complete your project.
Taylor Reach has worked with contact cen...
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View more from Sestek

Recent Blog Posts:
Chatbot? Virtual Assistant? Digital Assistant? What’s The Difference?September 21, 2021 5:00 AM
The Evolution of Machine Learning: Explainable AIJuly 13, 2021 5:00 AM
Making Conversational AI Smarter: 4 Hints to Design an Intelligent Conversational AI SolutionMay 25, 2021 5:00 AM
How to Deploy Successful Conversational AI ProjectsApril 1, 2021 5:00 AM
Transformation of Driving Experience: Tips for Implementing Conversational AI in Automotive IndustryMarch 9, 2021 5:00 AM
The Pillar of a Successful Conversational Journey: Speech RecognitionOctober 10, 2020 5:00 AM
Reducing Customer Complaints with Speech AnalyticsAugust 12, 2020 5:00 AM
Gartner Recognizes Sestek’s Speech-to-Text TechnologyMay 13, 2020 5:00 AM
How does Conversational AI strengthen your business in tough times?May 4, 2020 5:00 AM
AI: The Secret Weapon for HealthcareMarch 28, 2020 5:00 AM

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