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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

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


2024 Buyers Guide Telecoms

 
1.) 
Cloudonix

Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix add Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.

2.) 
PRILINK

Demarc Network Traffic Monitor
A lightweight Network Traffic Monitor that privides real-time traffic alerts and tracks all IP and SIP endpoints at Demarc. It analyzes mirrored SIP Trunk and Internet traffic in real-time and compiles Network Traffic Analytics (NTA) for all endpoints giving daily network traffic telemetry, most active endpoint summary, endpoint search table and more.

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Scopserv Integrated Services

ScopTEL IP PBX
The ScopTel IP PBX solution is a distributed software application
that can be installed on both virtual and physical servers, thus
offering a multitude of architectural designs from premise-based
servers to a centralized data center (DC) hosted WAN
environment. The application is distributed as an ISO which
includes the customized Linux operating system

4.) 
Televergence

Long Distance and Toll Free Specialists for Contact Centers
Televergence is a facilities based US Nationwide High volume/High Capacity Inbound and Outbound VoIP Carrier for Contact Centers. We specialize in termination (outbound) and origination (toll free and local DID) for the contact center. We have a technical staff that is up to date on the majority of platforms in use today, including asterisk and Vicci dial, as well as many of the currently in use software platforms.
Contact Centers generally see cost reduction and containment when using Televergence as their contact center telecom carrier. Televergence is the only active US VoIP carrier certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which enables our services to qualify for meeting corporations Supplier Diversity Needs.
 



View more from Sestek

Recent Blog Posts:
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Voice: Still the Most Natural, the Most Comfortable and the SafestDecember 20, 2021
From Single-Use Bots to Intelligent One-for-All BotsNovember 11, 2021
Chatbot? Virtual Assistant? Digital Assistant? What’s The Difference?September 21, 2021
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