Conversational Search, What for?

Semantic Search, as it’s called, or conversational search, is still at an early stage. But clearly, machines understanding humans are the next big thing, first by text, then by voice. Some of the Web giants, GAFAs and others, are already there, but AI has yet to conquer the world of small businesses that can’t afford to develop an Alexa or a Watson.

It’s a shame, because applications are endless.

 

Customer interaction

When you talk to people about a chatbot, or a semantic search device, the first application that pops into their mind is Customer Care. Chatbots will be of great help to any company that needs to interact with its clients, so basically, every B2C companies.

A Chatbot could receive complaints from clients, which would save people a lot of time and trouble on the phone. Nearly 80% of Customer care questions could be handled by a chatbot because, usually, the answer is extremely simple, and consultants on the phone are reading from a manual. Beyond that, if the question demands human intervention, a chatbot could direct the request to the appropriate service.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and you are absolutely right: that would save us all a lot of precious time. We would not wait so long to talk to our internet access provider, and we would be warned ahead of time if our train was late, or rather when our train is late.

Unclogging waiting lines, or service lines would be of great help to everyone. Companies could address much more concerns, and clients would not lose time listening to an awful elevator music with an interruption every 3 minutes saying: “You’re our next caller, please don’t hang up”. They know the temptation is great… It is clear to everyone the need is already here.

 

Retail

In most stores, people do their own shopping. In high-end boutiques, they have personal assistants.

A chatbot can transform an e-commerce website in a high-end e-boutique. Instead of having to look around the website and fill a shopping cart, a client could ask a chatbot what he/she is looking for. Showing new items, offering discounts, or redirecting the client to the nearest store to find something else, a chatbot can be a virtual personal shopping assistant.

It can also buy the products on demand. Everything, from searching and browsing, to selecting an item and paying for it can be handled by a chatbot. The entire commercial transaction is possible through a conversational search device.

 

A boundless world of applications

Smart cars, home-automation systems, connected objects and wearables: all those new devices are going to explode in the next few years. The most efficient way to control them? By Voice.

Without an intelligent platform to understand Natural language, even the best voice recognition systems in the world will stay limited.

With this intelligent platform, all you can imagine is possible.

We can have health-care chatbots, able to give simple advice, responding to simple symptoms, helping doctors with their patients’ files or handling a hospital’s schedule.

A company can set up an internal chatbots to allow all its employees to easily access files and better exploit all the data gathered by the company. A better information circulation means a greater productivity.

A travel company can use a conversational search device to help its clients prepare for a trip: important travel information, weather updates, reminders or packing tips. This kind of service can be provided by a Chatbot.

 

Imagine a world where you don’t have to look for anything yourself. You’ll just say out loud what you’re looking for, and automated devices will find them for you, whether it is a pizza for your dinner, or financial news from the London Stock Exchange.

Author Timothée Meuret

More posts by Timothée Meuret

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