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A veteran in the world of software development and AI, and the CEO of speak2web, Walter Angerer, aims to answer this question. “It is evident that voice-activated AI systems exist everywhere today. However, there is a common misconception that these bots can only be used for searching for something or commanding to perform an action.” Consider the cases of virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana, and Siri. All these AI-bots offer a narrow degree of interaction and are mostly limited to searching results and working on simple commands. “Our vision is more in line with the dreams of future technologies that science fiction has given us,” says Angerer. In pursuit of this, speak2web has developed an AI solution, which is capable of mimicking the natural human language and engaging people in a conversational dialog. Enter Simon AI—a context-aware, natural language processing (NLP) voice assistant. “When users speak to Simon AI, the advanced chatbot not only listens but also engages with the user in a conversation to help them get their desired results faster,” explains Angerer.
Enhancing Customer Experience
Such innovation brought about by conversational AI has potentially unlimited use cases but one, in particular, is enhancing online customer experience with voice-activated search. When a customer has to search for a product online, they are required to navigate through a variety of menus and use various keywords to get what they desire. Often, this can be a cumbersome process and lead to frustration. Therefore, to enhance a customer’s online experience, it is essential that companies adopt voice as part of their digital strategy.
“Our conversational AI enables users to discover content and products from online search results quickly using normal conversational dialog,” says Angerer. For instance, when a customer asks a question such as “I want paper towels,” they are presented with a range of options to identify what the user wants accurately. Simon AI may also ask follow-up questions regarding the preferences, such as color, brand, and size, to help the user get what they prefer. In fact, this experience is comparatively quicker and more user-friendly than advanced search options like checkboxes and filters. Simon AI helps users receive relevant and up-to-date information regarding even the most complex questions through an easy-to-use interface. Going a step further, Simon AI is also able to gather information from social media feeds, online reviews, and other data sets. Thus, when a user has a generic query like, “I need a headset that works great with a certain game,” they receive a recommendation that has been curated from the diverse content available online.
When users speak to Simon AI, the advanced chatbot not only listens but also engages with the user in a conversation to help them get their desired results faster
Simon AI draws its intuitive responses from a large repository of references and understands many languages to recognize a user’s desired outcome better. The most important element, however, is that Simon AI can be fine-tuned in a relatively short amount of time to match the specific needs of an organization. “We are helping companies implement AI that delivers value, improves return on investment, guides in better decision-making, and increases profitability,” says Angerer. Substantiating his claim, Angerer mentions how a large online hardware distributor approached speak2web for a voice assistant solution. The company had an extensive collection of hardware equipment featured on their website. Due to the overwhelming range of options, customers often found it very difficult to find their exact product on the website, especially if the customer has landed on their website for the first time. With speak2web’s solution, the company was able to help its customers get to the desired product quickly through a simple conversation with the Simon AI bot. To add to it, the company was able to gather insights about customer preferences and used that information to promote relevant products that might have been overlooked otherwise. This approach helped the company become an attractive partner for hardware suppliers and manufacturers looking for a distributor.
Offering Multiple Integration Possibilities
Since its inception, the company has held on to the belief that AI voice assistants are the next big thing in enhancing a user’s online experience. To this end, speak2web caters to clients ranging from large ecommerce companies to small startups and businesses. Clients can opt for a hybrid subscription model where speak2web offers the AI solution tailored to the client’s specific needs, and deploy it on their existing IT environment, well within the budget. speak2web’s AI voice assistant can also be integrated with a client’s website or applications in a short span of time (usually around 30- 45 days). Alternatively, speak2web offers managed services to its clients that adopt the website plugins. From optimizing the time customers spend shopping and improving recommendations for eliminating costs associated with maintaining a support staff, Simon AI offers a plethora of benefits.
Recently, speak2web also released a WordPress plugin, which adds voice recognition to a website’s search bar and delivers a conversational experience to visitors. The plugin is easy to configure and can be fully implemented in less than an hour. It is purpose-built as an entry point for businesses of all types and sizes. Moreover, speak2web also offers a 30-day free trial so that clients can get acquainted with the technology before committing. “You can build a narrative experience across your website that allows you to tell the story of your business in a way that text alone never could,” adds Angerer.
Heading Toward the Future
speak2web is focused on launching Simon’s Voice Market designed for small and medium-sized businesses soon. The goal is to bring an all-in-one, voice-driven mobile, and online marketing platform. The company is also looking to develop smart speakers aimed at certain industries, such as the hospitality sector. By early July 2019, speak2web’s WordPress plugin will be able to transcribe a spoken query from a user and activate the native search on a webpage by simply clicking on a microphone icon. It will be compatible with all browsers and mobile devices. Furthermore, the plugin will also allow voice dictations for web forms. Such innovations are in tune with the increasing need for businesses to adopt voice as it is the future of customer experience optimization. speak2web is helping businesses of all sizes to embrace AI and create an entirely new way to engage with their customers on the web and mobile apps.