Conversational User Interface (CUI) is an artificial interface with which you can communicate to either ask questions, place orders, or get information.
Top-notch CUI’s offer a more human-like conversation. This helps in bridging the gap between physical and online conversations.
Many companies have started understanding the importance of conversational AI by incorporating them into their marketing strategies. Statistics show that automated conversational marketing companies witnessed a 10% increase in revenue within 6-9 months.
Even from a customer’s point of view, 86% of online buyers preferred quick and immediate customer support, which chatbots for small businesses provide.
There are two main types of CUI’s. First is the chatbots where the interaction and communication takes place in the form of text. The second one is voice assistants like Google Assistant, with which you can talk to provide input.
Game-Changing Conversational User Interface Examples
Here are 5 of the top CUI’s and chatbots for business that cover all bases and provide a smooth and happy experience to all users.
1. Skyscanner – Travel Search Website
Skyscanner is an online travel agency that launched in 2003. It allows its users to compare and find cheap flights and hotels and also hire cars.
Skyscanner is the world’s biggest independent flight search engine. In 2016, it raised $192 million to grow its engine and services. In the same year, when conversational AI and chatbots started receiving more recognition, Skyscanner joined the league by introducing their Facebook Messenger bot.
The purpose of this chatbot is to help customers search for flights to any destination through a simple conversation.
A Brief Walkthrough
Skyscanner’s Facebook Messenger bot begins well by providing the necessary information on its home page. By displaying information like “The world’s travel search engine” and “Typically replies instantly,” it tells you what it is capable of doing.
When you continue, the bot welcomes you by your name, thus providing a personalized experience. You can then find flight deals, explore new destinations, or get tips on the best time and route for travelling.
After selecting the origin city, destination city, and travel dates, the chatbot shows a list of flight options from various airlines along with their rates. It is also capable of sending alerts if there is any change in the pricing.
Once you compare and choose a flight, the chatbot redirects you to the website to complete the payment.
Few Brilliant Features
The “Anywhere” feature is one of Skyscanner’s best features. If you are unsure of your destination, simply typing “anywhere” in the text box will display a list of travel suggestions from the origin city.
Offers Constant Confirmation
Throughout the process of searching and selecting a flight, Skyscanner’s chatbot constantly confirms the cities and dates that you have chosen. It also allows you to change the details with ease.
Adapting to New Trends
Skyscanner is one great example of a company that follows and adapts to new trends. With many people using the Telegram messaging service, Skyscanner introduced a Telegram bot to target a wider audience to search for flights and hotels easily.
The bot can even understand colloquial terms like “next weekend” or “next Monday” and display the correct options.
Skyscanner has also added a live chatbot on the Skype platform.
In 2016, Skyscanner also partnered with Amazon’s Alexa allowing users to search for flights through a voice conversation. By asking simple questions “Where are you flying from?” and “Where are you flying to?” Alexa can get the travel details from you and talk you through the relevant flight details.
The easy-to-use conversational user interface of Skyscanner is effective in providing relevant details to all customers. In just a few years since the chatbot’s introduction, Skyscanner managed to pass one million traveller interactions with chatbots across all platforms by 2019.
All the minute details show the thought put into designing the chatbot, making it a huge success.
2. Duolingo – Language Learning Platform
Duolingo is a language learning platform that provides its services for free to all users on its website and mobile app. Officially released in 2012, Duolingo now offers courses in 38 languages, including fictional languages like Klingon.
Over the past few years, Duolingo has started to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to alter the courses and make them more convenient for the user.
With the help of a conversational user interface, Duolingo has revolutionized the language learning sector.
Duolingo is an example of a great company that analyzes and understands their problems and brings out solutions to overcome them.
Duolingo understood that the most significant problem they would face would be helping users effectively learn a language. Conversing is what helps learners practice and retain the language. Simply reading words and phrases on a screen would not help in the same way.
To overcome this obstacle, Duolingo implemented the use of AI-based chatbots. They created and assigned a few characters to the bots, allowing you to have a real conversation in your learning language.
If you get stuck and don’t know how to reply during the conversation, you can also use the “help me reply” option to get assistance from the bots.
Duolingo recently took conversational learning to the next level by introducing conversational lessons. This new feature offers practice with words and phrases used in real-life scenarios and will enable you to put those words together to form meaningful sentences.
Duolingo allows you to listen and repeat commonly used sentences. It also corrects you when you speak or type the wrong word and explains its correct usage. This way, you can learn a language with Duolingo through textual and voice conversations.
As you learn more words, the difficulty levels increase, giving you thorough learning of the entire language.
Duolingo’s chatbots and conversational lessons give the user the experience of having a conversation in reality. Duolingo is known for its conversational AI and conversational marketing strategies.
Since its inception, they have added over 500 million registered users, out of which 42 million are active every month.
The coronavirus lockdown between March 11 – April 30 increased Duolingo’s users by 30 million people. These statistics show the magnitude of Duolingo and its CUI’s success.
3. Domino’s – Pizza Restaurant Chain
Over the years, Domino’s has introduced different ways through which customers can order food. One such way is online ordering.
From 2017 to 2020 alone, Domino’s made 27 million Facebook impressions. This figure alone shows the success of online ordering. But Domino’s did not stop there. They introduced CUI into their business, allowing customers to order food through a bot on Facebook Messenger.
Here are some highlights of Domino’s chatbot for business.
Domino’s named their chatbot “Dom,” giving it a character. This makes the user feel that they are conversing with a person on the other end rather than a computer. Dom makes digital ordering more conversational and simple.
Dom has pre-set default options programmed into its interface. So, when you want to place an order with Dom, options like “Pizza,” “Pasta,” “Sandwiches,” etc., show up on the screen. All you have to do is select an option and continue to the next step. This eliminates the need to type in your order, thus saving time.
Dom is also aware of current deals and allows you to apply a deal or coupon to your order.
The entire process of ordering a pizza occurs in multiple steps. It includes choosing the size of the pizza, crust, and toppings. Dom makes sure that it constantly summarizes your order while simultaneously adding new information to it at every step.
Dom also simplifies the process of making changes to the order. Even if you are in the last step (say you are choosing toppings) and feel like changing the pizza crust, Dom will make that change for you while retaining other information (like pizza size) in your order.
Accepting its Shortcomings
When Dom is unable to understand the customer’s input, it apologizes and lets the customer know about it. This gesture is appreciated rather than displaying information that is not related to the customer’s request.
Domino’s Voice Ordering
Dom’s skills also include its ability to place orders through voice commands from users, making pizza ordering easier.
Domino’s also offering its services on voice-based CUI’s like Amazon Alexa, launched in 2017, and Google Assistant, launched in 2019. Through these mediums, you can place your most recent order or track your ongoing order by asking the voice bot to do so.
Apart from ordering through chatbots and voice-based CUI’s, the Domino’s Anyware initiative allows all users to literally order from anywhere. This includes ordering from your car, smart TV, smartwatch, and through tweets, SMS, and zero-click app.
To put it in a nutshell, Domino’s conversational AI chatbot makes online pizza ordering simple for all customers. The linear flow in Dom’s CUI makes it easy to order food when compared to other alternatives.
4. Lark – Digital Healthcare Platform
Lark is a digital healthcare company that offers services in various sectors. It keeps track of your daily activities like food habits and sleeping patterns and aims at improving your fitness and health. It helps people in reducing weight and also focuses on reducing stress and anxiety among people.
Lark’s chatbot is an app that dedicates itself to all these activities. Users can interact with their bot through text, voice, and button options.
One aspect that sets a fundamental difference between ordinary bots and top chatbots like Lark is its varied responses to the same topic. Even if you type in the same sentence repeatedly, Lark will respond with a different answer. This small attribute enormously improves its human-like conversational style.
Lark’s responses are also friendly and caring. This is crucial, especially for conversations about mental health and stress. These responses help in motivating the users.
A Knowledgeable Bot
While conversing with a healthcare bot, knowledge about everything must be its top priority. Lark is one such bot that knows stuff related to its field as it was created with the help of experts and professionals in the healthcare sector.
For instance, when you tell Lark what you ate for lunch, it can recognize it and place it under a particular category (like veggies or meat). It can then make recommendations (like switching to other categories) so that you consume all kinds of nutrients to maintain a balanced diet.
In a way, Lark acts as your fitness coach and nutritionist.
A comprehensive study was performed on the Lark Weight Loss Health Coach AI (HCAI) to evaluate its effectiveness in weight loss. The results of the study showed the following:
It increased the consumption of healthy meals by 31%.
An in-app survey showed a 100% response rate.
High-risk diabetes patients using conversational AI lost a magnitude of weight compared to the loss achieved with lifestyle change programs.
The health coach also encouraged positive behavioral changes.
Over the years, Lark and its conversational user interface have received a few achievements.
Named “Best of 2016” by Google
Business Insider named them one of the “10 Most Innovative Apps in the World” in 2016
Selected as a finalist in the “Fierce Innovation Awards – Healthcare Edition 2020.”
5. Erica – Bank of America’s CUI
In 2018, Bank of America launched their own chatbot “Erica” to help their customers in their transactions on the mobile app.
Created using AI, predictive analytics, and cognitive messaging, Erica can help customers in numerous ways like,
Checking account balance
Tracking daily expenditure
Locating past transactions
Checking FICO score
Receiving notifications on pending bills
Highlights of Erica’s Conversational User Interface
Necessary Information on the Home Page
The home page of the app displays a greeting message that welcomes the user. Through the prompt at the bottom of the page, you can type or voice out your task or query. Erica also displays a message, “See what Erica can do,” which shows all its functions when clicked upon.
Erica can efficiently understand voice, text, as well as tap inputs from the users. Erica indeed shows its versatility when it comes to understanding the customers’ varied questions. Currently, Erica can understand almost 500,000 different variations of the questions that customers ask.
Erica’s time-to-resolution averages around three minutes only via voice within the app. The voice-first attitude of Erica has redefined banking, taking it to a whole new level.
Provides Meaningful Insights
Erica provides meaningful insights that help customers in making better decisions. These insights can also help in saving money. Erica can do this by suggesting stuff like putting the cash rewards from your credit cards to better usage.
Simplified Feedback System
Instead of asking detailed questions or sending out long forms, Erica asks for feedback subtly. Once the tasks are completed, a smiley and a sad emoji appear. You can easily give feedback by tapping on any one of them.
Analysis of Erica’s Success
Around 500,000 new users make use of Erica’s services every month. At the end of 2019, Bank of America stated that Erica alone had witnessed over 10 million users and was about to complete 100 million client requests and transactions.
These statistics show that Bank of America hit the bulls-eye with its conversational AI.
Why is Conversational User Interface Important?
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), CUI’s can understand what the user wants and provide solutions to their requests.
Some of the best CUI’s provide the following benefits to the customer and the owner.
Provide a personalized and unique experience to all the users
Offer 24×7 support to all customers and clients, eliminating the need for man-power for the same job
Can efficiently speak to thousands of customers at the same time
Convenient to use as they are user-friendly
Available across various platforms and channels
Easy to set up for business owners as it requires little to no knowledge in coding
Real-time analytics help business owners and marketers improve their marketing strategies.
Going through these game-changing conversational user interface and chatbots for business, it is clear that using them in conversational marketing strategies increases a company’s sales and leads to more happy customers.
Most of these chatbots also prove that thinking about all the small and minute details and incorporating them in the CUI’s can take the company a long way forward.
This article was originally published on WotNot.