Customer communications / As we reported in our AI customer service trend, IT research firm Gartner estimates that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with businesses without any human interaction. But regardless of whether we’ll get human interaction, we’ll still want it. NICE Systems’ Global Customer Experience Survey found that 88% of people would pick speaking to a representative on the phone as their first choice. So, where does that leave us? Robots with the power to converse like humans.

‘Human language is the new UI [user interface] layer,’ Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella said at the Build conference, according to the Financial Times. ‘Bots are the new apps. Digital assistants are like … the new browsers, and intelligence is infused into all your interactions.’ These humanised bots will provide brands with a way to communicate with their customers in a more authentic and natural way.

Business Insider data indicates that messaging apps have surpassed social networks in popularity, with the top four messaging apps have about half a billion more regular users than the top four social media sites. So using direct messaging programmes like Whatsapp and Skype as a platform for these humanised bots is a sensible choice – and Cortana’s integration into Skype will not be the last example you’ll see.

In January, Whatsapp announced it would be trialling ‘tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organisations that you want to hear from.’ And Facebook launched Businesses on Messenger last year. ‘The net result is that you and I will be talking to brands and companies over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, and elsewhere before year’s end, and will find it normal,’ wrote Chris Messina, Uber’s Developer Experience Lead in a medium post earlier this year. And he might just be right.”

SOURCE: Contagious