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What’s the best conversational AI platform?

Finding the best conversational AI platform

You know you need to up your game with Conversational AI. Maybe speech enabling your IVR, or implementing natural language. Perhaps you want to roll out a new chatbot or experiment with Voice Assistants.

So you google: what’s the best conversational AI platform? Or something like that!

You’ll find there are so many options and choices. Should you use long-standing platforms like Avaya, Cisco, or Genesys? Or one of the newer conversational AI platforms from Google or Amazon? What about Microsoft Bot Framework, or IBM Watson? How do you decide?

Wait a minute! Who says those platforms are going to be any better than what you already have? Will it actually deliver a better experience? More ROI?

The platform is not the experience

A platform is just that, it’s something you build on. The platform doesn’t deliver a great experience or amazing ROI, it’s what you build on top of it that does that. However, the platform you need does depends on what you’re building. The Eiffel Tower needs different foundations than a shed, right?

So here’s the question, what are you going to build? What do your customers want? What does your business need? What can IVR, voice, and chatbots (let’s just call them all bots) do best? What’s the cost, and return on investment? This is where you need to start when you are thinking about Conversational Al!

You don’t need a new platform (just yet) You need a new strategy! A Bot strategy!

And not just: “we want to do more with conversational AI”. You need to understand exactly what your bots will do, what it’s worth, and how you’ll measure and optimize the outcomes.

Then you can decide whether your current platform is OK, and if not, you’ll know what questions to ask a new vendor, or put in the RFP.

Why start with strategy?

The advantage of starting with a strategy that’s centered on your customer and business needs is that you can evolve and improve the experience in a methodical way, while you make all sorts of changes in the backend. You’re prioritizing the customer experience and evolving your tech to suit. Not the other way around.

Because that’s the other problem with picking a platform first. It locks you in to a particular strategy. And vendor.

Are you sure the tech vendor knows what your business needs? Will you leave something as important as your conversational AI strategy to the whims of their product roadmap?

We think it’s essential that you create and own a Bot Strategy. It makes the tech choices obvious. It’s essential for great conversation design. And it gives you the ability to hold your bots, and your team accountable to deliver the benefits that got you to invest in bots in the first place.

Getting hitched to a new conversational AI platform, or staying with your current one has consequences. A Bot Strategy makes sure those consequences are what you want.

In my next blog in this series, I’ll be talking about Why you should think of your IVR, voice and chatbots as a bot workforce, not just a piece of tech

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