We’re getting used to voice recognition software to help us navigate through the menu options on customer service lines. Done badly, as they often are, it can be very annoying.
But many companies are using software to manage more sophisticated customer relationships than simply making sure you’re put through to the right real-life operator. Futurist Glenys McLaughlin calls them Virtual Conversational Agents and says they often provide better customer service than human beings — and they are great at sales too.
Right now we’re seeing the technology used on websites where you can ask questions through a chat window. Glenys says that will all change as these agents move from being service support focused, to becoming an enhancement to the products we use in our daily lives and how we interface with technology.