Digital Assistants can potentially help make users’ lives much easier. Users have lots of expectations for digital assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Consumers ask for information, reminders, the weather report and expect the digital assistant to be reliable and trustworthy.
Enterprise users also expect the digital assistant to have these same qualities so they can complete very important tasks in an enterprise environment. If users don’t trust the digital assistant, they won’t use it. If users won’t use the digital assistant, it’s possible that support costs can go up and customer satisfaction might go down.
Good conversational design gives users a positive feeling from using the digital assistant. An effective digital assistant:
- sets expectations.
- provides proper onboarding.
- is reliable and consistent.
- is trustworthy.
The first time people meet someone, including a digital assistant, it takes time to build trust with a digital assistant. Conversations usually start out as transactional. The user asks the digital assistant to do something and expects it to perform. With each successful interaction, trust between users and the digital assistant improves. Conversation design can take users to more complex, proactive conversations.
- Introduce the digital assistant to the user.
- Let the user know that the digital assistant is a a computer, not a live human agent.
- Tell the user what the digital assistant’s capabilities are.
- Set clear expectations for the digital assistant.
- Suggest topics for the user to learn about.
Onboarding users when they first interact with a digital assistant is very important in building trust. As trust improves, users are more comfortable interacting with the digital assistant. As user information is collected, it’s important that the digital assistant tells users how information and knowledge will be used, so they can maintain and build trust.
- Make the digital assistant visible and easy to access in your product or on your website.
- Introduce the digital assistant and what types of questions it can answer.
- Be sure the digital assistant easy to use, intuitive. If it’s easy to use, people will use it.
- Digital Assistant should load quickly and understand what users are saying.
- Give users a seamless experience.
We all look for reliable friends, computers, cars, and more. Users also want reliable digital assistants and expect a correct and accurate response.
- Make every interaction consistent, so that the user is comfortable with the digital assistant’s skills.
- Keep a consistent tone and voice that matches your company’s brand.
- Digital assistants should know and understand customers.
- Make users feel successful when interacting with the digital assistant to complete their tasks.
- Give users the information they need without sales pressure.
Users need to to trust that the digital assistant correctly responds to their requests.
- Give users a satisfactory experience every time, so users want to come back.
- Be honest with users about how you can help them (and how you can’t).
- Start with a simple statement that can help users feel at ease. Something like, “Hi, I’m SAP’s Digital Assistant. How can I help you?”.
- The digital assistant’s conversations should be natural and not robotic—like the user is talking to a colleague or even a live agent.
- If the digital assistant can’t answer the user’s questions, let users know how to contact customer support (live chat, email, phone).