Probably like for many people out there, 2020 and 2021 have been the most difficult and weird years I’ve ever lived, personally. With challenges and sadness but also with learnings and successes. So today, I’d like to reflect and share my gratitude, after a 15-month journey as a Salesforce Product Manager and after finally having been able to relocate to San Francisco California!
A very quick background story before we jump in
Thinking about Conversational Experience hit my professional life before joining Salesforce.com, as a PM at Odigo.com where building experiences for both Bots and Agents on the Phone, SMS and Chat channels was the bread and butter. Then, I joined Salesforce as a Product Evangelist Solution Engineer for Einstein Bots and Digital Engagement. And from there, I moved to Product Management for Conversational Experience, which is where I’d like to focus this article’s attention.
What Conversational Experience is in a nutshell
In simple terms (hopefully), conversational experience boils down to (1) creating a Conversational Async Platform to power both real-time and asynchronous capabilities. And from there, (2) developing UIs and APIs around it to respond to internal/external partners’ needs while enhancing their experience with next-generation communication technologies.
Why does Conversational Experience (CX) matter?
CX matters because as an End User, and as a way of example, I want to (a) do my banking operations, or (b) automate my crypto investments and positions, both, conversationally. And this, in the same natural fashion as if I were discussing in a WhatsApp group with Dominican friends and family.
From a Business standpoint, according to Chatbots.org, CX is key as Consumers are 63% more likely to return to a website that has a chatbot. And 71% of people are willing to use their existing asynchronous messaging apps (that they love and use on a regular basis) to get customer assistance to solve their problems, fast, by the means of a self-service type of experience via a bot or caring and empathetic customer representative agent.
Further research has shown that 64% of consumers and 80% of Business Users expect companies to respond and interact with them in real-time according to SFDC’s State of the Connected Customer report. And, 70% of people want a personalized experience when engaging for example with a retailer according to eMarketer.
Last examples but certainly not the least important ones, there are cost optimization benefits for companies using and building conversational experience. Cherry-picking three very distinct industries but showcasing a classic example of reducing cost by deflecting interactions to channels typically managed by humans we can span from a 22% click-conversation-KPI in the Marketing arena thanks to CX to outstanding 80–90% chatbot-resolution-success-rates in the Public Sector or IT Service Desk industries respectfully.
Implementing Conversational Experience?
IMO, It’s been an incredible journey contributing to game-changing projects. I’d love to provide three key examples starting by:
- Service Cloud Voice Real-Time (RT) Transcription Experience
- New Async Channels Conversational Components for both RT and Asynchronous Conversation Engagement, Structured and Rich Content, and AI-powered Conversation History (Safe Harbor Applies)
- Conversational Experience Design for Admins via Omni Flows for (Live Agent) Chat including Routing, Screen Pop, COL, EAR bundle actions driven by Salesforce Lightning Flows platform capabilities.
These endeavors do not see the light without a product vision. And it has been a fantastic ride to drive this in collaboration with internal/external partners, our customers’ feedback, and sailing the industry’s wind trends.
In a nutshell and what’s next?
I’m happy to announce that I’ll be moving in the neighborhood from Conversational Experience to Conversational AI. This is extremely exciting because ultimately, the conversation is the app: regardless of channels, with bots and human participants interacting on top. Making it, IMHO one of the most beautiful and thrilling endeavors of this day and age.
As a next step, I am keen on looking at the Bot Builder Market. And perhaps sharing a POV, potentially showcasing at a high level, a few back-of-a-napkin type of numbers.
Thank you for reading this article!