What is Compassionate Conversational Experience?
What do we mean by the term compassionate conversational experience? When it comes to engaging with people over messaging channels, interacting compassionately is something we may reserve for human-to-human conversations, with chatbots reserved for handling simpler tasks. However, with the emergence of intelligent voice assistants such as Alexa and more sophisticated chatbots, designers are able to place compassion at the heart of conversational design. With a defined tone of voice and elegant phrasing, chatbots can take on a personality of their own.
But how are they being put to use? And what are the societal benefits?
Unsurprisingly, some of the best use cases of this empathetic technology are helping vulnerable people to stay connected, informed and heard.
- Virtual voice assistants that are helping people with accessibility issues (visual, cognitive, hearing, mobility.)
- Breaking down tech barriers (e.g. the Vodafone Idea Line, which lets people in India who may only have a basic phone still access the internet by calling the Google Assistant)
- Roo, the Planned Parenthood chatbot, helps teens get answers to questions they may feel too embarrassed to ask in person.
- Project Euphonia, which seeks to teach the Google Assistant how to understand people with non-standard speech (for example people with ALS)
I think the main question we need to ask ourselves as brand owners of care, sales, and marketing is: what can we learn from these examples? How can we use the same technology in exciting new ways to enrich the lives of our customers?
The current pandemic has awakened a whole new way of thinking about customer engagement. One that is based around having authentic, empathetic interactions. Creating conversational experiences can lead to boring, offensive, or just simply bad bots. Don't let that be your brand. Make sure you tune in to hear from one of the leading experts behind Google AI and conversational design.
Join Us for Round 2 of Conversations w/ Conversocial
When: Wednesday, April 22nd
Time: 10am PST
The topic of compassionate conversational experiences was suggested by Cathy for our upcoming Conversations w/ Conversocial. To say conversation design is a passion of hers is an understatement. Cathy built her first chatbot before chatbots were even a thing - 1984 to be precise - and now uses her experience to help people make the best conversational experiences possible.
We hope you can join Shane and Cathy for a fireside chat where you can pose any questions you may have along the way.
Here are some of the topics that will be open for discussion:
- What is a "compassion conversational experience" and why does it matter to you?
- What's different about building conversations than say, a website or an email?
- How does conversational AI combat accessibility issues and inclusion?
- How do you name a bot? How can you combat gender bias? How can your bot strike the right tone?
- Why a “bit-by-bit” experience delivers the right information, rather than all of the information
- Live Q&A
A bit more about Cathy…
Cathy Pearl is Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google, and the author of the O'Reilly book, "Designing Voice User Interfaces". She's been designing and creating Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) for 20 years and is passionate about helping everyone make the best conversational experiences possible.
Past speaking engagements include Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, O’Reilly Bot Day, SXSW, and TechCrunch Disrupt. Previously, Cathy was VP of User Experience at Sensely, whose virtual nurse avatar helps people stay healthy. She has worked on everything from programming NASA helicopter pilot simulators to designing a conversational iPad app in which Esquire magazine's style columnist tells users what they should wear on a first date. She has an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University and a BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego.