If you went into a barber shop or a salon and said, “I want a haircut, please,” and then someone started cutting your hair – you’d probably walk right out because that person didn’t bother to ask questions and get into the details of what you really want. Similarly, if you told a designer that you’d like to have your kitchen remodeled and they said, “Ok, that’ll be $150K and we’ll start tomorrow,” you’d probably hire someone else.
There’s a big difference between talking to an expert to come to a shared understanding about something complicated and asking a simple question like, “What time do you close today?” This is an important distinction in customer service. AI and automation are good at answering simple questions or understanding commands like “play Taylor Swift on Spotify”, but they’re in their infancy when automating expert conversations.
How can you tell if you’re dealing with an expert conversation or simple Q&A or commands? If you answer yes to these questions, then you’re having an expert conversation:
- Do smart people disagree about the correct answer? (e.g. – what is the best investing strategy?)
- Do the customer’s intentions, background, preferences, etc. change the answer? (e.g. – what type of healthcare insurance should I have?)
- Is there more than one correct answer whose pros/cons/risks need to be explained for the customer to make the best choice? (e.g. – Where should I go on vacation?)
For a taste of the complexities involved in an expert conversation, watch Sara Elyse Kufeldt scratch the surface in this video.
If you’re automating expert conversations, then talk to the experts – Nuance designs customer service automation and is the leader in the industry.