Chatbot vs voicebot: the pros and cons of two leading technologies | IDETA
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Chatbot vs voicebot is a tough match for both sides, as each of the two technologies could claim the prestigious title of the leading communication marketing solution for some good reason or other.
To declare a winner, we must select a criterium that leads us. Usually, the evaluation of chatbot technology is made by comparing the user experience on the technological solution concerned with another technological solution.
To cut it short, the best user experience between chatbot and voicebot decides the match result, as the customer satisfaction has been, is, and will be the main concern of any customer-centric organization.
Apparently, voicebots seem to have an advantage. Are not they more modern and cutting-edge compared to the clumsy and retro text-bots?
Surprising, the answer is far to be obvious. In the difficult match chatbots vs voicebots the first has still good cards to play, and – paraphs – it could even win at the final shot.
Chatbot vs Voicebot means hearing against sight
If we reflect a bit about the contraposition between chatbot and voicebot, it means anything else than choosing between two senses: hearing or sight.
Apparently, hearing wins: voice is fast (sounds reach the brain in a few milliseconds), and – it is the case to say – it sounds immediate and natural. Was not a human voice to welcome us in any customer service that deserves this name in the past, after all?
Another score for voice: users can jump over a passage. In fact, in a text chat, it is necessary to utilize a third sense, touch, as textual inputs have to be digited. In a vocal conversation, there is no need to fumble at unpleasant keyboards, particularly when they belong to mobile devices.
The difficulty increases when we digit in languages different from English. The several accents and special chars of languages like French, Spanish, Italian, German, can make the user experience with keyboards quite uncomfortable in situations of stress like standing on a bus or a train.
Chatbot vs Voicebot: Users Prefer Writing Today
Were we twenty years ago at the happy times of web 1.0, these conclusions should be right. Unfortunately, something has changed in the meantime.
If it is true that text-chats demand the brain many more efforts and much more time than hearing the human voice and speaking, it is also true that people have got used to text messaging after the social network revolution. This is even true for young people.
Today, it is not so infrequent to see two people communicating by exchanging messages through the phones while facing each other at a few centimeters. Yet, they could simply speak to each other and avoid the effort of a text-chat!
This example proves that written communication is felt like something natural, maybe even more natural than speaking in this techy age. In modern times, users prefer sending SMS and other written messages than answering or placing a call.
In conclusion, saying that voice is more natural than reading is not correct. People are so used to using the net that writing or reading short messages has become almost a second nature for them. We are not the men of the past anymore.
Using a chatbot means to enjoy a beautiful visual design
As I pointed out in my article: “13 tips for designing a great chatbot UI taken for the best chatbot UI examples”, aesthetic and functionality matter in the world of text-chat, as they are both a fundamental aspect of the experience of the users on any digital platform.
Coming back to the match chatbot vs voicebot, we must observe that voicebots lack that sense of wonder that a good designer is able to create with a visual interface. Colors, fonts, icons, and emojis can really add charm to any chatbot.
Unfortunately, voicebots are still far from these results. The problem is that a bot speaks in an unnatural way, as engineers are not yet able to replicate the emotional and emphatic accents and tones of the human voice.
Therefore, the user experience with a voicebot is necessarily poorer in respect to the user experience with a textbot at the present state of technology. In the match chatbots vs voicebots, this makes another point for chatbot.
The points that we cannot forget
At this point, the reader will think that chatbot win. Well, this is not the case: voicebots have still some darts and can strike back.
For example, voicebots can easily recognize users, as it is quite easy to train an AI chatbot to vocal recognition. More: in circumstances where digiting is hard, dealing with a voicebot is certainly more comfortable. While driving your car, a vocal interface is certainly more convenient - and safer - than a text chat.
In the long term, today’s voicebots limitations (unnatural voice, lack of empathy) should fall. In this case, users could shift again to voice despite our argumentations above, as vocal interfaces are in any case quicker and easier to use.
Chatbot vs voicebot: shifting from vocal to textual and vice versa
At this point, the reader will think that the match chatbots vs voicebots ends in a draw, which is correct. Indeed, there is not a clear winner at the present state of the art of bot technology.
But the scenario could change in the future, and fast, as the investment in research is massive in the world of bot technology. A good idea is then to have a bot technology that allows a company to shift from text bots to vocal bots without pains and expenses.
This is the case with Ideta chatbots. With solutions like Ideta, you can transform your Ideta's chatbot to a voicebot just with one click, as the technology behind is basically the same.
In conclusion, who wins in the match chatbot vs voicebot is neither voice nor sight, but flexibility. This is what Ideta has been trying since its foundation.