By Susan Etlinger, Industry Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company

Audience

Intended for executive leadership who are looking to better understand the implications of conversational business technologies, and need to decide where to focus time and investment in conversational interfaces.

Executive Summary

Gartner predicts that by 2019, virtual personal assistants “will have changed the way users interact with devices and become universally accepted as part of everyday life.”

For this report, Altimeter interviewed 24 enterprise companies, technology innovators, and other experts to gauge the potential risks and opportunities of conversational interfaces. We interviewed industry leaders to identify use cases, design principles, and strategic implications for customer experience, business models, brand strategy, and innovation. 

Our goal, and a focus of this report, is to help business leaders better understand the implications of conversational interfaces so they can make informed decisions about how to leverage this technology. More important, however, is for businesses to look ahead at the real opportunity: to develop from transactional to conversational relationships, express their brand voice, and become a trusted, indispensable ally to customers. 


Key Findings

Conversational interfaces will create a massive shift in the way organizations communicate to customers. This report addresses several critical areas and provides practical advice for companies looking to navigate conversational interfaces:

  • Conversational interfaces will reshape digital experiences. The ability to deliver a more naturalistic relationship between human and machine is transformative. Shifting the way we interact with technology from commands to conversations will reshape digital experiences. It will enable organizations to reduce operational costs and identify new revenue opportunities and business models.
  • Key business and organizational applications for enterprise. Organizations are piloting chatbots in some very focused ways, but with an eye toward broadening their utility and access over time.
  • Six rules for building a better bot. Conversational interfaces present unprecedented technology, user experience, and brand challenges, as they operate differently from any existing interface. The report lays out six principles to keep in mind before undertaking a project that includes chatbots.
  • Risks and opportunities. A practical guide with real-life issues for businesses to consider when assessing risk and opportunity.