Rise of the bots – Ian Finch – Ep26

Shouting at Siri, arguing with Alexa or cursing Cortana the idea of talking at technology, whether on your phone, laptop, tablet or even a specialist device like an Amazon Echo, is becoming increasingly commonplace and is only going to become more common.

The development of voice technology is just another example of the evolution of the human and computing interface. An interface long based around monitor, keyboard and mouse, but as smartphones have shown and latterly tools like the Amazon Echo, those interfaces are evolving, the idea we can now talk to a system to get the information we want, is beyond just a cool bit of tech, it is actually a hugely efficient way of us interacting with our IT systems.

The development of voice is not the only change however. Another of those developments is the topic of this week’s podcast, as I chat with Ian Finch of Mando Group about Chabot’s.

The conversation was inspired by an article we had seen posted on LinkedIn which talked about how the retail sector was increasingly using bot technology to provide a better customer experience.

In this episode we explore just that, but we don’t just focus on the technology, Ian points out that the value of bots is about what the technology enables and how bots are part of a much bigger focus. A focus on optimisation, allowing our systems to work better, providing our people with tools to be more effective or giving our customers help and support in working with us, whether it’s to buy a product or service an enquiry, an optimised system not only provides us with a business benefit, but also our customers with a much better experience.

Ian provides some brilliant examples of how bots are helping us to greatly improve some of the historically poor experiences we have as users of technology. We have a look at how bot technology is helping to solve the issues of the much maligned exhibition app, or how it is helping a utilities company make their site less “sticky” for their users who need help, because let’s face it, the last thing you need when you have a query is a website that wants to keep you hanging around for ever!

We also chat over a couple of great examples of business process automation and how taking time to look properly at our processes and find how smart uses of technology like bots is delivering significant business benefits, allowing business processes to be more accurate, better quality and a lot more profitable.

We started the chat discussing Mando Groups new offices, not only because they looked great, but also because their office design was a reflection of the discussion we had about optimisation, the entire office design to enable a more effective work environment, not only for their own staff, but to help their customers see just how optimisation can be hugely effective.

Ian provides some great insights, which I hope you find useful.

You can follow Ian on twitter @ianfinch

You can follow Mando Group @mandoagency

Or on their website here http://www.mando.agency/

You can of course find me here @techstringy

If you enjoyed the show, why not subscribe and catch all of our Tech Interviews episodes.

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