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The Impact of Conversation Design When Crafting a Voice AI Solution

Simone Somekh

September 16, 2022

For the first article of our “Meet the Team” series, we sat down with a member of our CUX team, Ahana Sarkar, to chat about conversation design for Digital Voice Agents.

Hi, Ahana. Tell me about your professional background.

As a hospitality management graduate with a specialization in marketing, I developed a strong interest in marketing. After graduating, I interned at American Air Filters, where I honed my skills in content writing, blogging, strategic communications, and public relations, focusing on how to grow and engage the customer base. Thanks to my experience in technical writing and customer experience, I joined Skit.ai to be a part of the virtual customer experience journey. It feels like a natural evolution for me.

When did you join Skit.ai and what is your role?

I joined in September 2021, one year ago. I’m a Conversation Designer, working with the Conversational User Experience Team and designing the user experience provided by our Digital Voice Assistants. I ensure that the assistants are conversationally engaging and impactful for the end-users, and that they resonate with the voice of the brand.

Explain more in-depth how conversation design works. What are some of the most critical aspects of your job?

In a nutshell, conversation design allows computers to converse and hold casual conversations by using artificial intelligence (AI), almost like a human would. It’s a synthesis of several design disciplines, including voice user interface design, interaction design, visual design, motion design, audio design, and UX writing.

A conversation designer’s role is like the role of an architect—we map out what users can do in the virtual contact center realm, keeping in mind both the user’s needs and the technological constraints while curating human-like conversations.

The most important aspect of the job is to identify and understand the exact problem the client is facing and meet their expectations when working on the solution. We do user research and user education to get clarity on the do’s and don’ts for the Digital Voice Assistant.

I imagine you have to work closely with our customers to match the voice of the brand.

Yes, absolutely. The Digital Voice Agent’s persona depends a lot on the brand.

The designer must identify the words that the company uses while communicating with its target audience. Then, we shape the agent’s personality to align with the brand’s language and style. For example, a Digital Voice Agent for a restaurant is going to be friendlier than the one for an insurance company or a bank.

Here are the five elements designers should consider when creating a new Digital Voice Agent:

  • Name: Give the agent an interesting name.
  • Description: Define the background of the agent, including job, interests, features, to identify the tone and style of its voice.
  • Photo: The agent should have an image that showcases the personality of the bot.
  • Limitation: Defining the limitations the bot has to the client. For eg – language barrier. 
  • Goals: What are the goals that the client wants to achieve when the bot assists their customers?

How can companies use conversation design as a branding tool?

Conversation design helps simplify the overall user experience (UX) and customer journey. It works as a branding tool for many reasons such as:

Voice AI can help customers get their questions answered quickly and accurately. Nailing the user experience while handling numerous users at the same time can be a big challenge for companies in any industry. Conversation design can solve this problem efficiently. Contact centers that receive 1,000 calls a day are now able to easily process 6,000 calls and manage them efficiently and effectively.

Voice AI is designed according to the target audience. Conversation design allows for richer conversations, targeted advertising, and a much greater degree of personalization.

Voice AI drives conversations. Voice AI enhances the way the company interacts with its audience and helps build a relationship between the brand and consumers.

Voice AI builds loyalty. Voice AI keeps the customers engaged and motivated to come back for more.

What does a day in the life of a conversation designer look like?

My day starts by learning about the next Digital Voice Agent I’ll be designing. The first task involves learning about the customer’s requirements for the agent. I gather the requirements, work the project manager and the engineer to draft an initial conversation design flow. Then I get the customer’s feedback and send it for peer review. After a few iterations, I design the final flow that the engineer can use for the voicebot. The team then uses Skit’s bot-making platform to create and ship the new bot.

What do you love the most about working for Skit.ai?

At Skit.ai, I work with many young and innovative teammates. Working for a start-up gives you a unique sense of responsibility and the urge to contribute new ideas and make things happen. We have fun at work, while learning from each other’s projects or while recording voice prompts.

The team is very friendly and supportive. Team leads like Tiyas inspire us and pave the way leading by example. By the end of the week, we have fun at informal TGIF meetings. We bond beyond our working hours, with weekend catch-ups, hiking trips, or exploring the city trying new dishes.

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.

My dream vacation is to go to Cappadocia in Turkey and take a ride in a hot air balloon.

Are you interested in joining the team at Skit.ai? We are Great Place to Work Certified in India and we’re hiring both in the United States and India. Visit our Careers page to learn more.


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