Enhance the overall customer experience with conversational user interfaces

By Robert Knapp posted Oct 10,2017 10:01 AM

Devices are getting smarter. Today, home monitoring systems arm themselves when the owner leaves the house and adjusts the thermostat to save energy. Travel assistant apps send messages with gate information as soon as a person’s plane lands. Smartphones determine a person’s driving destination, calculate the commute time, and automatically route around traffic jams. Data is synced to the cloud and available on any device, anywhere.

People expect the same type of personalized, relevant service from government. Conversational user interfaces are changing the way people access information, advancing the need to utilize the latest technologies for government as part of your IT roadmap. Utah and Mississippi are two recent states that have taken advantage of the latest conversational user interfaces.

Finding the best fishing locations or studying for a state written driver's exam in Utah, and becoming aware of traffic alerts or top news stories in Mississippi are now as easy as saying, "Alexa.” Amazon Echo, through the Alexa Voice Service, allows for applications to be developed using voice-activated commands. These Alexa applications are commonly referred to as “skills.” Skills can be downloaded to Alexa-enabled devices and activated by calling out "Alexa" and then telling the interface to launch a specific skill.

The Mississippi’s official state portal, MS.gov, features an artificial conversational chatbot, named Missi. She is designed to deliver real-time information 24/7 to citizens. Missi supports over 100 iterations including: "How do I renew my hunting license?", "Where can I purchase a driver's license?" and "I need help with my taxes." Chatbots dig through vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently and deliver a response to the citizen. Chatbots are gaining popularity and enhancing the overall customer experience as they breed familiarity as if individuals are having a conversation with someone they know and trust.

At NIC Inc., we are here to help you make government accessible with the latest technologies. It is our top priority to consider not only how the latest technologies can be applied to government, but also to evaluate how people are using technology to access information and deliver services that meet their needs. People are demanding a higher level of service, and waiting for search results to pull up on browser windows is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Interacting with voice command systems, like Alexa or chatbots, are the way of the future. Together, let’s build the government of tomorrow, today.