Job Title: Conversational Experience Designer
Name: Esther Mahr
Education: B.A. German Studies and Media Studies
Company: IPsoft GmbH
What do you do?
As Conversational Experience Designer, CED for short, I’m a combination of writer-writer and process designer. My company has developed Artificial Intelligence (AI), a virtual assistant called Amelia. This can be used in a variety of roles to support customers and internal employees of a company.
This is usually done by chat over any channel, but also voice is possible. My job is to design the dialogue process in such a way that it feels natural to the user – and at the same time is effective. This can be the opening or the termination of a bank account, the change of a mobile phone contract, the booking of a hotel room or the in-house travel expense report – the deployment scenarios are endless.
The tasks as CED are manifold – therefore the job is also very varied. First, together with the customers and our programmers, I gradually define the process for a particular application scenario.
Then I write the text that Amelia needs for her conversation with the users – I put the words in her mouth, so to speak. This also means that – together with the customer – the tonality is set, which of course should be adapted to the target audience.
Other questions include: When does it make sense to include elements such as buttons, drop-down menus, graphics, videos, maps, PDF documents, etc.? In addition, CEDs also create datasets for training the AI. No matter how sophisticated the underlying algorithms are, even the most intelligent virtual employees need training data for successful training.
How did you come to this task?
I spent almost ten years working for a communications agency specializing in business-to-business communications for IT companies. Here, the issues of digital transformation and artificial intelligence have taken more and more space, and I thought it would be exciting to work directly for a company developing AI solutions.
When IPsoft last year in Frankfurt looked for someone with experience in writing in combination with technology and software understanding, we quickly found each other.
Please describe a project that really impressed you.
I especially enjoyed a project for a renowned Swiss Hotel Management School. There, a team was set up specifically to define and implement various deployment scenarios together with us.
In the future, Amelia will provide Wi-Fi access to visitors to the site, answer questions about the school, help with the application process, and support the IT Helpdesk internally, such as password resets and renewals.
The school has deliberately opted for this project because it is clear that the students – future leaders in the hotel and tourism industries – are growing into a world of work in which “virtual colleagues” will be standard in just a few years.
Working with a client who is so open-minded to the possibilities of intelligent virtual assistants is of course a lot of fun.
Which feature helps you the most in your daily job routine? Why?
I am very structured and also keep my nerves and the overview, if it goes over and over. The way of working is sometimes very agile both for the customer projects and within our company, it definitely helps if you can organize yourself well.
And, of course, my sense of language and my obsession with detail help me when it comes to language: apart from the fact that the content, tonality and form of Amelia’s statements must fit the situation and user group, it should be competent in every way – therefore errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar a no-go.
What is most important to you about your job? What is the most fun?
I particularly enjoy working with clients: working together to define the best usage scenarios, filtering out the target groups and typical pain points, and then designing the process design and the language – the script, so to speak.
It is also great when a process is prepared and programmed and played through for the first time by an internal test group. So when you hear exclamations like “wow!” Or “cool!” From people sitting in front of their laptops or smartphones, and you see a smile on their faces, you know you’re on the right path. That’s a nice feeling.
My job is indispensable because …
In order for the “digital colleagues” to communicate, they must have the appropriate skills – that is, understand the user, give the right answers, and ask meaningful questions.
Likewise, the entire process must be designed in such a way that the users have added value – for example, by answering a question quickly and correctly and dealing with a request competently. Last but not least, it is important to give a digital employee a kind of personality about the language used, which must fit both the user company and the targeted audience.
Cognitive virtual assistants will be used more and more often for all sorts of business processes in the foreseeable future – whether outwardly in customer service and consulting, or within the company, for example in IT support, as a procurement or HR assistant. Therefore, the demand for specialists who design these processes in a user-friendly and linguistically convincing manner will increase dramatically in the next few years.
If you were not Conversational Experience Designer, what would you be?
In any case, I would – as already before – work in the field of communication. In a position that combines editorial and strategic as well as conceptual tasks.
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