Chatbots are dead. Long live Custom Voice Assistants.

by | Jun 2, 2022 | Insights

Woman using a custom voice assistant

People generally consider a chatbot and a custom voice assistant different tools, but they shouldn’t be thought of in this way.  

As a hierarchy, a custom voice assistant is responsible for conversation, of which a chat interface is one of many. For this reason, a custom voice assistant solves a chat need and does so (especially with Voicify) with a great deal more robustness, extensibility, and value. 

So why aren’t people calling these conversational assistants instead of voice assistants? I’m not sure, except I know that the buzz around voice has boxed the space into just that, voice – but it’s wider and should be considered as such.  

I am writing this from the perspective of Voicify. It’s the tool I know and can lay claim to with functionality. If you have a custom voice assistant and are unsure (or sure) that the functionality I describe here is not possible – call us. We’ll port it over and get you up and running. 

Here are some critical advantages of utilizing a custom voice assistant through a chat interface: 

A Voice Interface for the User 

Chat UI is only for text input, but a custom voice assistant is built to handle a text AND voice interface, widening the experience and deepening the connection by speeding the input process and allowing natural language to be used. 

Chatbots don’t speak back to the user. But humans process information visually and aurally, so why aren’t you using both? Allowing users to hear and see information improves their cognition process and speed. And you can verbalize information that is different or supportive to the conversation, further increasing the user’s comprehension. 

Assistant Effects: Chatbots don’t generally offer more than canned responses and links. But a custom voice assistant can navigate them to a more meaningful page (yes, I mean changing the page) where the content they see on the page matches the verbal/written feedback they see in the Assistant UI.  

Additionally, if administered, the assistant can help the user skip steps in satisfying their intent, like adding to a cart, sending a navigation link to a mobile device, or even starting a process in the backend that is needed. 

Product or Service Finder  

Valid for both DTC brands and reselling models, a custom voice assistant can connect to a PIM and a CRM to help users find what they need elegantly. Custom voice assistants are additive, so without removing existing faceted search capabilities, they can handle natural language and support the recommendation and discovery of products or services that best fit the user. Bonus: you get to understand how the user is talking to you about their needs, priceless information for your other digital channels and product teams. 

Commerce & Online Partners 

Shopping with your voice feels natural for anonymous and authenticated users, akin to an in-store location. Whether the business model is D2C, Resell, or B2B2C, the brand’s custom voice assistant can leverage data from a PIM system or a third party to reduce friction in a shopping experience. 

Better support of ‘user-driven conversation’

The difference between a chatbot telling you what you can ask and allowing the user to phrase things in their own words is easily recognized. This is accomplished by Natural Language Understanding, Natural Language Processing, and Entity Extraction capabilities. Most chatbot platforms don’t have sophisticated capabilities on these three fronts (this is why most people are disappointed with them). With a custom voice assistant, NLU, NLP, and EE are fundamental to the experience. When done right, the conversation stops feeling robotic and starts feeling human.


My intent here isn’t to challenge the value or usefulness of chatbots, just the opposite. Chat UI isn’t going anywhere; look at the sheer volume of SMS conversations we are engaged in. But the historic chat experience is dated and disappointing. Creating a custom voice assistant gives you a more robust chat experience and a much wider berth of opportunity to leverage it consistently across multiple platforms without being limited to a point solution.

Keep in touch

If you have questions about custom voice assistants or how Voicify can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a no-cost, no-commitment conversation.

About Voicify

Voicify, LLC is the world’s only end-to-end solution for creating, managing, and optimizing enterprise-owned voice assistants Our platform enables brands to create highly engaging and personalized voice experiences that can be automatically deployed to web and mobile products and services as well as a broad array of voice platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IVR telephony systems, and more. You can learn more at and on Twitter (@Voicify) or LinkedIn.

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