Friday Five: Bots can be the voice of customer service

4 min readMar 10, 2023

Zone’s Mark Sylvester handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Bots can be the voice of customer service

While many of us have been on the end of a frustrating voicebot experience, improvements in the underlying technology mean they could soon lead the charge in customer support. In the past, they have often proved cumbersome, inaccurate and poor at understanding human commands, leading to a long line of frustrated callers.

The popularity of virtual assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, has sparked a revolution in voice understanding technology. This means 2023 could see voicebots live up to their billing, helping to lower costs, improve customer response times, and free up skilled employees to deal with the more complex, high-value requests.

2. A data protection bill that does the business

It’s been a tough balancing act, but the UK Government’s new Data Protection and Digital Information Bill could ease the burden on business and keep the EU happy too. Since Brexit, the UK has been exploring a solution that’s flexible and business-friendly, can work with global data partnerships, and keep in step with the EU’s data protection laws.

The new bill is the result, and there is hope it will cut burdensome paperwork and annoying pop-ups on websites and improve both business and public confidence. If it passes into law, the proof will be in the simplifying of processes that could save the UK economy £4.7bn over the next ten years.

3. A new vision for AR’s future

In recent years, few popular technologies have hit the highs of hype as much as augmented reality (AR). However, whether it can be a powerful tool in our digital toolboxes has so far been undermined by the fact that it can make you sick.

The way existing AR equipment is set up means that the user’s eye movement and focus are out of sync, leading to headaches, eye strain and nausea. Several companies are working on it, but Cambridge-based Lark Optics may be ahead of the field with a solution that is efficient, effective and easy on the eyes. It’s believed AR could be worth up to $1.5 trillion by 2030.

4. Slimmer sites put sustainability first

Climate change is being invisibly fuelled by our websites. Faster internet connections have meant a proliferation of web pages, all becoming heavier and heavier with content. And all that data is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere as it gets interacted with and pings around the network.

But, from optimising images to hitting pause on auto-play videos and streamlining user journeys with simpler, richer and useful content, you can take your website’s digital footprint down a size while making it more efficient and user-friendly. It’s time to learn the tips to make websites lean, clean, green machines.

5. Why embracing equity isn’t just for IWD

This year, International Women’s Day shone a light on ‘embracing equity’, pushing gender boundaries beyond simple equal opportunities. Because people start from different places, true inclusion needs equitable action.

Five female marketing leaders — who have all featured on the CX50 list, a joint project between Zone, Cognizant Digital, and Marketing Week — took up the theme by sharing their experiences, with advice to their younger selves and thoughts on the practical and structural changes needed to unlock the potential of women in the industry.




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