The TrueNorth 2019 conference took place on June 19-20 in Waterloo, which is Canada's hottest tech community. Team Summatti had the pleasure to attend this event & learn from industry experts on new trends, AI, living digital & the power of data.

In addition to all the amazing speakers, we also got a chance to meet Pepper (brought by Deloitte Greenhouse). You're probably wondering what or who Pepper is?

Hi, my name is Pepper

Pepper is the world's first social humanoid robot that can recognize faces and basic human emotions manufactured by SoftBank Robotics. It's a bot that is built to connect, assist & share knowledge with people while helping businesses in the process.

This wasn’t the first time Pepper attended an event, but it was the first time for us to see it in action.

Some of the industries that Pepper can be used in include retail, finance, government, healthcare, tourism, and education. Being in the customer support & experience industry, it got us thinking about how a bot like Pepper can create unique experiences for customers in any of these industries.

Would you like meeting Pepper on your next trip to your local bank?

Today, we all know that the foot traffic in retail stores & malls is on a decline & most of the businesses are adding online presence to this mix.

67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store.

Similarly, in the financial industry, foot traffic for retail bank branches is set to drop 36% between 2017-2022.

"10-12% of all (banking) transactions are done in a branch- Fewer and further distances between bank locations" – Amy Poole, Conexus

But bots like Pepper may change this!

Using a bot can help provide a differentiating factor that retail stores are craving for.

Meet-and-greet with Pepper

It was recently announced that Pepper has been in HSBC branches for one year. It's exciting to see that their partnership resulted in average sales increasing by 60% and over 25,000 customer interactions with Pepper.

By introducing a humanoid robot to these industries, we can collect data from in-person/ face-to-face interactions.  Pepper provides proactive engagement which means that it can start the conversation with a customer, such as greetings, asking if they need help. A cool feature is the customized interaction which lets the bot identify the person they are interacting with and adapt its behaviour to their specific profile.

Do you think your customers would be more honest about their thoughts and feedback when talking to a robot?

That's such a critical point because many of the conversations I hear are all surrounding the idea that people don't want to go to a physical location for support or to purchase something.

The interactions between companies and customers are switching purely to digital channels, but maybe humanoid bots like Pepper will contribute to slowing down the shift or turning it over by making the retail experience unique.

Do you think this is the future of collecting data from face to face interactions?


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