Conversations Over There

Have you ever been at a party talking to someone only for your mind to wander and observe a conversation happening elsewhere? Now you’re probably thinking this is quite rude because if you’re already in a conversation you should pay attention giving the person eye contact and listening intently.

If the conversation is funny, engaging and entertaining then of course we’re engaged and our mind doesn’t wander to other parts of a room. But even if our own conversation is very interesting we might want to explore other conversations yet with time constraints; this is not possible. Whilst business networking, for example, you have to choose who to talk to and who to avoid. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but quite often we like people like ourselves and so gravitate towards those chameleons. Nonetheless, I think everybody with a curious mind wants to play back and eavesdrop into other conversations.

After all, the other conversations in a networking event might be more relevant and more interesting than the conversations you chose? The British are very polite and we will often listen to somebody labouring a point rather than abruptly saying I’ve just got to go.

Whilst in the real world dropping in on other conversations is nigh on impossible unless you are flighty and enjoy interrupting people mid sentence! For most of this, this is not the case and it is humanly impossible to listen to every word that every person says.

In a digital world the rules of the game change. Conversational branching in different groups by different people can be followed. These conversations can be listened to and played back and indeed can be switched off at an instance.

Let’s take an example of a group of friends discussing where to go on holiday in Tenerife. Some of the people in the group may have never visited Tenerife in their lifetime. Others may have been to Tenerife with good and bad experiences which would be eagerly listened to by the wider group. What if a couple having a conversation about a particular hotel, a taxi firm with reliable transportation from the airport or indeed a tour company offering day trips. Now think about the ability to play these conversations and to branch through until your interest wanes. You can then either simply stop the conversation and do something else or perhaps you click a link to a shopping cart, an order form or simply request a call back?

Now it could be better than a simple call back! What if that person in Tenerife joins the conversation?  Perhaps Manuel would talk about day trips to the north of the Island and up the volcano? Maybe it would be Enrique talking about child safety seats for transportation from the airport?  Finally, it could be the general manager at the 5-star hotel Louis who talks about the latest water park facilities?

What does this all mean? In a digital world you can listen to other people’s conversations and people from afar can join in. Whilst the content may be initiated by friendship groups that discuss things such as Tenerife commercial vendors, with the correct permissions, they could drop into those conversations and participate themselves to add further value.

This is conversational commerce and with the rise of VoiceFirst technology gives you an insight as to how buying decisions and customer journeys might change. Instead of reading blocks of an emotional text reviewing the latest hotel or restaurant, deep communication with voice notes from both trusted friends and perhaps their trusted advisers might change the outcome of buying decisions. After all, there is a certain level of comfort in listening to somebody’s voice when making a large purchase decision. Holidays usually cost several thousand pounds and so the opinions of your close friends and other trusted advisors should lead to a better outcome overall.

So yes you’re probably right, it’s rude to leave your current conversation abruptly in the real world and join another conversation. However, in the digital world you can listen to many conversations as you like with a greater breadth of knowledge and understanding in the process.

If you would like to learn more about conversational commerce and how you can listen through branching conversations simply visit