Conversational AI is the set of technologies behind automated messaging and speech-enabled applications that offer human-like interactions between computers and humans. Conversational AI can communicate like a human by recognizing speech and text, understanding intent, deciphering different languages, and responding in a way that mimics human conversation.
Today we are seeing a wave of conversational AI sweeping across industries, and every brand is looking to add AI-based solutions to automate routine transactions and processes. Significant progress is made by conversational AI and its adjacent technologies to finally understand the mysteries of human language, speech, communication, emotions, and real intent. This growth in conversational AI is just the beginning, and the future is going to see the deployment of conversational AI in home automation, automobiles, marketing, advertising, e-learning, as economies globally undergo digital transformation.
On the flip side, brands also need to understand that just because your competitors are adding chatbot features to their swanky new website, you don’t have to. First, understand the need for AI chatbots. What are your goals? Are you looking to give more information to your web visitors? Are you looking to generate leads? Are you going to help your web visitors find information? These are some of the primary questions you need to ask before jumping onto the chatbot or voice assistant bandwagon.
Introducing to NLP and machine learning.
Natural language processing (NLP) is a technology that helps computers make sense of human language and speech. NLP gives machines the power to undertake highly repetitive tasks with utmost efficiency without human intervention. Machine learning (ML) is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. The power of NLP and ML are extensively used today in applications ranging from search engines, email spam filters, language translation software, voice assistant, grammar analysis, and even social media management applications.
Why are businesses investing in conversational AI?
Today conversational AI is driving a multi-billion-dollar industry that is on the cusp of a significant revolution. There are businesses of all types that are investing heavily in this innovative technology. Here are some of the top reasons why brands cannot resist the urge to invest in conversational AI and adjacent technologies.
Hold a personalized conversation at scale.
The internet has not changed customer expectations, but it has empowered them, goes a famous adage. What this means is that customers today can compare the customer service that you offer with the best in the world. Conversational AI helps to deliver a more personalized customer conversation at scale. In today’s world, customers expect an omnichannel experience, and conversational AI can help deliver at scale. Regardless of a customer moving from a messenger app to a live chat to social channels, the AI-based solution can help personalize the experience, follow the customer across channels and even understand context and history to offer a truly seamless customer service experience.
Manage spikes in customer call volumes.
Today our world is going through tumultuous times, and customer service departments are under tremendous pressure to deliver consistent results. Conversational AI plays a pivotal role, and deployment of AI chatbots and voice assistants help take care of call spikes and assuage customer anxieties and satisfactorily resolve their queries.
Using conversational AI, it is possible to categorize calls based on what the customer is looking for, their past interactions with the brand, and their emotions, sentiments, and intents. Routine, transactional interactions can be routed to an intelligent virtual assistant, thus lowering the costs of high-touch interactions while also empowering live agents to focus on higher-value conversations.
Deliver on the customer service promise.
We all know that today customer experience has overtaken product and pricing as the single biggest brand differentiator. Brands that fail to deliver an optimal customer experience will likely deliver less than optimal returns regardless of having a world-class product. Conversational AI platforms can help deliver on this promise of excellent customer experience by understanding the intent, emotion, and sentiment with self-service, thus increasing first contact resolution (FCR) and not wait in line to be resolved by a live agent.
How does conversational AI benefit businesses?
Today the use of conversational AI platforms is across various disciplines, including lead generation, demand generation, customer service, etc. You can also deploy these AI-based technology tools to help the sales teams in their upsell and cross-sell efforts. Here are some examples of how businesses are using conversational AI to derive business value.
Revolutionize customer service.
No modern customer service initiative is complete without the inclusion of conversational AI solutions and tools. Chatbots and voice bots are an integral part of any major brand’s customer engagement strategy. Leveraging AI, NLP, and ML to understand the intricacies of human speech, language, and emotions, it is possible to deploy these AI-based systems to improve customer service and support experiences across industries. The best part of such technologies is that they can scale seamlessly without any issue, can pick up where the human left off, can bring in context and maturity with human interaction, and more.
Drive marketing and sales efforts.
With increased competition and customers more demanding, conversational AI can drive better targeting and conversion for marketing and sales teams. AI-based solutions can better understand the buyer profile, their social media preferences, role, etc. to offer relevant content when they visit their website and also engage at the right time to help increase lead conversion.
Conversational AI can drive more relevant interactions by predicting the real intent of customers, including their emotions, sentiments, and intent to drive personalized conversations.
Conversational AI set to revolutionize customer service.
Today there is a need for transformation in the customer service industry. Conversational AI, ML and NLP technologies have evolved to become the highly intelligent alter ego of humans, which can understand the true intent, emotions, and implied needs of customers.
Together with smarter machines and advanced data science and mathematical models, customer experience will be transformed with an increase in first call resolution, decrease in average call handle times, better resolving customer queries and empowering the human agents in a contact center with the right information at the right time.
Understanding the nuances of human speech and predicting the customer intent, sentiment and emotion has made it possible to offer personalized customer experience across all channels. In addition, AI and NLP have also driven automation of routine repetitive tasks drive in more efficiencies and cost reductions in the contact center. However, this is just the beginning in the transformation of customer experience and the contact center, and there is a lot of potential ahead in the future. We are at the beginning of a long journey and conversational AI will take customer service to new heights in the years to come.
Automate multiple processes.
Not all tasks need the attention of humans. You don’t have to read through each and every email, listen to all the calls and so on. Bringing in automation powered by artificial intelligence can do all these tasks with utmost efficiency. This way the costs are lower, the time taken to accomplish such tasks is drastically reduced and who knows you might even be able to discover hidden insights within them which humans would never have been able to discover. Today there is also a need to automate real-time conversations, so agents get a head start on servicing customers.
Augment agent capabilities.
The contact center agents are not going to be redundant any time soon. But what conversational AI can do is augment the agent capabilities with insights, knowledge bases, alerts, and notifications so they can do their jobs better. If a certain agent is going off script, he might get an alert. If an agent forgets to disclose an important piece of information to the customer, then the conversational AI system working in the background can send him a notification. Once the call is over, the conversational ai solutions can help to put together a neat summary highlighting the action items and deliverables. All this would have taken the time of the human agent which now can be utilized to do something more valuable.
Improve decision making.
One of the biggest drawbacks of human faculty is that we are prone to errors. But machines are unlike us. They can do the same task again and again with the same level of efficiency and accuracy. Also, conversational AI can help humans make better decisions. This could be because of machines giving us a better context of the problem, more information, a sight of the bigger picture and so. Thus overall, conversational AI can help us take customer service to a higher level with better decision making.
Reduce query response times.
Today’s customers are impatient. They demand immediate solutions and resolution of their queries. Conversational AI technologies can help reduce the response times to customer queries. These queries could be coming in from a host of channels like social media, email, website chat, review sites, third-party aggregators, phone calls and so on. Managing all these tasks might seem herculean for humans but luckily not for machines.
With the right conversational AI solutions it is possible to read through thousands of emails, scan across the social media channels for customer queries, listen in on customer calls, make sense of customer tickets, and so on. All this means there is a centralized decision-making which is powered by conversational ai and this drastically reduce the query resolution time. Ultimately what you have is happier customers and more business.
Personalize customer experience.
Gone are the days when “one size fits all” was considered a business mantra: but not anymore. Each customer is unique with a unique set of problems and expectations from the brand. Humans would find it very difficult to offer a personalized experience to each customer. Conversational AI can understand every customer, their proclivities, unique set of problems and offer very customized solutions and query resolutions.
Conversational AI tools can collect and analyze historical customer data and extract valuable insights from it. They can build customer personas, their likes and dislikes, personal preferences and so on. The machines can also detect patterns, trends and behavioral cues from their speech and help to deliver a very personalized customer service experience.
Offering personalized experiences not only helps improve customer service, but it also helps businesses to retain customers by identifying the probability of churn. This makes it possible to anticipate problems before they arise and offer quick solutions to the delight of your customers, ultimately preventing customer churn. This means saving the business from having to see a customer run away towards a competitor.
Boost revenue and bottom-line growth.
At the end of the day everything comes down to revenue and bottom-line growth. So, if we cannot connect the use of conversational AI solutions to improving these vital metrics, then we would be failing in our goals. Conversational AI solutions help reduce costs in customer service by taking over the tasks that normally needed human intelligence. This means lower HR costs, lower overhead costs and so on. Also, when the customer service of a brand improves thanks to conversational AI technologies it means you get more loyal customers and better word-of-mouth advertising. All this means increased revenue and bottom-line growth.
Now that you know what is conversational AI, its constituents, why conversational AI matters and how to go about deploying conversational AI solutions for your business – we believe you are in a better position to reaping the rich benefits of this top technology in your customer service game plan.
Today conversational AI is not just a nice-to-have technology but crucial to the building of a brand’s overall customer service strategy. With customer expectations going through the roof, it is only natural that you understand conversational AI in-depth, how it can benefit your business, what are the areas in which you can implement conversational AI solutions and more. So, we hope we have done justice to all these aspects and helped you learn about conversational AI and its myriad benefits.
Get in touch with Uniphore to learn more about how you can benefit from Conversational AI now!