- What is Conversational AI?
- Introduction to NLP and Machine Learning
- Why are businesses investing in conversational AI?
- How does conversational AI benefit businesses?
- Conversational AI set to revolutionize customer service
- Parting thoughts…
What is Conversational AI?
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.
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Introduction to NLP and Machine Learning
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.
At the core of it, NLP makes sense of human language by quantifying it through advanced algorithms and data science models. It combines the power of computer science and linguistics to create structures, rules, and decision trees and build an intelligent system to comprehend, interpret, generate, and even act based on human inputs through speech and text.
Within NLP, we have a sub-domain called Natural language Understanding (NLU), which is involved with understanding the structure and meaning of human speech and language. NLU analyses various parts of speech like syntax, semantics, and lets computers transform this knowledge into ML algorithms to solve specific problems related to desired tasks. Another aspect of NLP is called Natural Language Generation or NLG, which is solely responsible for coming up with human-understandable text and speech so that machines can answer the human queries without any intervention. For NLG to be successful, it needs lots of training data to familiarize itself with human language and its nuances. Thus, the bigger the training data, the better the results of an NLG system.
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. Building the right product, like an insurance policy, by listening to customers is possible thanks to conversational AI in insurance. AI can also help in marketing and sales of these products based on customer expectations.Watch now: AI Chatbot holds a personalized conversation and resolves queries
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. Take the case of the telecom industry. With the onset of the pandemic, the telecom contact centers were flooded with customer calls, since telecom services became essential in a world under lockdown. But conversational AI can help. Find out how conversational AI in telecom can help to retain customers and improve revenue.
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 costs from higher-cost agents 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. Retail or ecommerce companies can resolve customer queries 24/7 with conversational AI and reduce the need to hire thousands of contact center agents. Brands are seeing immense benefits of conversational AI in retail and this trend will only get better in the future.
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.
No customer service of a major brand is today 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 it can scale seamlessly without any issue, can pick up where the human left, can bring in context and maturity with human interaction, and more.
Driving 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. Take the case of the healthcare industry. With the advent of COVID-19, this was the sector that faced severe shortage of workers. Conversational AI in healthcare can offer multiple benefits and reduce the load on healthcare workers.Watch now: The power of voice can revolutionize our future
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. Some of the immediate benefits a contact center can realize with AI and automation solutions include: Thus, we are at the beginning of a long journey wherein conversational ai will take customer service to new heights in the years to come.
Automating 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 in servicing customers.
Augmenting 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 course from the 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.
One of the biggest drawbacks of human faculty is that we are prone to errors. Our minds get tired, we are affected with fatigue and other emotions or disruptions going on in our careers or personal lives. All this makes us error prone. 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.
Reducing query response time
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 eventually!
Personalizing 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 experience not only helps to offer a better customer service, but it also helps businesses to retain customers by identifying the probability of churn. This way it is possible to anticipate problems before they arise and offer quick solutions to the delight of customers. This means saving the business from having to see a customer run away towards a competitor.
Boosting revenue and bottom-line
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 arena by taking over the tasks that normally needed human intelligence. This means lesser 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-on-mouth advertising. All this means fatter 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!