Conversational AI is a technology that allows humans and computers to communicate clearly and effectively through speech or text. Conversational AI works by recognizing a user’s speech or text patterns, predicting their intent, and responding with an adaptive, automated script.
How conversational AI is being used today
There is a wide variety of conversational AI applications currently being used across all industries. From customer service to marketing to security, these highly intelligent programs are helping businesses connect with customers and employees in never-before-seen ways.
Conversational AI has become synonymous with several organizations’ digital transformation efforts.
The technology behind conversational AI
By first asking thoughtful questions—like, “What are your goals?” “Are you looking to give more information to your web visitors?” “Are you looking to generate leads?”—organizations can tailor the technology to their needs rather than rely on “plug-and-play” chatbots and voice assistants.
Conversational AI as we know it is driven by three technological developments. First, natural language processing (NLP) software analyzes natural human language and speech, interpreting contextual nuances and extracting relevant information. Artificial intelligence (AI) then uses this data to predict patterns of communication. Lastly, machine learning (ML) enables AI-based systems to “learn” and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.
Why businesses invest in this technology
Businesses today are investing heavily in conversational AI for several reasons. With new applications emerging in nearly every industry, conversational AI represents a major potential revenue source. Among the biggest beneficiaries of the conversational AI boom is customer service. This innovative technology allows customer service departments—many of which operate with limited resources—to easily:
Hold a personalized conversation at scale
Customers today expect a world-class experience from even the smallest organizations. Conversational AI helps deliver a personalized customer conversation at scale across multiple channels. So, whether a customer moves from a messenger app to a live chat or social channels, they’ll experience a seamless, highly personalized customer journey.
Manage spikes in customer call volumes
Higher call volumes are part of the new, post-pandemic reality for customer service departments. Conversational AI, chatbots, and voice assistants can help resolve low-value calls and relieve beleaguered customer service teams during sudden call spikes.
Conversational AI makes it possible to categorize calls based on what the customer is looking for, their past interactions with the brand, and their emotions, sentiments, and intents.
Deliver on the customer service promise
Today, customer experience matters more than ever, outpacing product and pricing as the single biggest brand differentiator. According to Forbes, 82 percent of customers will stop doing business with a company after a bad customer experience.
Conversational AI can help organizations optimize their customer service promise by creating a more customer-centric experience. By augmenting self-service—and live agent assistance—with intent, emotion, and sentiment analysis, conversational AI can increase first contact resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction scores.
How businesses leverage conversational AI to drive value
Conversational AI benefits businesses in multiple ways. Many enterprises deploy these AI-based tools to help sales teams upsell and cross-sell more efficiently.
Optimize customer service
Conversational AI has become an integral part of today’s customer service fabric. Most major brands offer (or plan to offer) some form of chatbot and voice bot assistance.
By applying conversational AI, NLP, and ML to understand the intricacies of human speech, language, and emotions, businesses can offer a more positive, personalized experience than their competitors.
Boost marketing and sales efforts
Conversational AI can give businesses a competitive advantage by driving better targeting and conversion for marketing and sales teams. AI-based solutions can better understand the buyer profile, their social media preferences, role, etc., and offer relevant content that’s tailored to their personality and properly timed to drive conversion.
These technologies allow for a seamless, highly personalized customer journey across multiple channels. So even if a customer first engages a company via text or chatbot, their relevant information—including intent, sentiment, and emotional analysis—can be shared with a live agent if needed. This flexibility is particularly valuable as customers increasingly prefer multichannel communication.
As the years progress, new opportunities to leverage this technology continue to emerge. Future applications already in development include home automation, automobiles, marketing, advertising, and e-learning. As our exposure to and appetite for interactive technology increases, virtual assistants and chatbots will play a bigger and bigger role in our everyday lives.