Conversations are an excellent way to steer engagement, promote offerings, and make sales. For years, business entities have been hiring customer service agents to connect with their customers, offering them solutions at the earliest.
With the advancement in technology, the above phenomenon is fast-replaced by Chatbots. In the pursuit of creating tools that can connect and engage with customers in real-time, engineers have come up with something as conversational AI.
If you aren’t aware of the same, this article will give you an idea of what conversational AI is, and further help you understand how chatbots and conversational AI redefine the scope of customer services & business automation.
Conversational AI: Technology at your Fingertips
To define, “Conversational AI is a group of technologies that make machines smarter”. This is in a sense that machines can now understand human language, process the information, and then respond as per their likes”. Conversational AI is the crux behind Chatbots and virtual agents, one that facilitates real-time customer engagement.
Where organizations have been reluctant in adopting every new technology, conversational AI has, bit by bit, won the trust. Recent studies reveal that conversational AI, as a technology, has garnered huge attention.
Nearly 31% of the top-tier organizations plan to integrate conversational AI or Chatbots within their business in the coming years. From retail to finance, media commerce, and IT, every sector is eyeing technology.
Impact Created by Conversational AI technology across industries
- Reimagining the Financial Sector:
Conversational AI emerged to be a boon for the banking industry during and post-COVID. The fact the customers weren’t allowed to visit the branch and transact digitally, they faced a series of problems dozens. While a few managed to adapt to the change, there were many who failed to gel with the interface. This was a major setback for the banking professionals.
Something had to be done to deal with the challenges, address obstacles, and guide customers in the journey of digital transformation. This is where deploying conversational AI tools seemed the best fit. Conversational AI tools are an enhanced version of AI Chatbots. While the functionality of the latter is limited to text-based conversations, conversational AI tools are referred to as voice-based assistants. They act as a listening tool, collecting customer information and then passing it on to the executives available at a particular point in time.
Be it guiding a customer to use a portal or help them with online transactions, banking industries now have the ease to build conversational AI platforms/applications, one that will help automate the process of accepting calls, communicate, gather information, and facilitate real-time customer engagement. Besides, conversational AI tools help deal with uncertainties smartly and wisely without affecting the customer-bank relationship.
- Contact center revolutionization
The last year brought a series of turmoil for contact centers, given the increasing number of calls, limited staff, and geographical boundaries. Unanswered calls and blindness transfers affected the quality of service rendered to the customers. It was time to reassess and re-strategize the way these centers perform, ensuring quality customer experiences and hence, conversational AI tools. Nowadays a lot of Conversational AI Chatbot development companies are providing advanced chatbot development services at competitive cost.
Moving one step ahead of the conventional Chatbots, the Conversational AI tools aim at unifying the channels of customer interaction, pulling together all the data, and building a responsive ecosystem. That is to say, Conversational AI in the contact center is not only about automating the interaction channel but also creating a central interface that can process information, trigger operations, and respond accordingly.
Designed in the form of virtual agents, the conversational AI tools have the potential to serve the customers 24/7, engage with them, gather and process information to transfer the call to the right agent (only if needed), thereby saving time and improving end to end experience.
- New channel for online sales
Imagine opening an app that helps you walk through the buying process? It asks you about your cuisine preferences, the type of dish you wish to offer and then pops the extras that can be bought together. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Well, that’s the beauty of a Conversational bot. And it is not limited to the food industry but can be integrated into fashion, and other markets as well. Regarded as conversational commerce, the selling industry is witnessing a huge change, given the increasing use of conversational Ai tools. The intent here is to interact with the buyer, understand and decode their intent to offer them the right product and at the best price, increasing the possibility of sales.
- On-demand Virtual Agents
Looking for a quick fix to your “laptop not responding” problem or “having trouble signing in” issues? Long gone are the days when you had to wait for a customer agent to come online and help you with the issue.
Conversational AI tools are used as virtual agents that communicate in real-time, helping fix issues faster and better. Delivering personalized, on-time care to customers, conversational AI tools will keep your business active and engaging all throughout the day.
As per research conducted by Research and Markets, the global market of Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 38.82% (2017 – 2023). Besides, Gartner believes that the conversational AI trends would overtake the cloud-first and/or mobile-first era.
Trends to look out for in 2021
While the above seems pretty exciting, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Technology has just entered the digital space and is expected to flourish with time. Talking about the same, here are the top four Conversational AI trends you might come across in 2021 and beyond.
- Voice bots
Alexa, what are the variants of the iPhone launched this fall!
Ever said that?
According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 50% of online users leverage voice technology to perform a search. Such figures reflect on the customer preferences, indicating that they are more likely to engage with voice bots than conventional search bars.
- Automated Payments
Long gone are the days when customers have to swipe their cards or wave off cash to make payments. With digitization being at its all-time high, customers now seek simpler modes of payments, one that is quick and secured. This is where the concept of chatbots comes into the picture. Businesses now have the ease to integrate their payment portals with third-party chatbot-backed apps. Such apps are designed in a way that they have all the payment-related information stored, and all that the customer needs to do is validate the transaction.
Read More: Reshape Real Estate Industry With AI Chatbot
- Regulated Customer Service
Another trend to surface in the AI ecosystem is that of 24/7 customer services. With an automated response system replacing the manual workforce, customers can now raise tickets, send queries and even ask for suggestions right in the middle of the night. What’s fascinating is the fact that these conversational bots are equipped with all the information, be it about the product or the existing customers. This enables personalized communication with the customer at all hours of the day.
Andy Peart, CMSO at Artificial Solutions, identifies a trend in the “convergence [of Conversational AI] with other emerging technology such as augmented reality to deliver a totally conversational immersive experience. That is to say, Conversational AI would not be confined to a single technology but expand and add more, in an attempt to deliver the best. Above all, the technology is present in the adoption phase and there’s more to the same than what meets the eye.