Conversational AI is becoming a key asset for enterprise looking to automate and improve the experience customers, vendors and partners have when interacting with them. These form a set of technologies that help intelligent systems process and respond to text and voice input from customers across channels including the web, mobile apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger; and voice channels like Alexa and Google Home.
Specifically, Conversational AI solutions can help improve the user journeys by addressing the friction that exists at various levels:
Today’s self-service mobile apps and web portals are not convenient, requiring customer to do the heavy lifting in order to achieve any meaningful interaction.
Incomplete interaction friction:
Chatbots mostly answer simple queries; for execution of transactions and complex queries, they transfer to a human agent which breaks the customer journeys and often results in them having to reset the context.
Time and effort friction:
Chat and contact centers require a high degree of human involvement. Optimising the percentage of human agent effort can lead to significant operational cost reduction for enterprises.
These solutions can also help organisations to survive and thrive in the post-COVID19 new normal. Using these technologies, they can stay connected to their customers and handle service requests with reduced staff due to the current disruptions. Essentially, a conversational AI system can help fill the void left by human agents and allow customer contact centres to function at their full potential, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. For example, a contact centre that usually holds 200 agents can safely operate at 25% capacity and accommodate 50 agents. These agents can focus on handling only the escalation calls, and the delta can effectively be handled by a robust Conversational platform.
Sectors such as banking and insurance are a great fit for this technology. Similarly utilities, healthcare and government agencies can use this technology to scale their responsiveness to the increased spike of calls and question from concerned citizens and mitigate the risks of any false information propagating.
The key to this approach being effective, however, is using a technology platform that can deal with Natural Language effectively, hold long running complex conversations and know when to bring in a human agent.
Also, the scope of Conversational AI needs to span product discovery to sales to transactions and handling service requests. A “canned FAQ” chatbot that can only address a limited set of questions and is unable to maintain context in the conversation actually does more harm than good.