Artificial intelligence is causing a revolution in the way we process data, market to consumers, and more. Conversational AI in particular is transforming the way people interact with organizations, both from within and without. Developments in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) will enable chatbots to converse with humans in a way that is natural, organic, and indistinguishable from talking to a real person.
In this article, we’ll discuss how conversational AI is being developed and how it is poised to transform the way we interact with customers and vendors. We’ll highlight the ways conversational AI will enhance customer service interactions, inform marketing decisions, and empower customer service professionals to better focus their time and build customer loyalty.
Not your average chatbot
Traditional chatbots have become ubiquitous on customer service web pages. They have tremendously helped companies and organizations answer common inquiries and empowered customers to easily find solutions to everyday problems. However, traditional bots are rule-based and scripted. They’re programmed with “if this, then that” algorithms, which means chatbots are limited in the conversations they can hold.
For example, a customer may type in a question containing the keyword “pay” or “bill.” The chatbot would then automatically be triggered to present the customer with a link to a page in which they can pay their bill or a phone number to call if they want to pay over the phone. Companies would typically pay $25 per hour for a quality freelance writer to develop professional scripts in a tone that fits their brand. Any issues or concerns outside of the pre-written scripts would be unable to be addressed by the chatbot.
Conversational AI, on the other hand, does not have limited keywords or scripts. Conversational AI tools can hold complete conversations through either text or voice, and even intelligently interpret context and ask for further clarification if needed.
This technology can even pick up on nuances such as tone of voice to detect frustration. This can then trigger the technology to refer the call to a customer service representative who can help solve a more serious issue. Furthermore, additional benefits such as immediate translations of complex inquiries and phrases in different languages open up new possibilities for international organizations.
The benefits of conversational AI are clear, and recent studies indicate that the market value of Conversational AI is expected to grow from $4.2 billion in 2019 to an enormous $15.7 billion in 2024. Recent developments in Conversational AI have proven that the technology is capable of convincing a person that they are having a real conversation with a human.
But it’s not just the ability to convince people that they are talking to humans that makes Conversational AI so powerful. Conversational AI has the ability to not only gather large amounts of data, but to also intelligently filter, sort, and analyze it. This data can then be used to inform decisions within an organization, whether they are related to marketing, product development, or internal deployments.
Conversational AI can gather important customer data to help companies maximize their marketing campaigns, provide a personalized experience for customers, enhance products and services, and free up time for customer service professionals to focus on more important issues.
Conversational AI and marketing
Conversational AI and chatbots can help organizations save time and money, of course. However, this is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding the benefits this new technology can offer.
Conversational AI in marketing, known as Conversational Marketing, utilizes conversations with customers in real-time to help convert leads into customers. Rather than relying on traditional methods, conversational marketing seeks to capitalize on grabbing a person’s attention by addressing their questions or concerns immediately in a conversational setting.
This is effective because it provides customers with 24/7 support for whatever they may need. Additionally, Conversational AI can gather information on consumers that can prove to be invaluable to a company’s marketing efforts. It can provide a deeper understanding of customer demographics and shed immediate light on any changes in the market.
For example, a SaaS company may gather data from AI conversations that indicate an increased interest in particular features from a new software. This can be detected through the types of questions asked or information sought by customers. This can then inform the company on which features in the software are most popular so they can highlight these features to enhance digital marketing materials and increase sales.
Conversational AI and customer service
Conversational AI can be integrated into many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. This can help customer service teams more easily engage with new customers and retain existing ones by pinpointing new problems and highlighting solutions. It can also help mitigate customer dissatisfaction, as customers can access 24/7 help with a wide range of problems by utilizing Conversational AI. This is preferable to calling a help desk from 9 - 5 PM and waiting on hold for an answer.
The beauty of Conversational AI is that it is data-driven and always learning more about your customer’s wants and needs. This means a hyper-personalized experience can be created for your customers depending on their current interaction, purchase history, complaint history, browser history, or demographics. An account with a long history of customer service issues or a history of high spend might be flagged to be immediately referred to a customer service representative.
Embracing technology and the digital transformation of a workplace can be daunting, however. According to recent surveys, 93% of online business owners report experiencing problems with their digital transformation implementation. Many of these problems stem from a lack of enthusiasm surrounding new technology and a widespread fear that machines may one day replace many human jobs.
AI may change the way companies interact with customers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the human touch will be eliminated altogether. If anything, AI will allow that human touch to be enhanced in a more meaningful way.
It’s clear AI will continue to shape how we interact with each other. Conversational AI can allow organizations to enhance their ability to serve customers and provide valuable insight into customer data that will fuel effective marketing campaigns.
It can also allow companies to create hyper-personalized interactions for customers based on their history, and free up time for customer service professionals to focus on the most pressing matters. Companies who want to remain competitive must stay on the forefront of this new trend and be willing to embrace all the exciting new possibilities it offers - or risk being left behind.