Bot: Hello! Welcome to Round the World Travels! How may I help you?
Customer: Hi, I am John, need to book a ticket from India to California
Does this conversation seem familiar these days? Well, that’s because it has become the norm. This cutting-edge technology is known as conversational artificial intelligence (AI). Conversational AI empowers varied industries to employ chatbots, or virtual assistants to engage in a healthy conversation with customers. This interactive technology is making life easier and plays an impactful role in our day-to-day lives. The advancement in artificial intelligence has become a cost-efficient move that has enhanced a smoother digital experience with various voice assistant tools. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alexa becomes man’s best friend. As we move forward in a competitive world, Gartner emphasizes that “30% of all web browsing will be done through screenless designs and interactions such as voice commands, gestures, and eye-tracking.”1
The growth from chatbots to conversational AI bots
The growth from traditional chatbots to interactive AI bots was a result of the evolution of technology and science. The reasons why conversational AI bots are more sought out are as follows:
- Chatbots were predefined, designed based on a rules system, and automate human interactions. Whereas, a conversational AI bot is built with the new UI, is omnipresent, voice assisted (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant), multilingual, and constituents of sentimental analysis.
- Long gone are the days where people were delighted with a rudimentary rule-based chatbot and are more satisfied with a cognitive AI bot that can help respond to complex scenarios.
The evolution of bots showcases the capabilities of how technology has evolved and been tailored to delight customers in every possible way. As per Gartner, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a mainstream customer experience investment in the next couple of years. 47% of organizations will use chatbots for customer care and 40% will deploy virtual assistants.”2 Organizations are gaining momentum by achieving customer satisfaction through conversational AI bots. They are present everywhere and are customized to decipher any situation and attend to customers’ needs.
Why do organizations invest in Conversational AI?
With the advancement in personalized products and on-call delivery services, customers desire to be surprised and want products that are accurate, easy to use, and acknowledge their feelings too. Well, with a lot in demand and a lot to be met, organizations are adopting advanced conversational AI for the following reasons:
- Higher productivity: Customer support is available 24/7 making it more feasible for the organization to handle simple requests, and allow customer service representatives to respond to their requests in a lowered turn-around-time. This has managed to improve employee productivity by addressing issues in an efficient and quick manner.
- Helps plan resources cost-effectively: According to IBM, “Companies handle 265 billion customer inquiries each year. This results in costs of around 1.3 billion dollars. A chatbot can save up to 30 percent of these costs.”3 The various tasks that can be handled by customer service personnel can be outsourced to a cost-effective chatbot that does the needful and answers frequently asked questions without any hassle.
- Scalability: Scalability with consistency is a major feature that has forced organizations to adhere to chatbot implementation. They serve as a touchpoint across different customers e.g. offline store/mobile app/web/social media. Moreover, it is designed for every customer’s convenience (digital platforms) with the touch of personalization (exclusive offers, services, recommendations, etc.).
- Lead Generation: Conversational AI bots can also support automated lead generation on your website and for example, qualify leads, which are later forwarded to the sales team. This trend of automated lead generation became more prominent during mid 2019, with Facebook offering the option to generate leads via a chatbot.
- Improved customer response and satisfaction: Customers are provided an ample amount of time to select what they want and a chatbot helps them personalize their search and get what they want. This aspect increases customer lifetime value and helps build strong customer relationships. The feedback provided by the customers are taken into account and upcoming business plans or growth plans can be tailored based on the needs of the customers.
How to kickstart your Conversational AI journey?
Objective of creating a conversational experience through AI4
Develop a strategy for building/deploying conversational AI: A well-built objective should be put in place in order to acquire target end-users. The strategy to be developed should be based on the need for a chatbot for the business and ensure that it enhances customer experience in all possible aspects.
Primary research: Proper research should be done to generate substantial insights received from customers, employees, etc. These research documents should be able to define the customers’ experience in any situation.
Conduct a conversational experience workshop: On completion of primary research ensure to document the same and generate a list of target customers. Freeze the target customers and record their individual experiences with AI. These can be further used to identify/list down all features to be added to the bots, design high-level workflows/use cases, and prioritize tasks based on business impact or requirement.
Outline the technology architecture: This crucial step constituent of finalizing and onboarding the tech partner, and platform assessment which help define milestones in a conversational AI journey. The first version/MVP is built in this stage and a pilot test is conducted with a limited number of end-users
Define Success metrics: Success metrics help measure the progress of the product and generate customer insights. Based on the insights new features can be added to the product and the existing ones can be removed to make the product more customer-friendly.
Scalability: Product scalability plays a vital role in serving customer needs and building a proper roadmap for the growth of the organization. It also helps define future opportunities in UX, and customer engagement.
The era of voice recognition
According to the Capgemini study, “40% of consumers will use a voice assistant over a mobile app or website.”5 Organizations who are striving to survive in a competitive market are acquiring new customers by enhancing their products and services to conversational AI. It has become the go-to technology in all sectors to enhance efficiency, customer satisfaction, and growth.
With most people living a fast-paced life a voice assistant like Alexa, Google, and Siri is indeed making life easier. These voice recognition technologies are evolving on a daily basis and enhancing a more interactive digital world, making it more challenging, yet filled with opportunities.