Consumers’ online interactions with brands often start with conversational artificial intelligence (AI), which is the technology behind automated messaging meant to mirror human interactions.
These tools offer human-like conversations by recognizing speech and text and understanding various questions and languages. This software is often used to further narrow down a customer’s inquiry before they speak to a real person.
It is a lot simpler than it sounds. If you’ve ever interacted with a live chatbot, odds are, it was powered by conversational AI. It can be implemented by businesses in any industry.
In this article, we’ll discuss how implementing conversational AI will help your business succeed.
We will cover the following sections:
- What is Conversational AI?
- How Does Conversational AI Work
- Conversational AI vs Chatbots
- Why Businesses Choose Conversational AI
- A Quick Look at Top Providers
Conversational AI is the software that powers computer and human interactions. It’s a technology that enables computers to recognize multiple human languages, process the words being said and determine how to respond in the most human-like way possible. This software is still evolving, but is becoming more common. These AI tools have begun to close the gap between humans and computers, which has begun to completely revolutionize the way businesses operate.
- Source: Bold360
Various technologies and processes are needed for conversational AI to happen. This starts at the beginning of the interaction when a human submits a request. The AI solution captures the meaning of the words sent by utilizing natural language processing (NLP). Once the platform processes the words sent, it uses natural language understanding (NLU) to understand the intent of that customer’s question. This software enables AI to pick up on the meaning within that inquiry, even down to grammatical errors and context from previous statements.
All this happens before a conversational AI tool even responds to a customer. But once the platform has analyzed the customer’s question, it will use machine learning to determine the right way to respond. Machine learning is designed to help the software learn with each human interaction, meaning its responses to customers will improve over time. Finally, the platform leverages natural language generation to compute the data it gathered from the interaction into a written response that the customer can easily understand.
This software shouldn’t be confused with chatbots. Chatbot software is a type of AI software that simulates human conversation by leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU). These tools can still interact with humans, but their capabilities are far more limited. Chatbots are keyword-focused, cannot learn and are typically designed to help customers navigate the company’s website.
Conversational AI generally operates the same way but takes it a step further since it can recognize speech and text, understand intent and even decipher different languages. They use automated speech recognition to listen to interactions, natural language processing to fully comprehend it, and natural language generation (NLG) to offer a response that’s nearly indistinguishable from a human. These tools use machine learning to learn from every interaction so its next one can be even better.
Chatbots still offer a benefit to your business, but implementing this type of AI can allow you to really go above and beyond in your support offering. These platforms can completely transform the way you interact with customers, as they collect necessary information from the get-go. This will lead to a better customer experience offering, which is always crucial to your business.
The following is a list of reasons as to why your business should consider using Conversational AI:
Use Conversational AI to Save Money, Regardless of Your Industry
One of the most prominent benefits of this software is that it can save money. More specifically, your company can scale its support department at a lower cost. Running an efficient support team costs money. Analysis firm Juniper Research reported that AI technology is expected to reduce business costs by over $8 billion annually by 2022. But with these tools taking on some of the team’s workload, you won’t need as many agents on your team.
Even your best support team member can only handle so much. Conversational AI doesn’t face limitations like that. If you staff your team accordingly, your platform of choice can act as the first line of defense for your support team. The software can easily field initial inquiries from your customers, leaving a smaller well-trained team of live support agents to handle the more complex inquiries.
Parsing out your support team in such a way can save you salaries, benefits and seats on software platforms for a larger support team. McKinsey reports that up to 29% of customer service positions could be replaced by chatbots and similar technology, thanks to their advantage in reducing operational costs and labor expenses.
AI helps companies leverage the data of their customer base. That means you can immediately identify a consumer’s demographic, psychographic, and more. So by implementing this AI into your software stack, it can help save money on consultants and outsourcing analytics. The chatbot industry is anticipated to grow 1.11 billion during 2020-2024, meaning that more and more interactions will be completed without human intervention. So with less need for human agents, your business can expect the amount of savings to increase.
Improve your Customer Service with Conversational AI
When a customer reaches out to your support team, they want answers quickly. According to Forrester, 73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing companies can do to provide them with good customer service — conversational AI can help with that. This software can easily help you to improve your customer service team.
Conversational interfaces, such as a live chat, are now able to implement AI solutions because of the speed of deep learning allowing for real-time engagement. Customer support chats and IVR systems can quickly route calls using a virtual assistant or chatbot. Integrating these systems with CRM can allow for a level of personalization never before imagined.
In a similar process to instant messaging, the bot recognizes questions and prompts, looking out for certain keywords or phrases that a customer might use to report a problem (such as “damaged item” or “track package”). The bot begins to recognize familiar situations and provide a solution to the best of its ability.
With the speed that this AI offers, customer wait times could be significantly reduced. Quick responses and resolutions are highly valued by customers. Meeting your customers’ needs will increase your brand retention.
That speed also lends itself to your support team being available 24/7. If your company doesn’t have the resources to outsource overnight support, you may miss out on reaching certain segments of your customers during their business hours. Your platform can step in when your live agents cannot. These interactions will be as useful to customers as human conversations.
Conversational AI Can Increase Your Conversions
- Source: Kore.ai
In addition to helping you elevate service for current customers, these AI systems can act as an asset to your sales team and help with lead conversion. The process of bringing on brand new customers can be a long and complicated one, but the software’s automation capabilities can cut down on stalled lead conversion.
As this tool can respond to potential customers so quickly, it will provide your business with the ability to quickly weed out bad leads. This software not only has the ability to respond to leads, but it can sort them by how relevant they are and their potential to become customers. These tools can provide this judgment since they have the ability to perform lead scoring. If your tool deems a lead to have valuable potential, it will hand that contact off to one of your sales team members.
In the event that your sales team is stretched to capacity, your platform can step in as an SDR. These platforms can act as virtual assistants to your team members, doing the often tedious work that tends to take up much of your SDRs time. This will free them up to go after qualified leads with the potential to turn into customers for your business.
With this AI beginning the lead engagement, the process is sped up. No matter how quick your team, AI will always be quicker. Without the help of this software solution, leads can fall through the cracks, as your sales team may not have time to reach out to everyone. This product’s NLP processing capability allows it to respond to forms and emails from potential customers. It’s even intelligent enough to follow up with those potential leads at an appropriate pace when necessary.
These solutions offer effective interactions with customers that aren’t clouded by distractions and slow responses that might impact a human agent. Chatbot developers are able to accomplish this more refined interaction by utilizing content intelligence, OCR, and machine learning to artificially replicate human interaction patterns. These software solutions will propel your business into the future, giving you an edge over your competition.
Use Conversational AI to Gather Customer Data Easily
Customer data is king in business, and this AI can help you gather it more easily. Using traditional data mining tools can help you gather and track information that you need to assume what potential customers might like or need.
But as that data is an assumption, the information isn’t always accurate. Data mining tools gather general sales information that might not be specific to your business’s industry. As this software is intelligent enough to offer personalized interactions, it can help you to understand what those customers and leads want.
Acquiring that personalized data can lead to more customers — it’s why targeted marketing on social media channels is so successful. In 2020, an estimated 3.8 million people are active on social media. That’s more than half of the world’s population. Targeted ads on social media reach out to their targeted demographic in a way that speaks to them. These tools can do the same for your customers.
These platforms learn from previous experiences with customers and leads. Since these tools can mimic deep and complex conversations that humans have with one another, those reaching out to your representatives will feel as if they are receiving personalized interactions.
One of the most common examples of this would customer support chat. As previously stated, this AI can mimic human interactions on live chat. Customers often need to leave contact information to continue the conversation. Conversational AI-powered chats can ask the customer for information, collect and process it and then send it off to a member of your sales team.
These solutions, of course, can gather this information quickly. Unlike a human sales representative who would have to later take notes on the interaction, AI can process data given to it in real-time. Granted, you will sometimes need to invest in additional software solutions to enhance your AI tool to take advantage of capabilities like this.
Integrating your tool with something like an automatic semantic understanding solution (ASU) that informs your virtual agent on what to look out for in customer interactions will prove to be greatly beneficial to your business. Since your tool can be available 24/7, that means you’ll be able to quickly gather this useful customer data around the clock.
Conclusion: Conversational AI Will Help Your Business Succeed
- Source: Landbot.io
No matter your industry, this AI software can benefit your business. It’s an intelligent enough tool that it can be adapted to fit the goals of your sales representatives, support teams, and more. When your teams perform at a higher level, your business will be more successful.
Conversational AI will help you reach more customers and leads quickly and efficiently, ultimately providing a positive experience for them. Most businesses already use some kind of live chat feature for sales and support teams to easily interact with customers and leads — these AI platforms simply just allow you to take that customer engagement offering to the next step.
These tools are an easy way to keep up with your customers’ and leads’ evolving needs. If customers feel listened to, they will be more likely to stick with your organization. Follow our latest list of tips for implementing live website chat to ensure you get the interaction you’re looking for from your customers.