Lately it seems like everyone is talking about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its impact on customer interactions. In the world of digitally based enterprises, companies are exploring every way that AI can assist in providing a better customer experience. This has led to a burgeoning interest across many industries in what is called Conversational AI.
What is Conversational AI?
At SaleMove, we define Conversational AI as the use of artificial intelligence in real-time customer communications. Most commonly, Conversational AI takes the form of a chatbot, but there are increasingly more ways to leverage Conversational AI, such as through voice communications.
While Conversational AI (usually in the form of a Chatbot) is still not as sophisticated or intelligent as humans, it can be beneficial to companies that are looking for a larger suite of channels to communicate with their customers.
A great example of Conversational AI that many people are familiar with is the modern digital assistant. Companies like Amazon, with their Alexa system, and Apple, with Siri, were among the first trailblazers to find that using AI can lead to product sales (iPhones and Alexa bots, specifically) to forward thinking early adopters.
Conversational AI in the Workplace
According to a recent Forbes article, AI is not the future of the workplace; it is the present. The article goes on to state that “IBM and a number of startups are targeting intelligent assistants, also known as chatbots, or computer algorithms designed to simulate a human conversation, to recruit employees, answer HR questions, or personalize learning experiences.”
Eureka, an analytics solutions provider, uses AI for contact center speech analytics. Companies can use Eureka’s CallMiner product to record, analyze, and transcribe customer conversation providing insight that saves a ton of personnel hours.
Facing AI Towards the Customer
While AI technology can make workplace tasks more seamless and efficient, companies are finding that there is a measurable value in implementing it in consumer faced applications.
Investors have noticed the value as well. Equity deals to AI startups, according to the World Economic Forum, “increased from roughly 70 in 2011 to nearly 400 in 2015.”
How can AI be responsible for a positive ROI? There are several ways.
On Time all the Time
One way that Conversational AI platforms can provide measurable ROI numbers almost immediately after onboarding is that they allow customers to interact (via Chatbots) with companies 24/7.
This feature is particularly beneficial to companies that operate across an international digital footprint.
Customer service agents spend a lot of their time repeating the same scripted responses over phone conversations with customers. Companies that use text chat interfaces have their agents copy and paste answers to frequently asked questions dozens of times a day.
A Conversational AI platform can answer those questions without the aid of somebody on the other side of the screen. This means that agents can spend more time resolving more complicated issues that are still beyond the scope of the abilities of AI technology.
Additionally, Conversational AI, like SaleMove’s OmniGuide, can be used to empower customer service agents by providing the agents (not customers) answers to customer inquiries. This method ensures a better customer experience by providing customers a more consistent and effective chat experience.
Efficiency in Sales
How much of a salesperson’s time is spent chasing down clients vs. actually presenting and closing deals?
AI can assist with a salesperson’s more mundane tasks, such as sending emails, sorting through a CRM for specific types of prospects, and guiding new customers through onboarding and implementation. This allows salespeople to focus on more results-driven tasks.
What is there to Lose Without AI?
Implementing AI can seem like a monumental step to anyone who is not familiar with its capabilities. Some companies, especially those that have been around for a long time, fear change and move forward each day with the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality.
Unfortunately for those companies, their competitors are given a major competitive advantage by integrating Conversational AI solutions. In terms of inbound sales and service interactions, the “everywhere all the time” nature of an AI platform means that companies can ramp up customer acquisition without the fear of outgrowing their current employee headcount.
While not every interaction can be handled by a Chatbot today, the algorithms that are being developed are becoming smarter and smarter. Machine learning drives the progress of AI technology, and similar to humans, it takes time to learn new languages and skills.
Early adopting companies will reap the long term benefits of highly intelligent machines by implementing them as soon as possible. By waiting around to see what happens in the future, a company can potentially get left in the AI dust.
A study by Oracle found that nearly 8 out of 10 business have already implemented or are planning to adopt Conversational AI as a customer service solution by 2020.
The capabilities of AI have only begun to be realized, and as the technology continues to improve, companies that already have AI platforms in place will be glad that they got on board early enough to reap the rewards.
What are some ways Conversational AI could be used to improve your business?