With The Increasing Hustle And Bustle, the desire for 24-hour availability of customer support is rising exceedingly. Customers, nowadays, demand swift replies to their complaints. They solicit prompt support and favor personalized responses. This is where conversational AI comes into the picture!
Conversational AI sparks the customer experience by slashing the amount of time it takes a customer to help substantially. Therefore, plenty of organizations are now spending on AI.
Conversational AI Is Assisting In Instant Messaging
The way businesses and customers interact is majestically transforming! Conversational AI has introduced businesses to the world of instant messaging. Now people want to communicate with companies as promptly and frankly as they communicate with their friends and family on messaging apps. They don’t want to wait for hours or days for a response.
Customers expect omnichannel experiences, self-serve customer support, and quicker replies. All of this is possible with the assistance of conversational AI.
The Conversational AI Market Is Thriving Exponentially
Today, organizations, either small or large-scale, are recognizing the importance of conversational AI technology as it helps them scale conversations. We expect the global conversational AI market to reach $32.62 billion by 2030, giving businesses all the good reasons to invest mightily in the technology.
Getting your head around conversational AI, embracing it, and implementing it in a business is crucial. This is why we came up with this ultimate guide that is filled with everything from what conversational AI is to its use cases in diverse industries!
Get To Know Conversational AI
Conversational AI is a technology (like chatbots and voice assistants) that simulates an intelligent, fluent human-like conversation between a human and a machine by recognizing gesture input, touch, speech, or text patterns, translating their meanings, and giving lightning responses in text. It does this with the help of different technologies (Natural Language Processing – NLP, Machine Learning – ML, Automatic Speech Recognition – ASR, and Natural Language Understanding – NLU) that combine and assist machines in understanding, processing, and giving responses to human language.
Conversational AI agents efficiently spot patterns and make better, more accurate recommendations over time as they receive abundant user inputs, permitting organizations to deliver more personalized experiences to their users. They are frequently used to speed up and streamline answering simple-to-complex queries for a finer user experience.
AI-Powered & Traditional Chatbots – What’s The Difference?
For traditional chatbots, human agents have to compose dialogues and feed them into the system. Due to this, these chatbots are limited to providing answers to specific keywords and are unable to respond to more complex questions.
Conversational AI can be used in traditional chatbots to make them quick-witted and efficient AI-powered chatbots. It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help chatbots enhance their capability to interpret human language and provide relatively better personalization to meet modern-day users’ needs. AI chatbots don’t require a script; instead, they use Machine Learning (ML) that teaches them progressively and lets them remember the things said to them to give more customized answers next time.
This Is How Conversational AI Works
Conversational AI combines a variety of technologies to comprehend, reply, and gain experience from every interaction, including (i) Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), (ii) Natural Language Processing (NLP), (iii) Advanced Dialog Management (ADM), and (iv) Machine Learning (ML).
With Machine Learning, conversational AI keeps learning and improving its ability to answer and respond to an increasing number of queries. Every time a user converse with the AI, it analyzes the meaning behind the user’s request and its object, ultimately learning more questions that would need the same answers.
Firstly, a user initiates communication and gives input via voice or text. For spoken words, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) software converts unstructured data into text that the computer will read.
Then, to analyze the user’s request, the conversation engine uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) software which deciphers the meaning and extracts the intent from the text.
Next, Advanced Dialog Management (ADM) processes the request and formulates a response as per the user’s intent. After that, the part of NLP, Natural Language Generation (NLG), arranges and converts the response into a human-readable form.
Lastly, the Machine Learning (ML) algorithms learn and gain experience from the responses to jack up the accuracy so that the next time they provide refined answers.
Some Popular Conversational AI Tools & Software
Various companies are making good use of conversational AI technology by utilizing its tools and software.
It is a scheduling automation software that has a built-in conversational AI system that comprehends inquiries relating to bookings. It understands natural language exceptionally well and even tackles scheduling issues or requests users might have.
This AI Assistant handles customers’ transactions. It answers common queries, carries out transactions, and contacts agents when necessary. According to one study, using this assistant could help save time by 10%, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction.
This tool bestows its users with fast and outstanding customer service 24/7. Mostly, airlines use this software. It gained popularity, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic when airlines had to resolve issues regarding cancellations and refunds.
Examples Of Most Frequently Used Conversational AI In Businesses
Here we have shared the top conversational AI examples we see in our daily lives.
- Virtual Assistants
Voice-enabled assistants or virtual assistants enable the device users to execute non-transactional queries, from sending messages to making phone calls and switching lights to asking for weather updates. Examples include Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant/Home. They prick up their ears and grasp what you’ve said to deliver their response or action.
- Mobile Assistants
Mobile assistants permit users to perform some tasks briskly and efficiently without draining time typing. It can also accomplish the task of sending a text, setting an alarm, or asking for search query results. Examples include Apple Siri and Google Now.
Chatbots imitate a human conversation with a user through messaging. They provide instant replies in a natural way at any time, saving you valuable time. When you visit an online store or a website, responsive chatbots readily ask you for a live chat if you need assistance or have any questions. AI Chatbots markedly cut down customer service time and impressively boost customer service.
Chatbots are of various kinds, including menu/button-based chatbots, machine learning chatbots, keyword-recognition-based chatbots, linguistic-based chatbots, and the hybrid model.
- IVR Systems
Known as an automated virtual assistant, the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system is an automated business phone system technology that permits incoming callers to communicate with a computer via keypad entry or voice. It first interacts customer with a computer before connecting to a representative. When we call customer service numbers, we’re actually communicating with an automated virtual assistant. IVR systems are typically used in call centers to reduce customer service costs.
Following are some of its common benefits:
- Intelligent Call Routing: IVA routes specific callers to the appropriate department according to voice command or keypad input.
- Support During Rush Hour: IVA helps companies assist their callers in serving themselves and leaving a message. During rush hours, it allows live call agents by taking over mundane tasks such as responding to common queries.
Benefits That Conversational AI Offers
Conversational AI offers scores of benefits to businesses. Of them, we’ve listed a few below:
- Minimizes customer service costs
- Increases first call resolution (FCR)
- Personalizes conversions at scale
- Saves time and accelerates productivity
- Strengthens customer engagement
- Multiplies customer satisfaction
- Boosts lead generation
- Tackles up to 80% of queries
Industries That Are Using Conversational AI
Conversational AI is generally used for Customer Service, IT Desk Service, Sales, and Data Collection purposes in multitudinous industries. Let’s see what and how a variety of industries can avail themselves of this excellent technology!
1. eCommerce & Retail
Conversational AI in the eCommerce and retail sector has much importance. The whole supply chain process is operated internally; therefore, enterprises don’t put in any effort to streamline the outgoing communication. Due to this, customers can either drop a mail or wait for long hours for someone to respond.
Here, AI could be of great value, as it provides users with easy and uninterrupted access to information. It can smartly pull data from various sources, providing customers with the information they wish for! This genius technology has made it easier for users to check their order status and track it simultaneously without changing channels.
The eCommerce and retail sector enables customers to find a specific product, place orders, cross-sell and up-sell products, answer FAQs, help with returns, and get personalized product recommendations.
2. Real Estate
The real estate sector is taking its hat off to conversational AI for helping to exalt the progress of enterprises by delivering a proactive service to its customers. It helps them get express solutions to their problems. Plus, it turns out that approx. 78% of prospective home-buyers cling to the realtor who answers their questions on the nail.
Furthermore, by engaging with prospects, AI-powered chatbots generate and stimulate leads. They keep a record of customer data in real-time that sales and marketing teams utilize to predict customer behavior. This helps them close deals much faster and provide personalized support to each customer.
Conversational AI can be useful for doctors, patients, and other medical staff in a hospital. Many nations are going digital, and patients now have online access to clinical services. With this technology, healthcare providers can smoothly handle timely responses to heaps of customer support queries.
The most common healthcare application of AI is customer service. Other applications include data collection, answering common health questions, appointment booking, payment processing, sending medical reminders, etc.
The telecommunications industry is, little by little, expanding its service areas and user bases, which is great news! However, it also means that it will receive more customer inquiries demanding 24/7 customer support.
Bots powered by cognitive technologies can provide the most advanced, brilliant, and human-like support at scale. For instance, traditional bots answer FAQs. But, to recognize customer intent and process the whole conversation by examining the connection between words, more advanced bots and virtual assistants are deployed. This, besides being an immense relief for the support team, also boosts customer satisfaction.
5. Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI)
Conversational AI is attaining recognition in banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI). According to a report, the global chatbot in the BFSI market is projected to reach $7 billion by 2030.
In the BFSI industry, AI can be used in various ways, such as credit scoring, claim processing, risk management, and assessment, to provide a simplified and intuitive customer experience. It is used in banking to facilitate transactions and help with account services.
Conversational AI is used to perform banking tasks such as sending notifications, helping find a nearby ATM, assisting with mobile deposits, and so much more! Besides, it helps the insurance sector in managing claims and renewals, collecting reviews and customer feedback, and customer awareness and education.
As automobile manufacturers compete in the market, they need to ensure that they provide their clients with personalized and groundbreaking customer experiences at every step of the buying process.
In the automotive industry, conversational AI has many uses, from customer engagement with rapid human-like interactions to piloting customers in selecting the best suitable vehicle based on their needs and budget and lessening wait times by giving self-service options.
7. Travel & Airlines
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic hugely influenced the travel industry, bringing about a loss of $2.4 trillion! However, with the help of AI-powered automation, it came back stronger than before.
For travelers, conversational AI makes travel arrangements on the go. A study shows that around 75% of people pin their hopes on chatbots for travel arrangements. On top of that, 66% of respondents found travel chatbots frightfully useful for leisure travel bookings and organizing businesses.
With its applications almost everywhere, conversational AI has become the talking point for the past few years!
This Ingenious Technology Is Becoming A Sensation!
Even though it has been in existence for decades, the searches for ‘conversational AI’ were largely ignored from 2005 to 2007, but after that, they BOOMED! This happened when businesses started using conversational AI, as it enabled them to deliver highly automated and personalized customer service, making every human-machine interaction distinctive, curtailing conversation time, and ultimately nurturing customer satisfaction.
Conversational AI has a sweeping range of applications, so it comes as no surprise to see it gradually gaining traction in several sectors! Although conversational AI isn’t going to replace human interactions altogether, and you’ll still need to converse with a human, however, it can be a robust tool to accelerate common tasks in case humans are busy doing other work of high priority.