Businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition should leverage software that uses smart algorithms to automate certain interactions. Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this movement, improving customer experiences with fast personalized responses.
Conversational AI is most often associated with chatbots that automate communication with a customer via text. However, conversational AI also applies to other speech-based technology, including voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Home Assistant. This technology can benefit businesses greatly due to its ability to mimic genuine communication while offering limitless scalability.
Here’s what you should know about conversational AI, the benefits of the technology and what to expect from the development process.
What is Conversational AI?
We’ve had instant messaging platforms for decades now, but conversational AI has only been around en masse for a few years. The technology allows customers to have lengthy interactions with chatbots and other speech-based assistants through text or voice commands. These apps use natural language processing (NLP) technology equipped with algorithms that understand human language.
In conversational AI, these interactions are powered by text and voice commands, as the assistants answer in full sentences or with a menu of options. The tech goes beyond the capabilities of social media platforms or other customer service alternatives since it can juggle interactions with many customers and respond to queries right away.
AI has been gaining traction recently since consumers are beginning to see the benefits and advantages of chatbots over other forms of communication, particularly for quick answers and around the clock service. This trend holds true across age groups.
Benefits of Conversational AI for Your Business
Conversational AI succeeds where other customer service applications fail due in large part to how quickly it responds. Here are some of the most important benefits conversational AI brings to the table:
- Speed and Accessibility: Conversational AI provides customer service 24/7, a capability that customers love. In fact, the “2018 State of Chatbots Report” described how 64% of those surveyed considered the top benefit of chatbots to be the ability to get service any day at any time. Greater accessibility also increases your chances of converting a lead since most customer service communications consist of the customer discussing a negative experience. Being equipped with conversational AI means you can quickly nip such concerns in the bud.
- Meeting Customer Expectations: A Gartner survey found that by 2020, 40% of mobile interactions will be managed by smart agents. This data suggests that soon most companies will have adopted technology such as chatbots. Businesses that fail to adopt the technology will likely fall behind since customers will expect the option.
- Increased Customer Engagement: Conversational AI makes it easier to interact with customers on a regular basis, so customer engagement rates are likely to increase. Your business can program conversational AI to connect with your customers using key brand touchpoints, including social media platforms, pages on your site, your app or a voice assistant.
- Scalability: A skilled developer can program your conversational AI bots to carry a large number of automated conversations with ease. While a customer service team may have a hard time dealing with a spike in user concerns, your conversational AI can be scaled to handle as much volume as you receive.
- Personalization: Businesses can use customer data to tailor messages to individual users for a more personalized experience. A customer’s interests, previous behavior and past conversations with a chatbot can help your AI system customize its interactions to make customers feel like they are being treated as individuals.
These benefits ultimately help you build a stronger relationship with your customers and develop a reputation as a reliable, attentive company. So, how can your business go about bringing conversational AI to your fold?
How to Integrate Conversational AI into Your Business
The first step when implementing conversational AI is understanding how it will help your business the most. You’ll need to compile customer data and get direct feedback from customers in order to get a good idea of who your target audience is, what they want, and how you can deliver value through conversational AI. Knowing each customer helps you to anticipate what they might ask and develop chatbots that can bolster customer engagement.
It’s helpful to think about where your customers go to air complaints. Many customers go to Twitter or Facebook to express frustration, so it would make sense to deploy conversational AI software on these platforms.
WhatsApp—a messaging app that allows group chats—is popular as well, and you can deploy a custom bot using this platform when sending customers updates on your app, products or services. If your industry has time-sensitive operations (as is the case with e-commerce businesses or banks), a custom voicebot or in-app bot can handle issues promptly.
There may be certain instances where customers will have a more complex question or would prefer to speak to a human representative. It is important to alleviate customers’ concerns regarding chatbots and highlight the benefits and usefulness of this technology. Chatbots are a useful tool for answering customer’s questions, improving the timeliness of responses and providing an open communication channel to your business. However, they should be used to support and automate some tasks of customer service representatives without eliminating the ability to speak to a human employee. It’s also important to keep in mind the ethics of conversational AI, as your business should be transparent about the content of these interactions. It is worth mentioning how any conversations will be used and how you will protect customer information through a privacy agreement or a disclaimer that shows up before customers use the software. Remember, ensuring the privacy of customers helps to build trust.
Take the Next Step with Conversational AI
Conversational AI is a unique technology because of its close link to language and the way humans naturally interact with one another. As a result, it can make customers feel heard and valued even when the office is closed or customer service teams are busy. The goal is to keep customers happy and present your brand in a positive light—all while operating in a highly efficient manner.
Interested in adding conversational AI to your fold? If so, 7T is here to help. We specialize in custom mobile app development and mobile strategy with experience developing conversational AI technologies. We also offer services related to many other emerging technologies, including Internet of Things, predictive analytics and cloud hosting.
Reach out to our team today!