13 May 2022

The case for Conversational AI

Beyond click bots and live FAQs; a world of service

No one today would dispute that there’s a world of goods to be tapped in from automation and AI. In all likelihood, your company has already invested in RPA and AI is an integral component of a number of the SaaS your teams use on a daily basis.

But has it been made obvious enough just how another tip of a great iceberg Conversational AI could be for your business? And not simply for support cases with FAQs made more easily accessible or a little more dynamic, however handy they are. We’re talking about a wealth of integrated services and upselling opportunities. We’re talking about the non-stop availability of personalized services from sales to support that users can turn to from the most relaxed approach; by voicing a request to a voice or call bot, or leisurely typing to a chatbot. A company-wide iceberg of services tuned towards the use and comfort of customers. We’re talking friendly, consistent, intelligent service interactions, 24/7.

And so indeed, why and how make Conversational AI the hottest addition to your channels and touchpoints?

People know what’s what, and want it easy, any time

In 2016 already, Messenger counted 1 billion messages exchanged between users and businesses, monthly. Six years and a 2-year pandemic that profoundly reshaped business and interactions later, in a world where companies make a difference more in how they offer services vs. products, automation of services and the constant availability of these is key. And people want resolution fast, when they need it, from the channel of their choosing. But there’s more; us lucky ones across the world, in societies blessed with (relative) peace and high standards of living, and most of all, equipped with fiber if not high-speed internet, we, as customers, are educated. And if we aren’t, a quick search will do. How relevant is it still to have to call or go through an actual person, available x hours a week, to accompany us in defining what we want or need? Let us choose and take action ourselves, however we want, whenever we want.

A great conversational experience is consistently friendly and successful

Imagine creating working conditions that are so favorable to your call center agents, they are able to offer pristine services at record high levels. Imagine protecting your own call center agents from being exposed to users lashing at them. Imagine, in combination, that you’d offer non-stop friendly, rapid and automated services for a selection of relatively easy use cases. With call center agents exposed to high levels of stress, growing levels of impatience, and strong emotions in dealing with your customers, conversational AI can bring a great deal of relief to them by filtering the most obvious cases and by further automating services for the user (and the agent!) via conversational AI. You’d ensure greater levels of engagement and satisfaction at work; you’d keep FTEs dedicated to more complex tasks with greater added value, you’d dedicate part of your existing team to designing conversations with AI, and you’d offer automated support and sales use cases to the satisfaction of everyone.

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Go Conversational AI, but deeply root it in your automation plans

Chatbots, or their lesser advanced versions of live-dynamic FAQs, have been a trend since 2018. They offer solid assistance to call deflation efforts, don’t get me wrong. But there’s so much more that can be offered to users. And it takes two main components to ensure that; a great NLU/NLP in conjunction with a conversational AI platform that can adequately deal with open queries at any point in the conversation, and a commitment, company-wide, to have automation development for the chatbot/call-voicebot on the roadmap. Indeed, the two great powers of Conversational AI lie in engineering automation and mapping the language linked to use cases so your Conversational AI agent can offer most on-point help. Your company will need to aim for both so as to best leverage the power of Conversational AI.

Conversational AI projects require company vision and collaboration at operational level between copywriters, call center agents, service/UX designers and solution engineers. They are a very human enterprise; they require an understanding in both systems and the thinking of those who created them, and human behavior. In that respect, they are the most enthusing and complex projects I’ve had to work on and can bring value inside and outside the company in how transactional they are, on all accounts.

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