The need for Conversational AI in customer service
With the world moving towards rapid digitization, there is an urgent need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of various industries. In the past, organizations used chatbots to automate routine tasks, such as scheduling appointments, providing information, or freeing up human workers to focus on more complex tasks. Although chatbots have gained popularity over the years, conversational AI solutions (a step above traditional chatbots) are now delivered via text and voice modalities as well as the various channels and devices that support these modalities such as SMS and web chat for text to phone calls and smart speakers for voice.
Growing Adoption of Conversational AI
During the pandemic, businesses faced challenges in keeping up with customer needs while adapting to changing behaviors caused by the health crisis. Digital communication and conversational AI have been critical in improving customer experiences and providing immediate, personalized responses to inquiries. The difference between enterprise-grade digital assistants and public-focused digital assistants is significant, and conversational platforms provide integration into various chat interfaces and developer APIs. Conversational AI has many advantages, including lower customer service expenses, better data collection, and increased agent productivity. However, challenges to adoption include the issue of trust and the significant investment required for development. The technology has plenty of room to grow and business need to communicate the benefits of conversational AI and invest in ongoing technology improvements.
Augmenting Conversational Bots with Human Agent:
Chatbots are becoming more common in customer service as they can simulate human-like conversations and take over simple tasks from human agents, increasing agent productivity and customer satisfaction. Chatbots can also handle customer service at all hours. Conversational AI is being used to integrate chatbots with human agents, fostering a coexistence model that augments productivity. Conversational AI offers two models for integration: “bot as an agent”, where the bot responds to user requests and can be escalated to a human agent, and “bot as a proxy”, where the user communicates with the bot until it requires assistance from a human agent.
How Conversational AI Improves Agent Performance and Experience
Conversational AI improves agent performance and experience by automating repetitive tasks, managing ticket volumes, offering smart assistance & response recommendations, providing access to data for better results, enabling 24/7 customer support, and eliminating noise by identifying customer intent. This technology uses machine learning, natural language processing, and large amounts of data to mimic human interactions, analyze customer interactions, and provide real-time feedback & suggestions to support agents. By implementing conversational AI, organizations can increase agent productivity, improve customer satisfaction & loyalty, and enhance the overall customer experience.
According to Amandeep Singh, Senior Analyst at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, the conversational AI market is highly competitive with many vendors competing for a differentiated position. While customer service accounts for 50% of use cases, it is also the most fiercely contested segment, with vendors aggressively competing on pricing. However, with the evolving use of conversational AI, businesses have a unique opportunity to gain better control over their data analysis and make more informed decisions. By leveraging conversational AI to assist agents, organizations can provide a unified customer view, resulting in improved agent efficiency and enhanced customer experience. To gain a competitive edge in the market, Quadrant suggests that businesses explore the integration of conversational AI into their customer support strategy. However, it is also crucial for users to carefully evaluate vendors’ capabilities to ensure they can successfully build a robust customer service tailored to their business needs.
Author : Amandeep Singh, Senior Analyst at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions.