Can Conversational AI Become the Future of Customer Service?

July 7th, 2022

What is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI combines natural language processing (NLP) with conventional AI tools like chatbots, voice assistants, or an interactive voice recognition system. The aim is to help customers through a spoken or typed interface.

It works in four steps:

  • The user provides inputs either through voice or text
  • The AI tries to understand the input through natural language understanding (NLU) or automatic speech recognition (ASR)
  • Natural language generation is used to create a dialog in response to the input query.
  • Reinforcement learning. In this step, user inputs are analyzed to refine replies over time.

Now, let us see how this technology comes to play in customer service.

Conversational Service Automation: Improving Customer Service with Conversational AI

Conversational service automation (CSA) is a combination of data analytics, voice bots, Conversational AI, Conversational Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and user feedback history.

The AI uses machine learning (ML) to accept corrections and learn from each experience. This learning helps it adapt and allows it to produce more accurate responses in the future.

With CSA, businesses can personalize and optimize human-to-chatbot interactions. It also helps improve direct conversations between service agents and customers. CSA functions across all customer touchpoints, offering seamless customer service experiences from start to finish.

Here is an example. Businesses can use Conversational AI to improve their FAQ responses. Suppose you have an airline, and your customers often have queries like, “How much luggage is allowed on your airline?” People can phrase this question in several ways. They may ask, “What is the maximum weight of luggage allowed?” or “How much baggage can I take?”

So, while designing the AI tool, developers can help it recognize words like baggage, baggage claim, luggage, carry on, etc. After each customer service interaction, the customer can give feedback about how helpful they found the tool. This feedback will help the AI tool understand if their answers were accurate.

So, unlike chatbots, this is a smarter and more dynamic system.

The Benefits of Conversational AI

Conversational AI revamps your customer service experiences. So, ultimately, it benefits businesses and customers alike. Here’s how.

How Conversational AI Benefits Your Customers

  • It answers their queries fast: Customers are often busy, distracted, and impatient when they have a pressing issue. They do not appreciate being put on hold, wrestling through an interactive voice response system, or restarting chatbot sessions that go nowhere. Conversational AI helps deliver immediate answers to clients of all kinds in one go. Giving your customers a quick resolution to their queries is a surefire way to make their experience more delightful.
  • It can predict a customer’s concerns and suggest relevant queries: Very often, a customer may have multiple questions about the same thing. Conversational AI may help educate users through helpful prompts and probing questions. Just like human customer service representatives give customers tutorials about their services, you can enable your AI tool in the same way. In fact, it will be an even better approach since AI can leverage a customer’s profile data and give them personalized tutorials.
  • It can guide your customers: Some customers might need your services but don’t quite know where to look. Conversational AI can serve as a valuable guide for these customers. For instance, in banks, customers might need help to figure out where to go. Conversational AI can listen to their queries and guide them to relevant departments.

How Conversational AI Benefits Your Organization

  • It is with you at every step of the customer journey: AI can help you better convert website visitors into leads through better engagement. By asking relevant, tailored questions, AI tools can retain customers and increase the likelihood of the purchase. Even post-acquisition, conversational AI can play an important role in customer support.
  • It is cost-effective and scalable: If you own a small or medium-sized business, the chances are that you cannot staff an entire customer service department. Using Conversational AI, you can provide customer support 24×7 with only a smaller support staff needed for critical issues. Thus, you can save on training, salary, and onboarding costs. Additionally, it is cost-efficient to scale up the Conversational AI infrastructure. So, if you want to expand your business or meet surprise demands, you would not need to hire and train new employees or invest in more tools.
  • It provides deeper insights for analysis: Customer service insights are essential for your business to thrive. When customers are ready to switch brands for better customer service, you need to keep up with the competition. So, you must identify where you are lagging and make improvements. Conversational AI gives you deep actionable insights into your customers’ interactions. Moreover, they can tell you how they feel about your customer service efforts. So, you will have the answers to questions like what are the most frequent queries, which terms your customers use, how many times they ask for a human representative, etc.

Can Conversational AI Take Over Customer Service?

Conversational AI is here to lend a helping hand to customer service representatives so that they can make query resolution easier and more effective.

While AI-driven tools will evolve through machine learning and become more accurate, the human touch of empathy and emotional intelligence is still the key to customer service. And so, businesses that want to become more customer-centric are focussing on a hybrid model. This model will combine Conversational AI and chatbots with human representatives for more complex queries.

Final Thoughts

In this post-pandemic era, companies are eager to reduce uncertainty and secure themselves against their competitors. So, if you want to gain an edge over your rival businesses, this is the right time to adopt Conversational AI.

So, leverage this technology in your customer service. Boost your customer satisfaction rate, retain more customers, win over more leads, and use deep AI insights to understand your customers better.

References

  1. https://yellow.ai/resources/articles/why-conversational-ai-in-customer-service-why-now
  2. https://www.cmswire.com/digital-experience/how-will-conversational-ai-transform-customer-experience/
  3. https://aisera.com/blog/conversational-service-automation-the-future-of-customer-service/
  4. https://www.ada.cx/conversational-ai

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