Conversational AI Improves Customer Engagement

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Introduction to Conversational AI

Conversational AI technology is a subfield of Artificial Intelligence. Conversational AI is focused on producing natural and seamless conversations between humans and their machines, or, more appropriately, their software.  Conversational AI is the technology behind voice assisted communication and messaging bots. Examples of Conversational AI include Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri and many of the chat bots you may find in daily life.  Conversational AI can be used in a variety of different business settings. One area where it is particularly interesting to use is customer engagement and customer support. Automating responses to customers can be a big game changer for businesses today. In this article we will cover how conversational AI improves customer engagement, what is conversational AI, how conversational AI works, conversational AI chat bots, and conversational AI services.

What is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI is gaining rapid adoption and more and more businesses need to have their customers, their employees, and their partners interact with them on a variety of different communication channels in an automated fashion. Conversational AI enables the automation of this communication to happen as well as making it possible on any digital communications medium. Conversational AI uses a variety of tools to deliver speech to text interactions between humans and software. Perhaps a better way to answer the question what is Conversational AI is to take a deeper look into what it is made-up of. Conversational AI technology uses a variety of AI tools.  Let’s take a deeper look at those tools and in doing so, we will gain a better appreciation of how Conversational AI works.

How Conversational AI Works

Unpacking the technology behind Conversational AI

Natural Language Understanding (NLU) forms the core of Conversational AI’s capability to decipher and interpret human language inputs. It extends the system’s ability to grasp the intent behind user communications, even if the language used isn’t rigidly programmed into the system. Natural Language Processing (NLP) represents a broader domain that enables the AI to grasp and interact in human linguistic forms. Incorporating both NLU and Natural Language Generation (NLG), simultaneously plays a key role in analyzing and interpreting human language for AI.  NLG  focuses on generating comprehensible and relevant sentences and phrases in response to user inputs and this is the mechanism through which AI forms human-like responses.

Machine Learning (ML) equips AI with the ability to improve from past user interactions and improve its responses as it accrues more conversational experience. This feature is instrumental in allowing AI to refine and adapt its approach to various conversational scenarios. Dialogue Management is another component of Conversational AI solutions. It is tasked with the crucial job of orchestrating the conversation’s flow. Dialogue Management maintains context continuity, guarantees appropriate AI responses, and oversees the smooth interchange in the conversation.  For voice-operated conversational AI platforms such as Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, Speech Recognition is a crucial technology. It allows AI to decipher spoken language and transforms audio input into an understandable format.  Combined with speech recognition, Speech Synthesis facilitates the AI’s ability to transform textual information into speech, thereby offering verbal responses to users. The Integration Layer provides a bridge between AI and other databases or systems. It enables the retrieval or execution of actions during conversations, effectively allowing the AI to access necessary data or conduct tasks in the course of a discussion.

Conversational AI Chatbots: Interactivity at its Best

One of the biggest advantages of conversational AI chat bots is that they are available 24/7. They can provide constant support to customers and users across various platforms and various devices. Conversational AI uses NLU to understand user inputs and reply in the most natural and intuitive manner. Conversational AI chat bots improve overtime and also improve over a conversation. Conversational AI chat bots can be extremely cost effective.  Unlike human workers, AI chat bots never get bored, never take time off, and they never make mistakes when programmed properly. They can capture a ton of customer interaction information. Their ability to be constantly on and constantly collecting customer data provides incredible business intelligence. Increasingly, customers today want to talk to a machine or a bot to save time and to be able to interact with companies at any time. The best conversational AI bots collect information and provide it to human staff when they are needed or best suited to address the most complicated or highest value interactions. The time saving and data collection conducted by conversational AI chat bots can make human workers more productive. This increase in productivity is felt by customers and they appreciate it.

Conversational AI Solutions

Conversational AI technology has many use cases beyond customer support. Below is a list of several scenarios that we have seen. Some are in addition to customer service or support; others are adjacent to it.

  • Healthcare Triage: Conversational AI is used in the healthcare sector for initial patient triage, guiding patients based on their symptoms and concerns.
  • Banking Enquiries: Conversational AI handles common queries about account balances, recent transactions, and credit card limits in banking and finance.
  • Travel Booking: Many travel websites use conversational AI to help users book flights, hotels, or plan their itineraries.
  • E-commerce Shopping Assistance: Conversational AI is used in e-commerce to help customers find products, answer questions about those products, and guide them through the purchase process.
  • Restaurant Reservations: A Conversational AI platform can be employed to handle restaurant reservations, making the process more efficient and less time-consuming.
  • Mental Health Support: There are several mental health platforms that use conversational AI to provide basic counseling and direct users to appropriate resources when needed.
  • Smart Home Management: A Conversational AI platform is often utilized to manage and control smart home devices, including lights, temperature controls, and security systems.
  • Educational Tutoring: Some educational platforms employ conversational AI to assist students with learning and answer their questions on various topics.

Conversational AI Services

Large enterprise companies in the Fortune 1000 have been deploying Conversational AI solutions for at least the past decade. Midsize companies and small businesses have not always been able to deploy Conversational AI platforms. Leveraging conversational AI services can be a way to get into the game for mid-size companies and small businesses. Managed service providers of conversational AI can be a game changer.  At Valenta, we offer managed services for a variety of AI functions. Conversational AI is one of them. Valenta is focused on serving mid-sized companies and small businesses. We have managing partners located in cities across the world. Our managing partners have experience with a wide variety of digital transformation solutions. To learn more about Conversational AI please visit this page on our website. To speak to one of our managing partners and to determine if conversational AI might help your business, please reach out to them here.