A Beginner’s Guide to Conversational AI

When people think of Conversational AI, the immediate thought is chatbots. However, the scope of conversational AI technologies actually go way beyond just the Facebook Messenger chatbots or voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa. In this article, we’ll break down what Conversational AI is, how it’s being used, and how you can leverage it for your business.

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What is Conversational AI?

Simply put, Conversational AI refers to the set of technologies that allow computers to simulate human-like conversations. We’re used to seeing front-end technologies like chatbots, virtual agents and voice assistants. We often forget that back-end technologies like natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, language translation, machine learning and customer databases also fall under the umbrella of Conversational AI.

Whilst invisible to the conversational experience, these back-end technologies are the real powerhouses behind a seamless conversation between people and machines.

Why the hype?

Conversational AI has given companies a new medium to interact and engage their audiences. Not only are there very low barriers to adoption for customers, it’s able to show increased efficiencies and lowered costs within short periods of time. As such, most enterprises, particularly those with high customer conversation volumes like healthcare and banking, are interested in implementing a Conversational solution.

What can Conversational AI be used for?

Enterprises have built transformational text or voice-based conversational AI solutions for a range of functions and industries. Most common are those for increasing efficiencies in customer or employee processes. We’ll dive into some functions below. 

Customer Service | Automate Customer Support

In customer service functions, Conversational technologies are most commonly used to handle Tier 1 customer enquiries. These are more mundane questions like “How do I change my account password?” or questions that may only need a “yes” or “no” answer. 

commonwealth bank australia ceba chatbot conversational ai

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Ceba virtual assistant for example, is capable of performing over 200 banking tasks, from card activation and account balance check, to getting cardless cash and making payments. Handling about 10 chats per minute, it’s freeing up their contact center agents to handle more complex enquiries and perform more revenue-generating activities. 

To put cost savings into perspective, a report conducted by Juniper Research shows banking and healthcare providers using chatbots can expect to save 4+ minutes for every enquiry, equalling cost savings of around $0.50 to $0.70 per interaction. Extending on this, chatbot solutions used for customer service in the eCommerce, Banking and Healthcare industries are forecasted to save over $8billion per annum by 2022.

Related: How a Voice Assistant increases Efficiency in Banking

Sales | Automate sales transactions

In sales functions, conversational technology is used for engaging and nurturing leads, from follow-ups and scheduling meetings, to assisting sales reps with intelligent customer context and opportunities. In some instances, conversational technologies can complete the end-to-end transaction without human interference.

dominos anyware conversational ai

Domino’s Anyware conversational solutions has made it incredibly easy for their customers to purchase their products. From sending a pizza emoji to their Facebook Messenger bot, to asking Alexa to build a new order, customer transactions have become seamless across 15 digital channels. Since its launch in 2015, Domino’s conversational ordering technologies are generating 10.5% YoY sales growth for the company.

Conversational AI is the next powerful tool for automating engagement with customers and employees alike. Whether the goal is to increase sales, reduce costs or improve efficiencies, there’s a conversational solution for that!

Have an idea of how it can work for your business, but don’t know where to start? Drop us a message for a free consultation with one of our Conversational AI experts and we’ll help you with the next steps.

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