To revitalize the customer relationship, enterprises need to reach out to consumers with applications that engage and enhance the digital experience. By using conversational AI organizations can deliver a humanlike interaction that achieves significantly higher levels of customer satisfaction than its first-generation virtual assistant cousin.
Customer service that resolves the issue – first time
Chatbots, Virtual Customer Agents, Digital Employees. Whatever you call them, these stalwarts of the chatbot industry have been used in customer service departments for years, but unlike their simple cousins, today’s chatbots need to be intelligent, purposeful and accurate to survive.
Siri and Alexa have changed consumer perceptions. Digital employees need to be able to understand the subtle ways humans use language and be able to pick out the relevant information from the customer’s initial sentence. Rather than just guide customers through a series of FAQs, they need to be able to access information and third-party databases pulling all of the information together to give the right answer, first time.
Get it right and your chatbot can become a goldmine of actionable information that will help you improve the customer experience, understand market trends and increase profitability.
Proactive assistance with a personal touch
According to Gartner, by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their website to support voice search will increase digital commerce by 30%. But it’s not just as simple as appending speech recognition technology and attaching it your product database. To maximise the advantage, the virtual sales assistant must be proactive.
It needs to understand the customer’s demands even when the sentence is complex. It has to be intelligent enough to predict what the customer is looking for and anticipate associated products they may want to purchase. But most importantly of all, the automated sales assistant needs to collate this information and use it, combined with what it already knows about the customer, their likes and dislikes for example, to deliver a very personal service.
The benefit to the enterprise, aside from an increase in sales, is detailed information about their customer to use in additional promotions and actionable information on trends and business insights, including the reason for cart drop outs.
The second line support your staff turn to first
Most virtual assistants are external facing, helping customers on a website or via a mobile phone find the right answer to their queries, but they have shown a great deal of success too when used within call centre’s themselves as second line support.
Sometimes they infiltrate into the workplace as staff turn to the assistant on the customer facing website because it’s faster than internal systems. Other companies have deliberately built them for intranet use to ensure a consistent and accurate message to customers. Proven to reduce repeat calls and waiting times by up to 65%, they are invaluable in sectors that have a high turnover of staff but complex products to give advice on.
The future for conversational AI is to deliver an intelligent holistic approach to the entire customer lifecycle. For businesses looking for innovative, cost effective ways to build a closer relationship with their customers, the use of conversational AI to deliver incremental improvements at every stage of the customer lifecycle will greatly impact on overall profitability.
Andy Peart is CMSO of Artificial Solutions, an international business that “Makes Technology Think,” believing that people should be able to interact with technology intelligently, using their own voice, in their own terminology and across whatever channel they choose.