From speech-enabled interfaces that improve customer experience to intelligent chatbots that deliver 24/7 customer service, or humanlike digital assistants that drive online sales revenue, conversational AI is rapidly changing customer interaction.
Gartner says that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400% from 2017. But customer service is only one part of the story.
Fundamental to the success and impact of conversational AI is its ability to capture and interpret conversational data to uncover the single “voice of the customer,” ultimately revealing what your customers actually think. This is the very information that will deliver the key insights crucial to transforming your company’s bottom line.
With such a wealth of information available, and customers demanding the faster, more personalized experience that conversational AI offers, why limit the benefits of conversational AI to one part of the organization such as customer service?
Interacting with customers as they traverse through different departments and multiple touchpoints give enterprises the opportunity to learn more about their customers than ever before. From initial lead generation through to sales, customer service, repeat business, and even HR and internal processes, each connection strengthens the relationship.
Whether it’s driving online sales revenue using humanlike virtual sales assistants, to new ways of differentiation via intelligent voice interfaces, customer engagement is key to increasing your competitive advantage.
The Importance of Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is central to an organization’s success. Engaged customers drive loyalty, which boosts revenue, and in turn, increases profitability. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on the bottom line as decreasing costs by 10%.
According to Gallup:
Customer engagement represents a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.
But customers are fickle creatures. They no longer want to respond to your every email, join loyalty programs, or like you on Facebook. They just want to get something done as quickly as possible and move on with their lives. Speed and convenience are winning over price and brand. That means less interaction, reduced engagement and fewer opportunities to understand exactly the needs of your customers. Or does it?
How Conversational AI Reduces Friction
Reducing friction in a customer’s journey is one of the key objectives for businesses today. Unfortunately, digital channels are fraught with points of irritation. Devices are getting smaller leaving little or no space for navigation menus; at the same navigation, menus are growing more complex as businesses increase the content available to customers.
Each hiccup in the customer’s experience of trying to find information, make a purchase, or solve a problem creates friction. Since people normally choose the path of least resistance, these areas of agitation impact negatively on the customer experience and potentially drives the customer away.
Conversational AI resolves the problem by enabling customers to ask for exactly what they want using their own words and terminology. But it’s not simply a conversation. The capabilities behind conversational AI allow for applications to do so much more such as fill out forms, make recommendations, upsell, book appointments. You name it, conversational AI can be built to do it.
With conversational AI customers can carry out complex online tasks faster and easier than ever before. This not only reduces friction but also improves the customer experience, which increases engagement.
Conversational AI Features Increase Engagement
Providing customer service on terms is no longer sufficient. Your customers want an experience that’s fast and convenient, 24/7, 365. They want to message you a question while waiting in line for coffee or use their voice to make an online purchase while driving to work. They want to be understood using their own words, not your jargon. And they want to do so using the multitude of devices and services that interact with every day.
Conversational AI helps eliminate the challenges that customers have interacting with enterprises over digital channels by understanding; acting in a humanlike manner, always being available and consistent across whichever channel they choose. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to reignite the customer experience with increased engagement, personalized customer service, and improved customer satisfaction.
The features of conversational AI align themselves perfectly with those required to deliver a frictionless experience:
Easy and Effortless — Customers can interact with an enterprise over any channel, at any time, simply by asking a question using their own words without any need to understand your company jargon.
Personalized and Relevant — Answers and information given is personalized using details provided during the conversation, combined with an understanding of an individual’s likes and preferences.
Intelligent — The interface is capable of handling typical human-like conversations including context, ambiguity, and interruption. It can access back-end systems or third-party databases to deliver a comprehensive answer.
Consistent — Regardless of how the customer phrases their question, they are given a consistent, correct response over every channel.
On-brand — Your conversational AI interface will always reflect the tone of your brand. Whether that’s formal, informal — or darn right sarcastic — the choice is up to you.
Conversational AI in a Nutshell
Conversational AI is a key element in digital transformation. Its use throughout the business will grow from customer-facing applications to improving the internal process. Employees are already using it in departments such as HR and call centers.
In addition, conversational AI is being increasingly used to extend the robotic process automation (RPA) proposition, allowing for RPA and other AI assets to be integrated into conversational applications to deliver zero-intervention solutions for high volume processes.
Building on an AI platform allows enterprises to easily take the time, resources and data already invested in one project and reuse it in another. New applications are built faster, delivering benefits to customers before your competitors, while giving you even more data on which to increase your lead.
Keep your communication with your customers strong and personal and most importantly, engage with them in THEIR channel of choice. You can easily do this using the hi.guru conversational AI platform and ultimately enhance customer experience by using responsive chatbots and other tools. It all starts by consolidating your existing communication channels into one and ensuring a better response time, a better resolution and a happier customer. Ask us more about creating a chatbot that’s just right for you.