Could anyone have predicted back in the heyday of Facebook and LinkedIn that instant messaging, would be the preferred way we communicate online. Who knew?

By 2018, the big four messaging apps had overtaken social networking and 4.5 billion people globally were actively conversing and interacting, making online chatting the most common and most convenient way to stay connected to friends, family and increasingly to the brands and companies people interacted with in their daily lives. 

Companies saw the enormous business potential of this paradigm shift and began aligning their customer care activities to better reflect the changing online habits of their customer base. The thinking was by offering business-like, rule based chatbots to streamline and automate service activities, millions of dollars in operational expenses could be saved.  Unfortunately, customers were not fully onboard with the robotic nature of these less-than-personal exchanges. It wasn’t until recent advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML), that businesses began to leverage “intelligent chatbots” to deliver a more human-like conversational experience, an interaction that built better customer relationships. Conversational AI was the culmination of these important advancements, along with speech-based capabilities (voice assistants), to automate B2B and B2C communication, creating personalized customer experiences at a broadened scale.

Today, Conversational AI is fueling this user-centric shift by enhancing every stage of the journey from customer care, awareness, and purchase.  According to Juniper Research, meaningful, human like conversations between a customer and an intelligent chatbot in the USA are expected to contribute to $11B of cost savings and 2.5B hours saved by enterprises by 2023.

Contact centers are a particularly suitable ground for Conversational AI. Beyond the cost savings and efficiency gains brought about by automating routine business processes, an effectively deployed AI enabled chatbot can serve effectively multiple customers at a time, freeing up agents to handle more involved queries. Chatbots can also be leveraged as real time coaches for newly hired agents, relaying recommendations or providing performance reviews to management. Chatbots have a host of applications across a broad spectrum of industry segments, for example providing automated and personalized HR assistance (checking vacation balances, payroll queries or benefits FAQs) or pre-qualifying outbound sales interactions for more efficient sales engagements.

Tips to consider when investing in Conversational AI

First, chose a reputable solution provider, one that:

  • Uses a modular, natural language understanding framework for maximum scalability and cost savings
  • Offers flexible deployment options (cloud, on premise or hybrid) for maximum security
  • Offers real-world application enhancements such as conversational analytics, speech-to-text, digital on-boarding and payment processing as part of their solution portfolio 

Second, a properly designed and deployed chatbot solution is one that is secure by design, contextually aware, user-experience enhanced and omni channel enabled.    

At 2Ring and Nettle, we build enterprise-grade conversational artificial intelligence solutions that create impactful customer service experiences while improving operational efficiencies and providing unrivaled brand loyalty.

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