Useful Tips on How You Can Improve Customer Engagement Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Today, more than ever, putting your customer at the core of everything you do is the way to win in business. No organization can survive purely on one-off transaction with little or no regard for customer satisfaction. One way to improve customer retention is to provide them with instant accessibility to your organization’s customer helpdesk and service support teams across all channels, on social media platforms, on websites, and on mobile apps.

Chatbots are emerging as a primary mode of communication, allowing businesses to listen and talk to customers at any time of the day. Conversation-capable chatbots are rapidly gaining popularity as businesses seek to stay competitive.

In this article, we will explain how businesses can achieve their business goals of cost reduction and increased productivity using online chatbots and virtual assistants.

Let us first define what exactly is Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI). In its simplest definition, Conversational AI is the use of technology that enables computers to stimulate real conversations with your customer. It is a cost-effective platform for customers to resolve issues, address concerns, get product information, and engage directly with your business on a 24/7 basis.

Is there a difference between Chatbot and Conversational AI?
Online chatbots and voice assistants are frequently associated with customer support services and omni-channel deployment. In a broad sense, both Chatbot and Conversational AI have similar meaning. However, Chatbots are usually associated with “text-only” connotation, while Conversational AI has a much wider use of voice bot technology that customers can speak to and have a conversation with. What sets them apart is the use of extensive analytics built into the backend program of Conversational AI technology, helping ensure human-like conversational experiences that can resolve a broad range of business issues.

How does Conversational AI work?
Conversational AI combines Natural Language Processing (NLP) with Machine Learning (ML) made up of a set of algorithms, features, and data sets that continuously improve artificial intelligence algorithms. With increased usage and as input grows, AI platform machines get better at recognizing patterns and use them to process, understand, and generate smart responses in a natural way.

Customers provide input through a website or an app, and the format of the input can either be voice or text. The Conversational AI solution app deciphers the meaning of the input and derives its intention, while the machine learning algorithms refine appropriate customer responses over time to ensure accuracy.

How can Conversational AI help businesses become more profitable?
Technology on its own without an appropriate business application is of little use. Although Conversational AI has been in the market for a number of years, the adoption of Conversational AI solutions in the business world is still very much in its nascent stage. There is a reason for this. Many business leaders have not understood its immense commercial potential at an enterprise level.

Staffing a customer service department is costly, especially for businesses having to deal with customer queries outside regular office hours or having to operate in multiple time zones across the globe. The implementation of chatbots and virtual assistants will reduce organizational headcount. Business costs around manpower salaries and employee training can immediately be rationalized.

Chatbots and virtual assistants will also address the issue of inconsistent response to customer issues that come with traditional customer service teams manned by humans. As most interactions on customer issues are information-seeking and repetitive, businesses can easily program Conversational AI to handle a multitude of customer queries with greater consistency and accuracy. This leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction and frees up valuable resources to handle more complex tasks. In short, Conversational AI can help businesses become more profitable.

Let us outline 3 simple ways Conversational AI can be deployed in your organization to drive productivity gains:

1. Replace human customer service agents with online customer support team
The biggest benefit of replacing human customer agents is the availability of instant response from your online chatbot support team. As negative experiences tend to draw greater attention than a positive one, it is important for businesses to take immediate remedial actions in resolving product and service problems before they become bigger issues. Doing so will significantly improve your company’s image and corporate brand reputation.

Customers now expect to have a direct way to contact you at any time of the day. Most will expect your company to have a live chat option on your website and mobile app. Here’s the good news: there are several cost-effective Conversational AI apps that will enable your organization to replicate human conversational experiences and tackle customer issues in real-time. Setting up online chatbot and virtual voice assistance to take care of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on common service issues will change the way we think about customer engagement. It can also be set up to provide personalized product recommendations and cross-selling of ancillary services that customers may not have thought of, thereby generating incremental revenue for your business.

2. Optimize HR processes through Conversational AI
Manual HR processes can be optimized by using Conversational AI, including employee training, onboarding and recruitment, updating of employee information and general administration of HR tasks. Conversational AI features such as automated speech recognition, language translation and text-to-speech dictation can be implemented to interact with end users. Eliminating repetitive employee interactions will enhance overall productivity and free up HR personnel to focus on higher value administrative tasks.

3. Enhance organizational agility through infinite scalability
Conversational AI is very scalable, it can easily handle increased business volumes with the same manpower resource. When businesses expand to new geographical markets or encounter an unexpected surge in demand during holiday seasons, adding infrastructure to support Conversational AI is cheaper and faster than hiring of new employees. This can be a massive business advantage, especially for SMEs competing on tight margins in competitive environments. A sudden spike in user enquiries can be difficult for some organizations to manage, especially companies operating on manual processes managed by small teams of human agents. Automating these manual processes through enterprise-wide digital transformation can be a game changer for your company. The ability to handle operational disruptions instantly and the ability to scale operations quickly without additional headcount translates to lower unit cost for your organization. Improved customer engagement, increased productivity, and enhanced operational efficiency are other immediate benefits.

In closing
To thrive in the new digital age, businesses need to provide real-time information to their end users. With advancement in emerging technologies, Conversational AI tools have become more affordable and accessible, allowing SMEs to compete with larger establishments on equal terms. Enterprise adoption of Conversational AI is expected to expand rapidly as businesses seek to eliminate long call-centre wait times and poor service experience. As customer satisfaction grows, businesses adopting Conversational AI will see its positive impact reflected in increased customer loyalty and additional revenue from referrals.

Real-time access to conversational chatbots and virtual assistants are shaping consumer behavior. Today, customers are seeking greater accessibility and engagement with companies they do business with. Are you listening to them? Are you providing them with direct access to your customer service support teams? Conversational AI tools can be a game changer for your organization, but they can only function optimally if correctly implemented using the right technology solutions.

At MindsterDX, we have explored and tested the capabilities of the leading AI-powered customer support platforms. Based on these 3 criteria: scalability, ease of usage, and cost-effectiveness, our top two recommended Conversational AI solutions are Google Dialogflow and Microsoft Azure Bot.

For more information on Conversational AI, do contact us at MindsterDX for a free consultation.

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