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Future of Customer Engagement: Conversational AI & Rise of Virtual Buddy | by mohammad hossain | Aug, 2021

mohammad hossain

Evolving consumer needs driven by an ever-increasing proliferation of technology in their lives has created a connected world that is independent of any time constraints, seamless access to a business’s service and support operations is the consumer demand of the hour. Almost 3/4th customers of any website, App, or digital platform consider valuing their time as paramount in any customer service that companies can do.

The advent of new digital technologies and rapid adoption of advanced electronic devices are driving the focus in realizing solutions for improving customer experience. Consumer User Experience has become the major focus of enterprises. In fact, companies across industries that focus on improving CX are reporting an increase in annual revenue.

The desire to meet the expectations has caused an increase in complexity for businesses, both within the organization and their products and services. However, most of the companies are already aware that existing systems will not meet evolving consumer engagement requirements. This is catastrophic, from consumer engagement viewpoint, as more and more customers expect value driven services. In order to meet the changing consumer demands companies have built increasingly complex marketing & support systems, which have done exactly the opposite what they were designed for — Making interactions faster, easy, and convenient for the customers.

An Omnichannel self-service communications strategy is the demand of the hour for companies to address the increasing customer demand for personalized, cross-channel, and seamless communication services.

Human-machine interaction has come a long way since the inception of interactions of humans with computers. Breaking loose from earlier clumsier attempts at speech recognition and non-relatable bots; we’re now focusing on perfecting what comes to us most naturally — CONVERSATION leveraging AI.

Natural Language (Conversation) interface is now becoming the most preferred mode of intelligent interaction between humans and the technology they use, own and wear. Consumers want to use every day phrases, terminology and expressions to control apps, online services, devices, cars, mobiles, wearables and the connected systems (IoT). And they expect quick & intelligent responses.

Presently, technology controls the user. You need to adapt yourself to the technology like framing questions in certain predetermined format, usage of predetermined or programmed keywords, etc. The simple combination of tasks like “Turn on the TV after 8 pm and play the News channel” are still a challenge for the bots/technology to comprehend and execute. But what if technology could understand you, not the other way around?

You could simply tell the device/bot what you want to achieve — in your own words, using your own chosen language and terminology. The usage of predetermined or programmed keywords / manuals would be rendered unnecessary. This major evolution in current day bots can be achieved through deep learning technologies, neural networks, self-learning context aware intelligent systems, NLU, NLG, etc.

The existing voice assistants still have mundane responses and also, present-day bots are unable to maintain the dialogue flow or derive context or retain context from previous conversations with the same user.

Successful conversations that engage customers for longer durations require a good understanding of intent and sentiments; this can be challenging without the use of deep learning technologies and neural networks.

Conversational AI brings in an added advantage of enabling reduction in operational costs through Digital Assistants like Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), Virtual Customer Assistants (VCAs), Virtual Employee Assistants (VEAs) and “hands-free” control services. If we believe the predictions, then 25% of digital workers will use a virtual employee assistant (VEA) on a daily basis and future enterprise applications will be primarily voice-based by 2023.

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