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Conversational AI: The Future of Customer Service

Conversational AI
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  • In the modern world, brands from all sectors must go where their customers are, speak in a familiar language, understand their concerns, and devise novel ways to solve their problems.

    In recent years, customer preferences for communication have undergone a tremendous change due to the accessibility of on-demand messaging. Today‘s customers now anticipate cross-platform interactions with the companies they do business with, and they expect those experiences to be consistent across channels.

    However, conversing via many mediums requires time, effort, and resources. This is where conversational AI technologies can be a lifesaver, by bridging this gap to help organizations deliver strong customer experiences across platforms, responding promptly in each interaction.

    In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of conversational AI, including how it benefits customer service, how it helps agents be more productive, and how it enables organizations to deliver superior customer experiences.

    What is conversational AI?

    Conversational AI is a category of artificial intelligence that enables machines to understand, process, and respond to human language. It’s a subset of AI that employs natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) that enables people to converse with machines in natural, human-like ways.

    Why has conversational AI become so popular?

    Experts suggest that the growing need for automation and speed in business-to-customer interactions is one of the main reasons conversational AI technologies are becoming more and more popular. In this section, we’ll explore some of the other influencing factors to conversational AI adoption.

    Adoption of artificial intelligence 

    Nowadays, AI can do just about anything. With the inception of AI tech — such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which amassed over a million users in less than five days — AI chat tools have become increasingly robust and powerful.

    Increase in remote work

    Due to the recent pandemic, people have embraced remote work around the world, leading to a rise in the use of conversational AI. More than ever before, businesses are using AI chat tools to increase responsiveness and bridge the communication gap with their customers. For example, during the pandemic, government agencies leveraged conversational AI solutions to help mitigate public health emergencies.

    Why do organizations utilize conversational AI in customer service?

    A company’s success depends on how well it manages post-sale customer support needs. Unsatisfactory experiences brought on by poor service can result in a significant loss of potential customers.

    As a point of fact, recent research suggests that 91% of customers are willing to switch brands due to subpar customer support. Additionally, another 46% say they prefer live chat to email or social media messaging. This demonstrates the modern customer’s increasing demand for real-time assistance. 

    Forward-thinking companies recognize this shift and have made smart investments that enable them to deliver more efficient omnichannel customer service strategies, as face-to-face interactions become few and far in between. To this end, more and more contact center managers are deploying conservational AI-powered solutions to meet customer expectations and enjoy the following benefits.

    Increased customer personalization

    Today’s customers increasingly expect personalized experiences.because they feel heard and valued throughout the entire customer journey. Conversational AI can be configured to offer this customized experience to each of your customers, meeting their expectations and keeping them engaged and satisfied.

    Quick turnaround time

    Being able to respond instantly to customer inquiries is a top priority for leading customer support teams. After all, rapid response times establish a business’ as a company committed to serving customers to the best of its abilities. When average response times are kept low, customers are happier, which increases the chances they become loyal to a brand.

    Using AI and automation, businesses can provide nonstop customer service around the clock. But it’s not enough to simply react fast. Customers expect to receive a solution to their problems immediately. So, in addition to a fast response time, the response also has to be substantive.

    More effective agents

    Chatbots can handle routine customer service tasks — like responding to frequently asked questions or helping customers find the information they’re looking for. In other words, bots can take care of all of the monotonous, routine inquiries that come into the contact center so agents don’t have to.

    Increased ROI

    Businesses can significantly reduce their hiring and training costs by utilizing a chatbot. Customer service is demanding, so agents prefer to work for companies that provide a better work-life balance. By investing in chatbot technology and taking repetitive tasks off their plates, agents are happier, more engaged, and more likely to stick around.

    Customer support operations can be made much more efficient and time-effective by automating post-purchase communications. To do this, companies can proactively address frequently asked questions, solicit customer feedback, and resolve common problems.

    By handling all routine tasks with chatbots, agents can concentrate on more difficult inquiries, enabling them to resolve complex issues in a timely manner.

    Add it all up, and conversational AI can help contact centers deliver impressive ROI.

    The state of conversational AI: Conventional chatbot technology vs. contemporary agent augmentation

    Conversational AI leverages NLP to understand human text, such as what a customer may be typing or saying. However, since the introduction of conversational AI and chatbot technology, enterprise savviness around use cases and best practices has only improved.

    That said, not every organization is keen on investing in chatbot technology. Here are some of the main reasons why.

    No one enjoys talking to a robot

    Even with natural language processing, bots are only as advanced as they are created-to-be; take Siri or Alexa as an example. There are countless situations where the bot simply does not understand a customer’s input and may respond incoherently.

    Are they really deflecting calls?

    Brands increasingly use chatbots to deflect inbound calls and reduce costs. However, there’s an argument that consumers aren’t always thrilled with these interactions. As a result, many customers are hesitant to put their trust in a chatbot to resolve service issues because they are skeptical that chatbots can provide the same level of service as a human agent.

    Chatbots are obnoxious 

    Most conversational AIs are limited in the scope of queries they can respond to, and many tend to give generic feedback. These shortcomings often frustrate customers due to the need for more emotion, sympathy, and personalization.

    Do chatbots really lower costs?

    Although hiring a human rep seems costly compared to using bots, it’s important to note that implementing and maintaining chatbots can be expensive in its own right. As a result of the constant development in the field of AI and machine learning, businesses are regularly increasing their spending on conversational AI technologies to stay up to date. This is why it’s so important to invest in a proven conversational AI solution that’s on the leading edge.

    The future of conversational AI

    Ian Jacob’s publication “Stop Trying To Replace Your Agents With Chatbots — No, Seriously!” highlights that chatbots mania is merely a trend, with most customer-facing firms planning to hop on the bandwagon if they’re not there already.

    However, in the last section, we explored some of the traditional hesitations around adopting chatbot technology. So, what’s the best way forward for AI-powered customer service? How can organizations use conversational AI most optimally?

    The answer is not an either-or approach but combining the best of both worlds, human and AI, in a process known as agent augmentation.

    Agent augmentation: The solution

    Agent augmentation involves enhancing your agent’s capabilities, i.e., giving your agent superpowers to eliminate menial tasks. Forrester’s recent report on conversational AI highlights the fact that customer service professionals can make the most of their conversational AI software through agent augmentation.

    By combining the best of both worlds, organizations can truly maximize the benefits of AI technology and improve their customer engagements and experiences.

    Introducing Level AI, the future of AI-powered CS software!

    Considering the cons of traditional conversational AI, we decided to leverage an agent augmentation business model to create Level-AI, the leading AI-powered contact center solution for enterprises.

    Here at Level AI, we specialize in providing agents with conversational AI tools that empower them to do their best work during day-to-day customer interactions. Using Level-AI, your team can deliver superior CX thanks to the following features.

    Pre-configured integrations and analytics

    Level AI automatically summarizes calls and enters call notes into your CRM. It also comes prebuilt with capabilities for integration and tracking. With these features, customers can configure Level AI to recommend knowledge sources to agents, provide answer suggestions based on specific tags, and improve overall customer-agent interactions.

    Real-time agent-facing tools assist

    Level AI technology comes with real-time voice analytics and interaction insights. While interacting with a customer, the technology can detect customer aggravation and offer real-time customer interaction tips.

    QA monitoring

    Level AI offers monitoring capabilities for each agent-customer interaction and, if necessary, escalates observations and transcripts to the respective manager or QA auditor. In turn, managers and auditors can use these QA monitoring features to spot training opportunities for specific agents. 

    Advanced machine learning capabilities

    With our state-of-the-art AI technology, Level AI assists agents in finding answers faster by breaking down data silos and providing context about why customers are contacting your agents in the first place.

    Take your customer service to the next level with Level AI!

    If you’re searching for a tool that puts the latest AI/ML advances in the hands of customer care agents, quality assurance managers, and call center leaders, look no further.

    Give us a call, book a demo, or, better yet, take Level AI for a test drive today!

    Get a free demo today!

    Your customers will thank you for it!