Navigating the Crowded Conversational AI Market

The simple guide to understanding and implementing conversational AI

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Navigating the Crowded Conversational AI Market - CX Today News
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Published: August 3, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Conversational AI has quickly become one of the most powerful, and useful tools in the CX landscape. Transforming the ways people and machines interact, conversational artificial intelligence enables new forms of self-service, helps teams deliver personalized customer support, and provides businesses with powerful insights into the customer journey. 

In recent years, demand for this technology has increased, as customer expectations have evolved, forcing companies to deliver faster, more convenient, and customized experiences across all channels. By 2023, the market for conversational AI is expected to reach a value of $41.39 billion. 

However, while the conversational AI landscape can offer a number of distinctive benefits to businesses and their customers, it can be challenging to navigate. As AI algorithms continue to advance, and concepts like generative AI transform the market, it can be difficult for business leaders to know where to begin. Here’s the simple guide to navigating the conversational AI space. 

Mercedes Barbuti, Head of Sales International at XCALLY says:

“Navigating the crowded conversational AI market requires a deep understanding of your target audience and their unique needs. When it comes to conversational AI, simplicity is often the key to success. That’s why XCALLY proves to be a perfect software for managing Conversational AI.”

What is Conversational AI? An Introduction 

The first step in navigating the complex conversational AI landscape is understanding what conversational AI actually is, and how it works. The term conversational AI applies to any artificial intelligence solution capable of understanding and simulating human conversation.  

Primarily, this flavor of AI is made possible by a selection of technologies within the AI space, including machine learning and natural language processing.  

Machine learning is the sub-field of artificial intelligence that allows algorithms to consistently improve themselves with experience and data. Natural language processing, on the other hand, allows AI solutions to process human speech, text, and information using input generation, input analysis, dialogue management, and reinforcement learning.  

In recent years, companies have also begun to invest in the development of “Natural Language Understanding”, or NLU algorithms, which allow bots to actually understand the intent and context behind a query. After a system collects information from a user, a conversational AI solution should also be able to generate a response, using easy-to-understand, human language.  

The advent of generative AI and large language models has improved the ability of chat and voice bots to create more intuitive responses to queries in recent years, opening the door for conversational AI to be utilized in a range of environments, from employee support and HR processes to online customer support, and self-service. 

The Benefits of Conversational AI 

When investing in any new technology, it’s important for business leaders to understand the impact the solution can have on their teams, and day-to-day operations. In the past, accessing and building conversational AI tools would have been a complex, and expensive process for business leaders.  

Now, however, the rise of platforms with built-in conversational AI capabilities ensures any organization can utilize the technology to: 

  • Improve business insights: Conversational AI solutions offer businesses a fantastic way to collect useful insights from customers, in the form of survey requests and feedback, as well as sentiment analysis during conversations.  
  • Save time and resources: Using conversational AI to deliver support to customers can reduce the amount of time and money wasted in a business, making companies more cost-effective, and even more profitable. Business leaders can even reduce the risk of missing out on opportunities, by providing 24/7 service.  
  • Enhance productivity: Conversational AI can help to eliminate repetitive tasks for employees, improve routing strategies, and even support teams with quick access to crucial sources of information.  

Implementing conversational AI solutions effectively provides companies with all the tools they need to enhance both employee, and customer experiences. The results include everything from higher employee engagement and retention, to increased revenue, and better customer satisfaction. 

How to Implement Conversational AI 

As technology has evolved in recent years, and CX toolkits have grown more advanced, conversational AI solutions have become far more accessible to business leaders. Today’s teams can leverage conversational AI solutions as standalone technologies, or as part of a comprehensive toolkit for contact center management and optimization.  

However, while conversational AI is now easier to implement into the business landscape than ever before, there are still steps business leaders need to take to ensure they’re utilizing it correctly: 

Step 1: Evaluate Use Cases, Opportunities and Goals 

Implementing conversational AI technology into a business environment starts with identifying exactly what type of technology will be most beneficial to the business. Companies can experiment with everything from intelligent IVR systems, which help to filter through calls and route customers to the correct agent during their first contact session.  

Alternatively, brands might choose to leverage powerful, yet straightforward bot building tools, to create chatbots and voice bots capable of managing the self-service experience for customers. By defining exactly what they want to achieve with conversational AI, business leaders can ensure they select the right technology, with the correct features.  

Plus, assessing the current CX landscape, the challenges customers face, and the workflows of employees will give organizations an opportunity to identify where they need to unify their conversational AI tools with other systems, like CRM platforms and CCaaS tools.  

Step 2: Choose the Right Conversational AI Partner 

After identifying goals, and opportunities in the conversational AI space, the next step is finding a solution provider capable of providing all the resources required to create an effective tool. Leading solution vendors can allow companies to create bots capable rapidly and quickly of utilizing natural language understanding, speech to text, text to speech and more, without coding knowledge. 

The best AI solution vendor won’t just give businesses the resources they need to start building bots and workflows, they’ll also ensure the tools teams create can integrate with the resources they’re already using in the workplace. What’s more, many platform vendors also offer access to advanced algorithmic features already built into templates, such as sentiment analysis.  

Step 3: Monitor and Improve 

Finally, adding a conversational AI solution into a CX strategy is a lot like hiring a new member of staff. Over time, the bot will evolve thanks to access to endless sources of data, and machine learning capabilities. Additionally, if it’s connected with the right analytical and reporting tools, the conversational AI system should be able to collect information on useful metrics and KPIs. 

Paying attention to the impact the bot or service has on customer and employee experiences alike, and how revenue and retention grows over time, will help businesses to further optimize their tools. Using in-depth analytics, business leaders can consistently upgrade their conversational AI strategy, paving the way for greater employee productivity, and higher customer satisfaction scores.

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