People communicate in person, by email, phone, and video chats, the communication barriers have never been lower. Customers are often required to explore customized websites and apps, deal with phone trees, wait for email responses, or handle the restricted availability of human personnel during office hours when communicating with a business, but there are additional places of friction when interacting with a business.
That doesn’t have to be the case, it’s time for businesses to reconsider the role of conversational AI in customer interactions.
It’s become clear in many circumstances that simple speech can replace high-friction processes. Some readers recall that setting a VCR to record a TV program was a difficult technical task that was compared to brain surgery.
However, “conversational AI” refers to a lot more than speech interfaces that only have a few tasks or only work if the user follows certain spoken directions. Take, for example, the Toyota Sienna 2021. When drivers require assistance, they simply talk to a voice-activated digital manual rather than rummaging through a printed manual or calling a professional.
Customers don’t need to dial passwords to authenticate while calling a contact center, their voice can do the work, safely bringing up all of their account information with just a few phrases.
Moreover, while unemployment claims increased throughout COVID-19, state governments such as Illinois did not. Instead of forcing citizens to wait until limited human resources could handle all inquiries, the state supplemented its human workforce with virtual agents who could understand and respond to citizens’ questions, resulting in an 11.5x increase in claims processed year over year during the early months of the pandemic.
Imagine if customers could talk to a company anytime they needed something, not just during business hours, not just when a human is accessible, and not just through lengthy processes.
This kind of experience is becoming a reality, not just a pipe dream, thanks to conversational AI for this excellent opportunity.