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More than talk: How Conversational AI turns chats into action

Jul 6, 2023 | 3 min read

Conversational AI enables businesses to seamlessly connect with customers through natural and meaningful conversations.

The year is 2014. You just unboxed your first smart speaker. Anxiously, you loom over the glowing tower, armed with a queue of questions to test its limits. Will it rain tomorrow? How deep is the Mariana Trench?

A couple spins of the colorful wheel and, like magic, she’d serve up an answer. The technology dazzled us with dad jokes and bedtime stories, while settling friendly disputes over who starred in that one movie from five years ago. We loved it for its parlor tricks.

But under the surface, much more was brewing: we all got more comfortable talking with machines.

A decade later, Conversational Artificial Intelligence (CAI) enters the conversation. Machines now do more than spout one-off replies—they’ve gotten better than ever at talking back. And for business, they’re far more than chatty pals—CAI turns every voice or text chat into action.

Here’s why one-third of organizations are using the talkative technology to power their student, employee, and customer service workflows.

What is Conversational AI?

Traditional chatbots felt formulaic: they aced following scripts, but they ran into trouble when a customer’s query didn’t match their playbook word-for-word. Getting a computer to understand the nuances of language—slang, quirks, and the 645 documented meanings of the English word ‘run’—was ambitious.

Just think of the dozens of ways a retail customer can ask for help tracking their order:

Conversational AI helps technology communicate with us in friendly, approachable, and helpful ways. It smashes the language barrier between humans and machines. We can now ask our questions naturally, like we were speaking with a friend, thanks to the evolution of large language models, like ChatGPT.

Better yet, the talkative tech connects with your backend business systems to actually perform the tasks that satisfy a customer’s request. CAI goes beyond mimicking conversation—it can actually solve customer problems.

A voice call, WhatsApp, Slack—wherever the conversation lives—AI can jump into other applications and software to trigger automated tasks. Which is good news for businesses looking to improve their customer service strategy. According to Gartner, only 9% of customers are able to solve their issues through traditional self-service methods.

Here are just a few examples of how CAI can usher a chatbot exchange through an end-to-end automated process:

Behind the scenes, you can see that CAI does more than chat. CAI integrates conversation into the whole of your hyperautomation strategy, activating tasks and processes that drive your business.

How does Conversational AI work?

Under the hood, you can picture Conversational AI building a mind map or playing the star-studded thought experiment of the 1990s, Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon. People would try to analyze their network of acquaintances to see how closely they were linked to the Hollywood actor. Mathematically, CAI plays the same game: our words serve as contextual clues connecting our question to the nearest, most relevant answer. Here are the technologies sharpening technology’s conversational chops.

Natural Language Processing

Computers aren’t passive bystanders in communication, plucking from dry, pre-written scripts. They become active participants in conversation, inviting customers to ask questions and describe problems in language that feels natural.

Natural Language Generation

Machines are familiar with the quirks, tics, and emotional tells of human language. Here’s where they pick up the skill to not just understand us, but talk back. Organizations can use NLG outside of conversation. The same language mastery can summarize meeting notes, prepare reports, compare documents, and compile insights.

Sentiment Analysis

Tap into a customer’s impression of your product or service. Conversational AI can “sense” whether a customer is thrilled or frustrated, and develop a course of action. If the CAI agent senses a conversation is going south or additional expertise is needed, the call is seamlessly handed over to a human rep.

Hyperautomation

Conversational AI is not a standalone app. It closely collaborates with your other automations. CAI agents can look up information, connect with back-end systems, and send texts or emails for the customer to review mid-call.

Machine Learning

Best yet, each conversation is a training tool. With each interaction, CAI learns more about your broader customer and user base. It also gains deeper insight into individual preferences and needs.

According to Gartner, by 2027, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel. But companies will need to do more than just facilitate chats. People will expect conversation not to just move quickly, but act quickly. With Conversational AI, you’ll do more than chat—you’ll fuel a winning hyperautomation strategy.

Next Level. Now.

Where can Conversational AI carry your conversation next? Learn more in our Conversational AI hub and book a demo or consultation with our experts to find out! 

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