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Conversational AI is set to be the next iteration of automated customer interaction. Would your business benefit from having a conversational assistant? Read here to find out more.

Chatbots have been a game-changer for marketing and customer support. The numbers speak for themselves. For instance, chatbots will handle 85% of customer interactions by 2021, cutting operational costs by 30%. Moreover, millennials are twice as likely to prefer a chatbot for personal shopping over a human assistant. Also, according to Facebook data, people are more likely to use messaging to contact a business than any other medium.

Despite the stellar progress of chatbots, the industry is already evolving. Conversational AI is set to be the next iteration of automated customer interaction.

Would Your Business Benefit from Having a Conversational Assistant?

So does your business need a voice assistant? If so, which use cases are best suited to conversational assistance? And where can you find a chatbot development resource?

Conversational Assistance Is a Missed Opportunity for Businesses

Even in today’s heavily text-oriented society, people love voice interactions. For example, every day, WhatsApp users spend a total of two billion minutes on voice and video calls.

This preference also spills over into customer interaction with people’s chosen brands and providers. According to a 2019 report by Capgemini, titled “Smart Talk,” 74% of people surveyed had used a conversational interface for online shopping. Also, more than half had done so for their banking and insurance requests.

However, brands aren’t yet catching up with this preference. The same report revealed that fewer than 25% of retailers currently offer voice integration. Among banking and insurance firms, the number was even lower at 17%.

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Benefits of Conversational Assistance

Along with meeting customer preferences, there are other opportunities for businesses that choose to integrate conversational AI. For example, voice assistants enable you to scale up your operations. This is because they can hold a potentially infinite number of conversations at the same time, with no downtime.

According to Capgemini, the benefits of conversational bots even outweigh those of a message-based chatbot. For example, the report shows that:

  • 74% of organizations using voice saw more than a 20% reduction in customer service costs
  • 63% saw more than 20% reduction in customer churn
  • 62% improved their net promoter scores by more than three points
  • 88% reduced customer wait times by more than five minutes

Voice-Based AI Yields Valuable Data

Furthermore, using voice-based AI provides abundant, valuable data. Many providers also offer an integrated analytics dashboard. This enables you to gather insights into what customers are talking about. Further, these insights can help you to understand which topics result in the best conversion rates. They can also identify customer pain points, enabling you to solve problems for a better user experience.

Ways to Integrate Conversational Assistants

Most of us are familiar with the idea of talking to our smartphones or smart speakers such as the Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices. It’s possible to tap into these services via the provider’s developer portals.

However, there are other innovative channels for voice assistance that are yet to be widely adopted. This provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate to your customers that you’re ahead of the game.

For example, you can set up a conversational assistant on your company website, in a similar way to messenger chatbots. It’s also possible to integrate voice to an app, or into an existing customer contact center. 

Use Cases of Conversational Assistants

Many industries can deploy conversational assistants to great effect. Here are just a few.

Retail

In retail, voice assistants can answer customer questions about products, call up products on screen, take orders and delivery information, upsell to increase order value, and handle inquiries about deliveries.

Service and Healthcare

With the service and healthcare sectors, conversational AI can help customers to find a suitable venue or practitioner, answer questions about services, make an appointment, and provide directions to the premises.

Travel Industry

Companies in the travel industry can use voice assistants to enable customers to book their flights, train rides, or car rentals. They can help customers find and book accommodation, answer questions about facilities, special needs, or nearby attractions.

Financial Sector

The financial sector can provide conversational assistants via websites and call centers to deal with customer inquiries about their banking and insurance coverage.

Real Estate

Finally, realtors could deploy voice to help potential buyers browse properties for sale in their area, answer questions about the properties and the neighborhood, and make appointments for viewings.

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How to Set up a Conversational Assistant

With a host of providers to choose from, there’s no need to build your own conversational AI from the ground up. However, you will have to think about the specific requirements of your business to help you choose the best provider to meet your needs.

Some voice providers specialize in a particular sector, so they will have a solid understanding of the needs and challenges within their industry. For example, Glia serves banking and insurance clients, while Twiggle is aimed at retailers.

Another consideration is the level of in-house expertise needed. For instance, Hyro offers a plug-and-play conversational AI platform that makes it easy to deploy and scale up as required. Conversely, Speechly is aimed at developers who can plug into its API to integrate voice into their apps.

Finally, not all providers necessarily offer integrations across all channels, so which provider you use will depend on which interfaces your customers use most often. For example, if the majority of your conversions are driven from your social channels, then you can immediately eliminate providers that don’t offer social integration.

Your Business Can Soon Be up and Running with Its Own Conversational Assistant

If your business has already integrated a chatbot, many of the considerations involved in choosing a suitable voice integration will be similar. Accordingly, armed with the information in this guide, you can soon be up and running with your own voice assistant. Then you will start to reap the benefits conversational assistance will bring.

To discover more ways technology can benefit your business, be sure to browse our blog.