Not too long ago, the key to winning customers for any business lied in the quality of products and services they provided. But in recent years, a new success factor has appeared — providing the best customer experience. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for better customer experience. And as per a PWC report, 73% of people say that the customer experience provided by the brand is an important factor in making purchasing decisions. 

Customer experience impact on business

What is customer experience, and why is it important?

The above numbers establish how customer experience has slowly become the core of any business in 2020. But starting from the first things first, what is customer experience? Customer experience, or CX, is the holistic perception customers have of any brand based on all their interactions across all touchpoints throughout their journeys.

When customers have a positive experience with a brand, they’re more likely to do business with them again and also recommend them to others, thus meaning increased satisfaction, retention, and revenue.

Here are the top 3 reasons why businesses invest in CX:

Customer experience impact

Where does conversational AI fit in customer experience strategy

Now thinking from a modern customer’s viewpoint, what makes for a good experience? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Relevancy. And human touch. Customers are loyal to brands that consistently provide exceptional products and services with minimum friction, and treat them as people and not just leads. Businesses are increasingly turning to conversational AI to meet the above customer expectations and provide an enhanced experience.

Conversational AI refers to the use of messaging apps, chatbots, and voice-enabled assistants or bots to automate communication and offer human-like interactions to customers. Conversational AI empowers businesses to engage customers in 1:1 interactions via text or voice at scale. Interactions maybe based on context and past behaviors for personalized experiences. By being accessible 24/7 from anywhere at the user’s convenience with quicker responses and shorter wait times, conversational AI changes every aspect of when, where, and how businesses engage and communicate with their customers. Gartner predicts that 47% of organizations will use chatbots for customer care and 40% will deploy virtual assistants to improve CX in the near future. 

How to apply conversational AI to improve CX

Conversational AI applications (both text and voice) optimize customer engagement and help brands enhance the overall customer experience. AI-powered, voice-enabled assistants and chatbots allow customers to interact with businesses using the most intuitive interface, that is, natural language, and, if implemented correctly, help customers get instant and personalized resolutions to their problems.

Here’s the framework to help businesses apply conversational AI to their CX strategy:

Conversational AI for CX

  1. Listen and Learn — Understand your customers

    Use AI technologies like automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU) to parse customers’ speech and text and draw meaningful conclusions. By leveraging the holistic view of customer data, conversational AI applications analyze a conversation in real-time and accurately recognize the intent and context of the user request, thus avoiding any roadblocks to the experience.

  2. Think and Determine — Troubleshoot customer request and recommend the next action

    Once there is an accurate understanding of the user’s intent and need, train the conversational AI bots to resolve the request in the most human-like way possible or guide them to do so. To further maximize customer satisfaction, use AI solutions to predict and proactively recommend the next-best-action.

  3. Collaborate — Deliver automation with a human touch

    A virtual assistant or conversational AI bot is built to engage, understand and guide users in the best possible ways, but at the same time, it should be efficient enough to seamlessly handoff the calls to a human agent, if the need arises, to ensure an uninterrupted experience. And with bots doing repetitive tasks and attending to simple queries, human agents have enough time to focus their efforts on complex requests.

  4. Assist — Augment human agents

    Both AI and humans contribute to conversations. For enhanced customer experience, orchestrate agent-assist (or AI-assist) to help human agents during live calls with suggestions and recommendations from past interactions to speed response time.

  5. Report — Measure performance in real-time

    Analyze and report in real-time to understand how the virtual bots are performing, and optimize the CX strategy effectively. Track bot productivity and efficiency, and measure the average number of responses, net handling time, and the average time to respond. Measure real-time conversation sentiment and post-conversation CSAT and NPS.

The final thoughts 

Businesses are leveraging the power of conversational AI to improve customer satisfaction, increase brand loyalty, and enhance the end-to-end customer experience. The Conversational AI market size is expected to grow from USD 4.8 billion to USD 13.9 billion, at a CAGR of 21.9%, during 2019-2025. 

Chatbots dominate the realm of conversational AI, but quickly AI-enabled voice assistants are widely being accepted across industries for a subset of use cases. Agara, a real-time voice AI platform, enables businesses and consumers to engage in autonomous phone conversations at scale.

Learn how Real-time Voice AI can help you deliver the best experience for your customers. Click here to Schedule a demo. In case of any queries, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]