Last year was a big one for conversational AI and business bots, and as top AI and tech predictions for 2020 are announced, it’s important to reflect on what’s changed.
Here are five conversational AI and enterprise chatbot developments from 2019 that can help you build smarter solutions this year:
1. People are more comfortable interacting with bots than ever before.
A few years back, interacting with a virtual chatbot was met with resistance, but that has changed. People from all generations, including baby boomers and GenZ, are increasingly embracing chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants as their primary method of communication with an organization.
In fact, people are warming up to enterprise chatbots so quickly, there’s been a drastic shift in this past year alone. “Twice as many consumers this year are willing to interact with chatbots” compared to 2018 respondents, according to Helpshift’s State of Customer Service Automation 2019, an extensive study that analyzed 75 million customer service tickets and 71 million bot interactions.
This same study found that 30 percent of respondents knowingly engage with a customer support chatbot because they believe “chatbots are very helpful.” The intuitive interactions and fast resolutions that chatbots offer create opportunities that businesses cannot ignore. When leveraged appropriately, chatbots help build user trust, increase revenue and reduce operational costs.
2. Voice intelligent virtual assistants have grown in use and functionality.
Voice-enabled IVAs — like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant — are also growing in popularity.
“As of 2019, there are an estimated 3.25 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices around the world,” according to analysis from Statista. “Forecasts suggest that by 2023 the number of digital voice assistants will reach around eight billion units.”
Why are these digital voice assistants projected to increase so dramatically in the next few years? It's because user demands have changed.
People, especially millennial consumers, craved speed, convenience, personalization, and efficiency. In 2019, they used voice assistants for connected devices such as smart thermostats, lights, appliances, and speakers, ultimately giving voice-enabled assistants more usefulness in a user’s life.
Businesses that executed a voice assistant strategy gained a coveted competitive edge. Listening to consumers allowed organizations to better understand user behaviors and propel businesses forward.
3. The explosion of data and its management is still a challenge for large enterprises, but AI Blueprint can help.
Large enterprises with massive networks and management systems can house an incomprehensible wealth of data. The quality of this data and the way it's organized are two huge concerns, as are safety and security.
A 2019 research report from Experian reveals that poor data quality and management keep businesses from accomplishing their top priorities. According to Experian's research, “Fifty-three percent of businesses surveyed say their number-one business priority over the next year is customer experience. This even outranks other business objectives, like reducing risk or gaining cost efficiencies. Unfortunately, 69 percent of organizations claim that their flawed data hinders them from providing an excellent customer experience.”
Fortunately, Verint Next IT’s AI Blueprint™ makes the most of your conversational data. AI Blueprint analyzes structured or unstructured text or voice data — allowing you to better understand your customers, uncover ROI opportunities, and create engaging experiences.
4. Chatbots that align to a strategic domain focus and specific KPIs thrive.
The improvements in Natural Language Proccessing (NLP) technology have grown significantly in the last few years. But it's not only the technology that has come a long way. Correspondingly, companies are getting more sophisticated in how they develop and deploy their conversational AI strategies.
Companies that leverage business data and align their chatbots with defined use cases and key performance indicators (KPIs) are seeing measurable success. In our Executive’s Guide whitepaper, “Five Enterprise Chatbot Usecases to Future Proof Your Business,” we address five impactful use cases for IVAs. The paper shows how specialized chatbots enable businesses to accelerate new automation opportunities and achieve faster ROI.
5. Companies are leveraging their conversational AI solutions from the inside out.
Conversational AI is changing how companies support not just their customers but also their workforce. Although one of the most well-known ways to use a chatbot is for customer web support, in 2019 we saw more organizations turn their conversational AI focus internally, creating “super IVAs” to empower their workforce.
These super IVAs are integrated with backend systems and repositories, so when contact center agents who are assisting customers on the phone have a question of their own, they can leverage the super IVA to get faster answers, find documents, or receive information not generally available. Not only can a super IVA help your employees receive ongoing training and gain more confidence, but it also helps your agents to provide customers with faster resolutions and better experiences.
As you enter 2020, you’ll see that more companies will plan to use IVAs in tandem with their staff as a “hybrid workforce.”
New Year, New Technology
As organizations continue to benefit from their conversational AI deployment, more enterprises, healthcare organizations, and government agencies will leverage IVAs in 2020 and beyond. How do you plan to use it?
Create an intelligent conversational AI strategy for the new year with help from Verint Next IT. Contact us to get started.
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