Guide To Conversational AI For Customer Service in 2021

Post by
Indrek Vainu
    Published: 
April 22, 2021
 Guide To Conversational AI For Customer Service in 2021

1. Introduction

Conversational AI enables automated and informative conversational experiences between customers and companies. As the world is increasingly communicating via digital channels customer service can make or break companies revenue growth. 

Because the vast majority of businesses expect a positive response from their customers, marketing and business development have taken center stage in customer-centric organizations. And what is the most pressing factor in this customer-centric shift? Customer service. 

At a time of influencer media a positive customer experience can be worth significant amounts of revenue for companies and we are now at a stage where customer service is a high-impact asset in customer centricity and a business' competitive landscape. As a result, companies must strive to improve their customer support and Conversational AI enables achieving that through AI customer service tools.


2. What Is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) which leverages language to interact with people. It provides an interface to machines to enable a natural, conversational experience. 


Conversational AI in customer service.


What's more, it operates via voice, as opposed to only typing on a keyboard. Conversational AI refers to interacting with computers, devices and applications via the voice, text-based conversations. What makes it different? For starters, natural language processing (NLP) has taken things to a whole new level. 

In other words, AI based chatbots and Virtual Customer Assistants no longer only respond to a few well-defined questions. It is now able to understand natural language and chat with the customer like they would with actual human customer support agents.


3. Rise Of Messaging And Changes In Customer Service

Images of customer service professionals in call centers with thousands of phones are fading into the past as customer support professionals are increasingly messaging on chat applications with customers that spend more time than ever on smartphones and tablets. 

Brands are ditching services that require complex interactions with customers in favour of streamlined, two-way conversations which have helped them reduce costs and increase their retention rates. 



While each customer-service channel has its own set of issues, messaging channels are the fastest growing. At a time when WhatsApp has 2 billion and Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users it is clear to see how messaging has emerged as the dominant force in communication. 


4. How Can Conversational AI Improve Customer Service?

The benefits of Conversational AI are manifold and its impact is most felt on the efficiency it brings to customer support operation and the increase in customer satisfaction. Chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants can make the call center more efficient by offering these benefits:

  • Increasing self-service and deflection rate by 50%
  • Creating an uplift in sales by offering personalized product recommendations
  • Not requiring customers to wait in queues and thus increasing their satisfaction
  • Providing insight from communications between the AI chatbot and the customer

In addition Conversational AI has the impact to simplify customer service. The simplest way that a customer can make a service request is with a phone call or a text. 



However, the wait time can be a lot longer for customers at times of peak traffic. So providing a solution that is available 24/7 and that can answer questions in less than 1 second means customers are receiving quicker support and in turn are more satisfied.


5. How To Use AI In Customer Service?

The concept of AI in customer service is being utilized by most of the large enterprises as they have to deal with millions of customers. 

It is advisable that when you start automating customer service make sure you first have a business case in mind. What is meant by this is that you have a financial metric that you can tie directly to your customer service automation project. 

The exact metric can vary - it can be costs saved, decreased time to resolution, increased revenue from additional personalized sales etc. Whatever it is, have a metric that you can objectively determine whether your automation project is producing results. 

Here is a list of ideas for use cases to automate your customer service operations with Conversational AI:

  • Chatbots for customer support
  • Intelligent Virtual Assistants for personalized support and voice assistants
  • Digital IVRs for better routing
  • Call center transcription and analysis
  • Customer support agent co-pilot modes and agent-assist 


6. AI Customer Service Software Solutions

One of the main use cases for AI in customer service are intelligent chatbots. In order to use AI in a customer service scenario, one needs to include messaging capabilities in their platform. Messaging can either be in social messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger), in the company’s own iOS/Android app or as live chat on their website. 

There are many companies offering customer service automation software and their platforms are available in different versions with varying feature sets and pricing structures. For an indication of Conversational AI pricing, take a look at this article where we provide detailed estimates on AI and chatbot pricing.

For quicker deployments you can use this article on the top 30 chatbot software providers. For more technical solutions we have ranked the top 17 Conversational AI software providers.


7. Conclusion

Conversational AI utilises some of the strongest aspects of natural language processing and is seeing a rise in its utility for improving customer service. Thanks to technological improvements we have got machine learning techniques that could be used to scale up to real-world problems and transform customer service.

If you are looking for Conversational AI chatbots for your customer service, then feel free to sign-up for an account with alphachat.ai In just 5 minutes you can get your own natural language understanding AI chatbot that you can connect with your website.