Modern Retail

Conversational AI For Next-Gen Customer Experience

Conversational AI

In 2020, customer experience will surpass the price and the product and become the key brand differentiator.

86% of people are willing to pay more for exceptional customer experience. 

49% of buyers have made impulse purchases thanks to a more personalised experience. 

These stats illustrate how powerful customer experience is for the growth of any business. Conversational AI is a game-changer in this field and it will revolutionise the way brands build loyalty with their customers

Here’s what you should know about this state-of-the-art technology and how it will drive the next-generation customer experience. 

What Is Conversational AI? 

In a nutshell, conversational AI is a technology which employs natural language processing (NLP) in order to build intelligent chatbots, capable of more than simply using predefined sentences to respond to customer queries. 

These sophisticated algorithms can create more complex and flexible responses and have more natural-sounding conversations. They can adjust their feedback based on every individual situation and context.

As a matter of fact, AI-powered conversational chatbots actually learn from every conversation and use that newly acquired knowledge to help customers reach their goals. 

Long gone are the days when companies could rely on phone calls and live chats as the main ways of solving their customers’ issues and answering product-related questions. This traditional process is outdated, clunky, slow, and way too expensive. 

All this means that conversational AI will bring numerous benefits both to businesses and their customers, and significantly raise the bar when it comes to customer experience and their expectations. 

It Goes Beyond Providing Answers 

This advanced technology will not only utter a couple of canned phrases containing the answer to your customer’s question. Conversational AI tries to imitate and mimic the way humans interact. 

That’s exactly why it will very soon be impossible to tell whether you’re talking to a human or an intelligent chatbot when you’re online. 

AI-powered chatbots can be used to offer different relevant pieces of information to your customers such as the service legal agreement, upcoming features, or product updates. They can also provide links to useful self-service resources thus allowing customers to prevent any potential future issues.  

This will significantly streamline the customer support process and reduce the number of problems that customers encounter.  

It Allows for Multilingual Support 

If you’re already doing business in different regions of the world or are planning to expand, you’re very well aware of how important it is to speak to your customers in their mother tongue. 

Namely, using English as an international language isn’t an effective option because people feel more comfortable using their own native language when making purchases or solving product-related issues. Yes, even when they’re proficient in English. 

So far this meant that you needed to hire interpreters and translators to localize your product and offer customer support. While customization is usually a one-time thing, customer support is a more complex issue. This is an expensive solution, and in many cases, it’s virtually impossible to maintain such a large customer support department to cover every region you’re doing business in. 

For conversational AI, multilingual support is somewhat of a regular feature, and it means that you can offer superb customer experience in different languages at a reasonable cost. Besides being practical, this solution shows that you care about your customers and want to “speak their language.” 

Conversational AI Is Available All the Time 

While even regular chatbots that aren’t AI-powered are available 24/7, their conversational cousins use this feature to the fullest. 

Namely, chatbots, in general, eliminate time zone barriers and make it possible for customers to get answers to their pressing issues at any time – even if it’s 2am.

But, conversational AI takes this functionality to the next level by improving the customer onboarding process. With the help of conversational chatbots, it’s possible to onboard customers at their own time and pace. 

This tremendously reduces customer churn because new users will be successfully onboarded. 

If we bear in mind that, for example, 75% of new mobile app users churn within a week, as well as that somewhere between 40-60% of free trial users use a product only once, it’s clear that engaging your new customers and showing them how to make the most of your product or service is essential for the success of your business. 

It’s Always Ready to Answer an Endless Stream of Customer Questions

Some of which might be silly, annoying, and mainly repetitive. 

It’s true that scientists try to make interactions with conversational AI as human-like as possible, although that’s not always desired. 

Human customer service reps are, well, human and that means they can be annoyed, angry, irritated, and sassy – all of which is unacceptable in their job. 

Conversational chatbots never lose it, even when a customer is rude or if they yell. After all, a chatbot is an intelligent algorithm and is perfectly capable of performing repetitive, tedious tasks and always be calm and polite, without stepping on anyone’s toes. 

Customers’ needs and satisfaction are their only concern. 

It Eliminates Friction From Customer Journey 

Conversational AI can ensure a smoother customer journey.

All the examples we’ve discussed so far serve this purpose too. 

But there’s a critical moment in a customer journey that can decide whether someone will actually make a purchase or abandon their shopping cart – filling out the form. 

If your form is too long and complex, your potential customers will abandon the process without making a purchase. 

Conversational chatbots can be used to assist customers throughout the purchasing process. They can also collect the same information that the form is used for but in a much more customer-friendly way. So, instead of presenting your potential customers with an 11-field form, implement a helpful, conversational chatbot that will take care of everything, including helping with the checkout. 

Besides, a chatbot that pops up on product pages and offers additional information, helpful videos, and even discount codes can do wonders for speeding up the decision-making process. 

Conversational AI will disrupt the customer support process and help brands delight their customers with amazing customer experience. 

Credit: Michael Deane at Qeedle.