Have you ever been frustrated by contextually clueless chatbots? More firms are now turning to conversational AI  to not frustrate customers!

With border restrictions, remote-working, staff shortages and supply chain disruptions affecting operations, businesses have resorted to AI-driven customer relationship management solutions, particularly ‘conversational AI’ to maintain satisfactory levels of interaction with customers.

This kind of CRM automation can be a cost-effective solution for lead generation while reducing the window of human error and delays in service response. While many people associate the already high-tech ‘chatbots’ with conversational AI, there are actually differences.

According to Navdeep Gill, Founder & CEO, XenonStack, consumers in his client base feel comfortable with the idea of interacting with intelligent bots and getting into a conversation as they no longer have to type elementary phrases into a translation software.

DigiconAsia: Which industries can benefit the most from conversational AI, and how? 

Navdeep Gill (NG): Conversational AI is industry-agnostic. A few major sectors that will benefit from it are:

  • Healthcare
  • E-commerce 
  • Manufacturing
  • Travel and Hospitality
  • Banking 
  • Logistics and supply chain
  • Retail

DigiconAsia: How is conversational AI different from the AI used in traditional chatbots?

NG: Conversational AI is fluid and ever-evolving. It is constantly learning from the data analyses and it is equipped to handle much more complex conversations.

The tech has the scope and scalability to evolve and modify. With every conversation it has with a consumer and the inputs it receives, it can analyze data and restructure/enhance conversations for the future.

(Editor’s note: While chatbots are a type of conversational AI, they are usually rule-based, depending on pre-programmed keywords and other language identifiers to trigger pre-written responses. Conversational AI involves the addition of natural language processing and deep learning technologies to deliver more intuitive responses and improve conversational quality over time.)

DigiconAsia: Can it be taken to a hyper-local level (by ensuring a more localized AI) to serve a diverse customer base?

NG: Yes, but it will need trial and error and will come with some challenges. 

Chatbot localization is not as easy as taking an English-language chatbot and translating all its content to a vernacular language. Besides this, language detection can be a challenge with multilingual chatbots. This is because sometimes, a mixture of languages is used while inputting text.

A fully-functional multilingual chatbot must decipher the language, understand precisely what the user wants, and respond naturally. 

DigiconAsia: How will conversational AI shape how businesses streamline the customer experience?

Navdeep Gill (NG): Conversational assistants are the future of businesses as they not only keep the communication between the consumers and company active at all times but also because they are ‘quick learners’.

The global conversational AI market, including chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% for 2020–25, reaching almost US$14bn by 2025.

With chatbots becoming increasingly more complex and intelligent, they are projected to handle 75–90% of healthcare and banking queries by 2022.

AI chatbots are slowly gaining prominence in workplaces. As per Gartner estimates, by 2022 at least 70% of white-collar workers will have daily interactions with this type of AI technology.

DigiconAsia thanks Navdeep for sharing his conversational AI insights.