5 Fundamentals of Conversational Cloud −

The opening session of the Conversational Cloud Conference (#OpusNOLA22) concluded with a slide outlining the five main factors shaping conversational commerce in the coming year. I call them “key takeaways,” and they should be kept in mind by attendees as they pursue plans to introduce conversational AI to enhance customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) initiatives in the cloud.

  1. Conversational AI is a commodity – This means it is “raw material” that can be bought and sold to improve the service’s ability to understand natural language input and reply with the correct response or suggestion
  2. Conversation replaces the contact center – This is a more polite way of saying, “the contact center is dead” and replaced by cloud-based distributed resources that support interactions and transactions between brands and customers across multiple digital channels and across multiple departments and traditional silos
  3. search start all conversations – Acknowledging that most business conversations begin with a visit to one of Google’s many properties, and also acknowledging that individuals typically use natural language input to populate search boxes
  4. Conversational intelligence is the true voice of the customer – Raising awareness of resources that capture every word of every conversation between a brand and its customers, allowing intent to be recognized, commands to be understood and insights to be extracted that can be used in real-time and shared with multiple departments
  5. Automation drives ROI and vice versa – Recognizing that the business case for conversational AI projects is built on the cost savings of automation, i.e. replacing humans with machines; but the end result is freeing up cash to fund more projects and uses.

change will be gradual

The presentation ends with the observation: “It’s all about incremental improvement.”

The adoption of new technologies is constrained by business continuity concerns. Executives rarely abandon technology they already use for the latest shiny product. Instead, they build a business case around a purpose-driven program, then conduct A/B testing to validate the hypothetical impact on the division’s revenue, conversion rates, operating expenses, and its bottom line. The result has been slow but steady progress in implementing AI-infused solutions designed to improve each customer’s satisfaction as well as employee efficiency and overall experience.

Participants in a subsequent panel discussion were able to provide practical answers to questions that arose when launching one of these AI-infused projects. Executives from USAA, Charles Schwab, Lowe’s, Oschner Health and Insightrade involved in implementing conversational cloud strategies join executives from solution providers such as NICE, Vonage, Five9, Invoca, Interactive Media, Sestek and Knowbl. Both generously and candidly shared their thoughts on the state of conversational AI, the power of conversational intelligence, and the pervasiveness of cloud ecosystems.

Reviewing their talks and presentations, I found three great insights. First, it’s no surprise that “search,” rather than chatbots or voicebots, is destined to become the dominant form of intelligent assistance. Earlier in this post, I noticed that “Search starts all conversations”. But that’s just the beginning. Successful implementers discover that their customers and prospects want to be able to conduct natural language searches, and assume that some form of artificial intelligence (also known as an “algorithm”) will provide them with the most appropriate answers or match them with an agent that can.

Second, it’s clear that “conversational intelligence” is more than just “the real voice of the customer.” It is a body of knowledge from multiple sources, properly curated and organized, that can serve as a source of correct answers and real-time responses to the aforementioned conversational search. For companies in the healthcare vertical, this is heavily used as a problem-solving method. Eric Fullmer from Oschner Health, Louisiana’s largest nonprofit academic healthcare system, explains how his company uses CI to “stitch the patient’s journey together.” We’re just saying it’s better by listening to patients than by using tracking cookies and purchased 3rd party data.

Finally, let’s go back to the idea of ​​incremental improvement. While staffing and investment decisions are indeed made on a project-by-project basis, seasoned executives know that identifying those with long-term staying power is important. Derek Roberti, Cognigy’s VP of technology, said it best when he asserted that “if it’s considered a project, it doesn’t put the user experience first.” Long-term value and ROI come from building AI-infused solutions that engage customers and improve employee workflow.

‹ Webinar: “Conversational Intelligence: Gaining Measurable Results Through Better Listening”

Categories: Smart Assistants, Events

Tags: conversational commerce, conversational intelligence, conversational cloud, conversational artificial intelligence

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