What is conversational AI?
Conversational AI is enabled by technologies that understand, respond to, and learn from customer interactions. Chatbots and virtual assistants use natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and speech detection, among others, to help customers quickly reach resolutions over the phone, on a website, or via messaging channels – all by using natural communication.
It also applies to AI-powered tools that serve as co-pilots, as they guide live agents and enable them to better engage with customers. By removing manual tasks, agents can focus on what really matters: delivering faster, more personalized customer experiences.
How does conversational AI work?
Conversational AI revolutionizes how agents get work done
See how conversational AI is transforming the contact center
Intelligent and effortless service
Self-service tools have gained popularity because they empower customers to quickly solve problems without the need for an agent. These tools can help customers resolve common issues, such as checking a bank balance or troubleshooting a router. Intelligent virtual assistants (chatbots) can be deployed over the phone, web, email, and digital messaging channels. AI can improve self-service by automatically determining context and suggesting the next best actions to take during an interaction ¬– even customizing offers and offering proactive solutions.
How AI improves self-service
- Reduced cost of service: Handling common inquiries that can be contained without escalating to an agent
- Always-on availability: Self-service tools that are always available on the channel of choice
- Awareness of customer context: Powered by knowledge of the customer’s current state, regardless of the engagement channel
- Contextually appropriate engagement: Understanding intent and suggesting the next best actions to take
- Triage email volume: Using automated email bots that recognize intent, respond contextually for straight-through processing in some cases, and queue for agents when required
Let agents work smarter, faster
Voice and Messaging AI is the technology that guides agents across every live customer interaction over phone or messaging channels. It frees up agents’ time by automating data entry and knowledge searching, allowing them to focus on customer success. Real-time intelligence and NLP analyze conversations as they take place, delivering timely insights that simplify, guide, and automate experiences for both agents and customers.
How AI improves agent-assisted service
- Hands-free data entry: Automatically fill in forms during interactions without an agent lifting a finger, reducing repetitive manual work and letting agents focus on the customer, not the process
- Real-time contextual knowledge: Surface contextual knowledge and recommendations so agents can resolve issues faster
- Automated case initiation: Automatically suggest and launch cases that orchestrate customer journeys from end to end
- Script adherence: Guide agents and ensure compliance with real-time script adherence directly on the desktop
Continuous improvement driven by real-time analytics
Conversational AI guides agents during live calls even when that means alerting a supervisor or suggesting a transfer. And the guidance isn’t over when the call ends – immediate feedback and insights provide opportunities to improve performance and efficiency.
- Live call transcripts visualize the conversation, highlight relevant information, and improve search
- Enhanced wrap-up and review capabilities increase post-call agent efficiency, improve QA, and allow agents to quickly work their queue
- Real-time supervisor alerts enable supervisors to engage and take immediate corrective action
- New analytics and insights help identify successes and opportunities for improvement
Frequently Asked Questions about conversational AI
Pega's Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) is an example of conversational AI within the Pega Platform™. The IVA allows businesses to create and deploy AI-powered virtual assistants to engage with customers and users through various channels, such as websites, mobile apps, and messaging platforms.
For instance, a company using Pega's Intelligent Virtual Assistant could implement a virtual customer service representative that assists customers with inquiries, troubleshoots issues, and provides information.
No, conversational AI and chatbots are not exactly the same, but they are related. Conversational AI is a broader term that refers to technologies that enable machines to understand, interpret, and respond to human language. Chatbots are one of the most common applications of conversational AI, and they use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to simulate human conversation and provide automated assistance to customers.
Some challenges in conversational AI include accurately understanding natural language, detecting user intent, providing relevant responses, handling complex conversations, maintaining context across multiple interactions, ensuring data privacy and security, and seamlessly integrating with various channels and devices to provide a consistent user experience.
Overcoming these challenges requires a combination of advances in NLP, ML, and user experience design.