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Conversational AI and messaging give rise to digital-first customer engagement

COVID-19 brought multiple challenges over the last few months, exposing many organisations’ lack of preparedness to handle a major crisis, but it has energised an existing transformative trend on how digital customer service and delivery should be implemented.

Digital-first seamless customer engagement, has become a business imperative as South Africa pivots into a new normal. Companies are actively shifting their customer engagements from traditional voice channels to messaging channel solutions.

Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the use of chat, messaging, chatbots and AI to automate customer interactions and create convenient and personalised digital customer experiences at scale. Conversational AI ensures that businesses manage customer engagement flows while maintaining service quality by integrating tools like chatbots in contact centre environments, for instance, steering organisations to manage customer expectations more efficiently.

“Altron Bytes People Solutions (Altron BPS) are actively working with their customers, assisting them to adopt digitally-led customer engagement solutions. These customer experience solutions, underpinned by Conversational AI, are integral to maintaining continuity in contact centre capabilities during the transition to a ‘work-from-home’ type contact centre,” says Darryl Marcus, Head of business development and CX enabling technologies.

“Another major concern for most businesses is how to preserve revenue while maintaining high-levels of customer satisfaction as foot traffic declines and consumers move to online channels.”

Marcus highlights; “In recent years, a large number of major brands globally have adopted Conversational AI and messaging as a major part of their customer care and sales environments, significantly improving their Net Promoter Scores (NPS), lowering cost-per-interaction, while increasing sales conversions and reducing churn.”

Conversational AI in the Era of COVID-19 released by Global research firm, International Data Corporation, examines how organisations will participate in this new world of customer and knowledge worker expectation around conversational interfaces.

Conversational AI technology brings seamless interaction between customers and the business, on the customers’ preferred channel of choice, every time. It’s more than just a chat capability. It brings the human element into the ecosystem while allowing the AI component to perform the majority of tasks efficiently.

“Conversational AI and messaging can ensure a seamless transition to remote operations and significantly increase the capacity. As the technology evolves, self-service tools won’t fully replace human ambassadors, but they do improve the employee experience, reducing the number of mundane service tasks, and allowing the more critical service tasks to be escalated by the chatbot to the human.”

Messaging can be scaled with agent-assisting and consumer-facing automation, enabling a reduced or newly-trained workforce to handle more consumer interactions faster. These same benefits allow for businesses to meet their customers in today’s most popular messaging channels, including WhatsApp.

“By considering the shift from voice-to-messaging, it is evident that ‘Conversational chatbots’ working in orchestration with human agents, prove that the Human-AI tango is critical in providing seamless digitally-led customer engagements anywhere, anytime and in any channel, driving seamless customer engagements around the clock,” Marcus adds.

For more information, please contact Darryl Marcus

Head of Business Development and CX Enabling Technologies