It is a well-established fact that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can transform the way we live. From CEOs and commercial bankers to fashion designers and even miners, the wave of technology is impacting everyone. Analysts predict that half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055. McKinsey Global Institute suggests that even today industries have the potential to automate almost 30% of such tasks that comprise 60% of their total workload.
But how are automation and AI useful for business processes? How can businesses optimize human resource management, customer servicing, or employee enablement using these technologies? The answer is ‘conversational AI’.
What is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI is a computer program designed to intelligently communicate with users via speech, text, or visual interactions. It can use any medium for the bi-directional communication - virtual agents (chatbots or voice bots), apps, websites, social platforms and/or messenger platforms. The motive of the conversation can be for the users to gain information, complete tasks, or execute transactions.
Gartner predicts that people will eventually have more conversations with AI bots than with their spouse! Given the surge of messenger services and demographic developments, the business model of companies in the near future is sure to be influenced by technologies like conversational AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP), cognitive computing, and Machine Learning (ML).
AI already assists organizations in making informed decisions, making faster business moves, automating & streamlining operations, and boosting overall productivity. With conversational AI, businesses can develop virtual agents capable of delivering personalized experiences to both customers and employees. These smart solutions can be used for imparting knowledge, resolving queries, or simply to walk the user through a procedure. Eventually, conversational AI is sure to take over a greater portion of organizational functions positively impacting the business performance in many ways.
Driving differentiation across industries
With over 60 enterprise deployments, handling 60 million queries per month, with an industry-leading accuracy of 93%(average), Senseforth’s Conversational AI solutions offer a truly integrated omnichannel experience. Built on the revolutionary Conversational AI platform, A.ware, the solutions can be deployed across all user touchpoints. A.ware mimics human cognitive abilities in reading, comprehending, interpreting, and conversing.
Here are some of the examples of conversational AI and commerce solutions across different industries and business functions built by Senseforth for various businesses:
Automating HR support and driving employee engagement
The primary goal of HR management is to strategically partner with employees to drive their career progression. However, it is the one domain that is plagued the most with work lock-ins like answering redundant questions and handling processes that require minimal human intellect. Conversational AI can offload these repetitive requests off the HR’s head and automate processes like screening calls and first-line interviews based on required parameters. Additionally, from screening candidates and guiding them through the interview process, to facilitating the onboarding of new recruits and even answering repetitive questions, conversational AI can transform a wide array of HR processes.
One of the Big Four accounting firms, wanted to tackle a similar problem. Having a professional services network across 7 cities in India, it was facing issues with employee management. With the growing size of a company, the workload, functionalities, and expectations from the HR evolve proportionally. Senseforth suggested that conversational AI can act as a “third arm” for the HR function by supporting transactional activities such as time collection, payroll, record keeping, etc. A chatbot or cognitive agent can efficiently work alongside the human workforce. The bot can not only address frequently asked employee queries but also provide timely updates on their training schedules.
An employee engagement conversational AI bot was hosted on the client’s internal system to solve this problem. It has the following features -
- Addressing HR-related queries (both static and dynamic)
- Allowing personalized two-way communication for maximum employee engagement
- Providing real-time people pulse
- Pushing notifications, surveys, and polls
- Integrating with various HRMS systems to provide HR services like applying for leave and appraisals
Employing a chatbot minimizes duplication of effort and tackles dependencies between systems and processes more easily. The platform manages inquiries that were previously handled by HR, including benefits, admin and record-keeping activities. Workers can easily access multiple services through seamless conversations, without the need of navigating through different portals. This provides consistent and frictionless experiences to the employee while eliminating the tasks from HR’s to-do list that require low human intelligence.
Driving revenue growth and optimizing manpower with Conversational Banking
A significant amount of employee time in banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industries is exhausted in gathering and processing data. Such repetitive tasks can easily be automated using Conversational AI. Such solutions can help improve customer engagement and better understand customer likes and dislikes.
India’s largest private sector bank, HDFC Bank was also seeking an automated solution to provide financial assistance to its users. Ranked in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations, the bank was looking for a solution to boost revenue while optimizing opex. Senseforth designed a solution customized to its business needs to help the client leverage conversational AI for solving static customer queries related to a wide array of banking services and save employee time and effort.
The aim was to reduce redundant labor, provide easy access to simplified financial details, push forward complex queries, and assist customers with common queries like credit limit and mini statements. A customer service conversational AI solution was deployed on the client’s website where visitors can easily chat with it. HDFC Bank’s EVA is available on the mobile app and can be accessed via Google Assistant and Alexa.
Essential features include-
- Answer repetitive queries i.e. FAQs
- Recommend banking services/ products
- Answer transactional queries related to account like account summary, mini statement, balance transfer, apply for cards, credit limit inquiries, etc.
- Compare multiple products via carousel list followed by call-to-action buttons
- Generate leads
- Available on website, mobile app, Alexa and Google Assistant
The interactive live assistant is the client’s new channel of engagement and business growth. It generates revenue while fulfilling all transactions available on various user touchpoints. All the information extracted from conversations helps deliver proactive personalized service. Using a conversational prompt, the company can now turn a simple query into a mortgage inquiry, holiday insurance, or even a request for a car loan! The conversational AI solution has resolved over 14.6 Million queries with an accuracy of over 95.5% to date.
Helping young mothers build personalized meal plans for their kids
While lifestyle diseases do not come with warnings or seasons, taking precautions to stay healthy is a year-round requirement. However, owing to the lack of an accessible platform, customers often face difficulties in connecting with qualified professionals for health tips, prescriptions, or even rudimentary diagnosis. Conversational AI can be instrumental in bridging the gap between this demand and supply.
One example of this need being addressed is NINA, Nestle’s AI-powered nutritionist . Nestle is a world-renowned Swiss multinational food and drinks processing conglomerate with 2000 brands present in 190 countries and a history going back to the 19th century. This F&B behemoth was looking for a solution to strengthen its credentials as a nutrition expert and deepen trust with consumers and stakeholders.
Keeping the requirements into perspective, Senseforth built a conversational AI solution to interact with users in a human-like manner and offer real-time, personalized advice on nutrition that is balanced, scientifically correct and customized to their unique needs. Integrated with Google assistant, the solution was designed to help mothers provide their children with a balanced diet.
The AI-powered nutritionist has the following features -
- Accessible on Google Assistant and Google Home device
- User identification
- Setting up of meal plans for kids
- Setting up reminders
Acting as a personal assistant, the bot can recommend meal plans for children according to regional preferences and allergic symptoms, segregated by food types. It can also suggest nutritious recipes, tips, and hacks to make meals more appealing for kids. The bot can answer static FAQ’s providing nutrition facts and debunking dietary myths.
Enhancing customer engagement across various channels
In this digital age, while consumers have all that they can ask for – convenience, speed, offers – they continually crave for a more personalized shopping experience. Conversational AI is particularly helpful in addressing this need, recreating the persona of a sales representative and offering users a natural way to communicate. These types of conversational AI solutions are also more commonly referred to as conversational commerce solutions. They add a personal touch to every conversation helping customers seamlessly navigate through company offerings and zero down on exactly what they desire. It is like having a shopping assistant with all the answers ready on toes 24*7!
Senseforth a leading home furnishing retail brand with pan nation outreach, unlock the benefits of conversational commerce. With 15k+ customers walking into its 77 stores across 44 cities every hour to browse through an assortment of more than 14 million products, the brand was looking for ways to enhance customer experience. The client aimed to deliver the required Customer Experience (CX) by combining the two things people love to do – chatting and shopping!
The need was to expand interaction points across the customer’s buying journey. For this purpose, Senseforth built a customer service conversational commerce solution integrated via Google Assistant. Powered by a combination of machine learning and natural language processing, the AI bot can provide customer service, sales support, and other commerce-related functions. It is capable of -
- Answering queries like order status, nearest home center, exchange, etc.
- Getting accessed by Google Assistant on mobile or Google Home device
- Engaging with offers and promotions
- Handling various speech variations
The conversational commerce solution can deliver useful information 24/7 and easily resolve customer queries.
Revolutionizing customer service by automating email support
By accessing customer data and applying advanced analytics, conversational AI is capable of accurately analyzing customer communication patterns, transactional history, and buying preferences. This helps strengthen training data and creates a rewarding experience owing to the enhanced knowledge base of the conversation.
These advantages offered by conversational AI came in handy for a national non-bank private-sector life insurer operating since the liberalization of the insurance sector in the country. With 400+ employees in 239 offices, it was serving long-term savings and protection & retirement plans to the customers for over a decade. The insurer, however, needed a platform to satisfy customers seeking instant gratification.
Senseforth recognized the need to increase customer lifetime value by boosting engagement across ‘email’ touchpoints. The immediate requirement was for the solution to disclose relevant information to their customers and handle email traffic in the quickest possible turn around. Senseforth suggested a Conversational AI platform that can predict various steps in a customer’s journey. Customer service AI bot was built on the client’s internal system and deployed on-premise.
Combining business rules with predictive models, the bot can showcase the right offer at the right time for every customer. Designed to improve the speed of response to customer queries, increase operational efficiency, and enrich the overall customer experience, the email bot is capable of-
- Automating email process – auto-response and auto-categorization of mail
- Identifying the severity of mail and route accordingly
- Deep insights dashboard
- Workbench – Filter based on impact score, response, time, categories, etc.
AI-powered email bot automatically reads, understands, categorizes, prioritizes and responds to customer emails sent to the private insurer within seconds. This automation initiative enabled the company to respond to user queries faster, more efficiently and consistently. While driving improved customer experience, it also provided the support staff with the bandwidth to focus on customer satisfaction.
The email bot has resolved customer queried across 50 categories with an accuracy of over 89% so far. This intelligent, intuitive email bot is helping the insurance company explain complex products to its customers, increase revenue per policyholder by driving brand engagement, and minimize the cost to serve. Mails of high priority can be instantly pushed forward with a human expert in the loop to handle the situation.
Knowledge bot to improve agent productivity
The present workplace is digitized. It has evolved and the relationship between employees and employers is being redefined. At each point in an employee’s interaction with the organization, there is an opportunity to shape their experience in new and beneficial ways. Be it an IT helpdesk issue, an HR-related request, or accessing work-enablement knowledge, conversational AI can help accelerate resolution and response times manifold.
One of India’s largest banks was on the lookout for a solution that could be integrated with scores of internal databases and fetch information when needed.
To assist the company in managing employee engagement and efficiency, Senseforth built a knowledge bot. The bot makes it possible for employees to access information faster compared to traditional methods.
The knowledge bot is capable of:
- Reading thousands of documents in multiple formats such as .doc, .pdf, .xls
- Fetching the latest, relevant document and auto-scroll to the relevant sections
- Allowing the user to edit the answer of any query and train the bot accordingly
- Getting trained on PDF, excel, or doc files (post the approval of changes in the admin portal)
The knowledge bot can connect to enterprise data resources, streamline enterprise work activities, and improve efficiencies. Rather than navigating through intranets, menus, or documents to find relevant information, employees can access information when and where they need it. They can use these bots to check sales, determine the performance of marketing campaigns, monitor inventory status, and much more.
The AI-based conversational knowledge bot resolves tens of thousands of queries each month. It significantly boosted productivity and efficiency by enabling employees to set meetings or reminders and ask simple questions without pausing critical tasks that require more effort.
Rewriting the rules of engagement
From rule-based to multimodal pervasive platforms, conversational AI has come a long way. The first version of conversational AI was built on response platforms that could only solve basic, redundant queries. It was implemented to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, there was a dependence on pre-programmed inputs and the system could not learn on its own. Today, bots are capable of perception and context and can learn over time to perform complex tasks. They can combine several interfaces, communicate over APIs, provide actionable call outs, push coupons and help customers redeem loyalty points. Moreover, companies can customize the pre-built industry or function-specific bot and create a conversational AI solution specific to their domain/needs.
Even though conversational AI was traditionally implemented to automate and improve transactional activities, it is gradually gaining adoption momentum in complex domains like banking, customer care, employee enablement, and finance. The purpose in such areas is more diagnostic and behavioral. The current wave of messenger services and text-to-speech integration only marks the foundation for conversational AI, which is sure to bloom even more. In fact, Google Search trends suggest that chatbots have become more popular over the years. It is safe to say that the wave for AI-infused virtual assistants is poised to take the limelight in the near future and companies must prepare for it now.