A visionary in the field of tech and a firm believer in Digital Automation, Mr. Sarvagya Mishra, Co-Founder & Director, Superbot (PinnacleWorks). The organisation is powering SuperBot, an intelligent, AI-powered voice agent with the capability of administering over 1 million calls a day. In his current capacity as the Co-Founder & Director, Mr Mishra oversees the tech, sales, and business development verticals. He further envisions taking SuperBot to the global level of prominence, while building a strong team of like-minded people.
If market trends are anything to go by, India is at the cusp of an AI revolution. The AI Index Report 2021 by Stanford University estimated that, between 2016 and 2021, over 50% of respondents from India integrated AI technologies in at least one business function. Another report by PwC estimated that 89% of Indian enterprises adopted AI-powered tools to enhance their operational efficiency during the pandemic.
Enterprise communication, which emerged as a key priority during the lockdown, accounted for a significant share of this AI investment as companies focused on optimization and automation. Repetitive tasks previously handled by human users were taken over by AI-powered chatbots, voice agents, virtual assistants, and communication solutions.
So, yes, the promise that AI will take over customer engagement is rapidly becoming a reality. The only question that remains is just how much of it will it take over – and, to answer that, we must understand why AI has become the preferred enterprise communication enabler.
The Challenge: Why traditional human-led engagement is suboptimal in today’s world
According to a 2022 report, 8 in 10 consumers felt that their customer experience can be better. The main culprit? Impersonal interactions gave the impression that brands do not understand customer needs. Such interactions lead to lower satisfaction and poorer experiences which, in turn, have a negative impact across all key business metrics such as brand reputation, customer/employee loyalty, and market competitiveness; the report highlighted how almost 10% of business revenues remained at risk due to bad customer experiences.
This data makes it clear that personalized customer experiences have become non-negotiable for any modern business looking to achieve success and growth. Achieving this with a human-only team, however, is difficult in a digital-first world, if not impossible.
The most obvious challenge is that of scale. Hiring and training customer service professionals to meet the growing demand across channels is not easy and requires significant time, effort, and capital. Human errors and bandwidth challenges that come with human-only teams also impact the quality, consistency, and timeliness of customer engagement – issues that are impossible to eliminate when the volume of customer interactions and data grows across touchpoints.
Disruption in a nutshell: How AI is personalizing and streamlining communications
This is why AI in customer engagement has become integral to customer engagement today. To begin with, by deploying AI-powered, cloud-based communication agents, organizations can ensure that inbound customer queries are acknowledged immediately, with 24×7 availability, whether on text-based channels or voice calls. Not only does this immediacy make customers feel valued and heard but also ensures that their business is retained; a study on the retail industry attributed around 75% of customer losses to long wait times.
Moreover, these AI-powered communication agents use data, such as previous interactions, to create a context for the latest conversation. They also come equipped with cutting-edge NLP and analytics capabilities that can understand customer intent as well as sentiment by evaluating their voice/text input on tone, mood, dialect, colloquialisms, etc. The responses and resolutions offered are, therefore, more human-like and tailored to the customer’s specific needs, unlocking better growth and profitability for brands.
But managing inbound queries is not the only area that AI is disrupting; it is even helping organizations with outbound engagement. Enterprises are using intelligent communication agents to trawl through millions of data points and mine for potential leads, as well as to identify the best time, message, and channel to reach out to them. On the one hand, this automation frees up human users to concentrate on more strategic, value-driven tasks while, on the other, allowing enterprises to meet their outbound outreach goals by initiating hundreds of thousands of customer interactions concurrently.
AI in Customer Engagement: Where is it all heading
Forrester’s CX index data estimates that 80% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand due to good customer experiences while only 35% recommend a brand after a bad experience. In short, a happy customer means more and better business – and enterprises are beginning to realize that they need the help of technology to manage the ever-growing pace, complexity, and sophistication of such engagement. Developing a space where customer interactions can occur consistently and independently will require AI to streamline conversations and experiences. We know that it can do so; it isn’t for nothing that AI and related technologies are expected to add a staggering $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
AI-powered intelligent assistants will become mainstream as more companies expand their services to new platforms, accommodate the needs of their growing digital user base, and find alternatives to the lack of skilled human agents. With newer developments such as Metaverse now afoot, we may see AI-powered brand avatars interacting with human users in a purely virtual environment, not that far off in the future.