According to a Gartner report, by 2020, about 85 percent of all customer interactions will be handled without human agents.
In the early days, when the chatbot era was picking up with mere machine learning capabilities, it offered only scripted responses to questions that were framed in a specific way. Therefore, the capabilities of these chatbots were limited when it had to understand and respond to the queries. The missing catalyst was the Natural Language Processing (NLP) which would open up gates to the Chatbot era 2.0.
Compared to its predecessors, the second generation chatbots are now smarter and can understand the sentiment of the questions. They can update the response in real-time, instead of sticking to scripted responses. Thus , simulating a natural conversational experience for the users.
As the customer experiences this journey today, it has become increasingly complex and less linear where every single touchpoint matters. Customer support today is not just about pre-sales or post-sales, but rather a collective journey across a multitude of digital and physical touchpoints.
Rahul Sharma, Managing Director for India and SAARC at LogMeIn tells YourStory,
"No longer are chatbots sitting on the sidelines waiting to be asked a question. Instead, they are anticipating the needs of customers and proactively offering them timely, tailored recommendations. These modern bots deftly handle customer queries in a natural, conversational way to personalise shopping experiences with self-service support and smart escalations."
Based out of Boston, USA, LogMeIn is a global SaaS and cloud-based provider that offers solutions for customer engagement and support, collaboration, and identity access management. The company is now offering its flagship product Bold360, whose conversational AI technology combines both natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU).
This enables its bots to engage with customers by interpreting and translating their natural language, find patterns and call-on-memory to specify which actions to take and generate responses back to the customer, which would seem humane.
The global market for conversational AI, which stands at $4.2 billion in 2019, is expected to grow to $15.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 30.2 percent.
How does it work?
LogMeIn’s flagship product Bold360 is claimed to be providing a real-time 360-degree view of the entire customer journey. The product is fundamentally designed to deliver personalised customer engagement across both AI and agent-based interactions.
Leveraging conversational AI for the customer experience, the technology can seamlessly move the customer to a human agent, with full context, in case the chatbot does not know an answer or identifies a high-value transaction.
"Further, the bot stays as an active participant in the conversation, helping both the customer and agent along the way," Rahul adds.
The machine learning finds its own patterns in the data, and when it sees certain questions resolved by certain answers, it knows how to serve those answers again.
After adding context, customers can ask the exact question again and get different answers based on their profile and personal account information. This way, every interaction leads to better results.
It is the ability of the engine to understand how human beings leverage language to communicate with each other naturally. However, relevant data is needed to enable this. Rahul believes that there is now a seismic shift taking place where organisations are trying to structure the available data and act on a much smaller pool of data faster and with greater accuracy.
"For companies to build superior tech-enabled solutions, the available data needs to be in some shape or form, serving as a knowledge base," he says.
LogMeIn claims to have more than one lakh global enterprise customers, ranging from emerging startups to established brands. In India, the company reports having surpassed 3,000 B2B customers, recently.
People are spending more time on messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram than ever before. With this, chatbots have naturally become a critical way to interact with each customers. This essential change in online user behavior has meant that every major company has or is considering the application of chatbots, to improve customer engagement.
In the conversational AI space, similar players like Niki.ai, Frontdesk.ai, Leena AI, Mihup, and Racetrack are already marking their presence significantly in India. In the US, there are players like Verint, x.ai, Sherpa and the homegrown Haptik, that recently set foot in the American market.
According to a study by Microsoft and IDC, 77 percent of business leaders in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) believe that AI will be instrumental in increasing competitiveness by 3x, by the year 2021.
Primarily, LogMeIn's business focusses in three areas - Communications and collaboration services, identity and access management services, and customer engagement and support services. In India, the company's clientele includes Tech Mahindra, Accenture, Cognizant, Vodafone, and SAP, among others.
"It is expected that AI is likely to double innovation and employee productivity within companies over the next three years in India. This technology is changing the way we interact with our favorite brands and will play a critical role in the future of customer engagement," Rahul concludes.
(Edited by Suman Singh)