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Not All Chatbots are Conversational AI Solutions

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Over the past several years businesses around the world have faced significant hardships and uncertainty. As these difficulties continue and new challenges arise, the IT sector will play a critical role in keeping companies connected and enabling them to adapt. SME News Magazine is recognising this with their newly established IT Awards programme.

The new IT Awards honour companies that are driving forward innovation and focusing on client-centricity while remaining true experts in their industry. I’m excited to share that Creative Virtual has been awarded Best Conversational AI Solutions 2022!

Creative Virtual has built our reputation as a conversational AI leader by consistently delivering successful and innovative solutions to our customers and partners for nearly two decades. It’s an honour to be recognised by the SME News IT Awards as the best in the industry – especially since this award comes on the heels of us being named the Conversational AI Innovation Excellence Leader by AIxOutlook.

Having worked in the virtual agent and chatbot field since 2000, I’ve experienced first-hand how these solutions and technologies have changed. It’s been exciting to lead one of the companies that has helped drive innovation forward in the industry. The virtual agents of today are certainly not the same as those I was working on 20 years ago.

What has also changed over this time is the variety of names used for these solutions. In fact, there have been so many names, and such little agreement amongst industry experts and analysts on how these names are used, that there is a lingering confusion in the market. Virtual agents, chatbots, virtual assistants, virtual customer assistants, intelligent virtual agents – the list goes on. In general, all these names can be, and often are, regularly used interchangeably to describe solutions.

Most recently, the industry has adopted the name of ‘conversational AI’. However, conversational AI is more than just another name for these solutions. It is more specifically describing the technology behind them. While a virtual agent, chatbot, or virtual assistant can be a conversational AI solution, not all of them currently deployed today are.

This raises an important question: What makes a virtual agent or chatbot a true conversational AI solution?

There’s lots of discussions about how successful conversational AI tools use artificial intelligence, both in the initial development stage and to continuously improve as part of the ongoing maintenance. This is vitally important for identifying real conversational AI solutions, of course. It isn’t the only identifier though. Too often overlooked is the need for integration and personalisation.

True conversational AI virtual agents and chatbots are backed by a platform that enables flexible integration with a variety of other technologies and systems. This includes knowledge management platforms, ticketing systems, live chat technologies, contact centre platforms, voice systems, real-time information feeds, multiple intent engines, CRMs, messaging platforms – to name a few.

These integrations help create conversational and personalised engagements. Personalisation goes beyond just knowing a logged-in user’s name and account or order details. It’s also about personalising the experience based on the user’s engagement channel, location, language, job title or member status, saved preferences – to name a few.

True conversational AI goes beyond a basic FAQ chatbot to deliver solutions that are customised for the business and for the individual users. As we’ve developed and improved our V-Person™ technology over the years, we’ve always maintained a focus on integration and personalisation. In fact, V-Person is recognised as the first virtual agent solution to successfully deliver personalisation by both Gartner and Patricia Seybold Group. We are continuing that focus with our upcoming Gluon Release which will make it quicker and easier to build, deploy, and maintain integrated, personalised conversational AI solutions.

If you’d like to learn more about Creative Virtual’s true conversational AI solutions and get an early look at our next big V-Person release, arrange a personalised demo session with one of our experts.

My thanks to SME News and their research team for our Best Conversational AI Solutions recognition! Congratulations to the Creative Virtual team for another well-deserved award!

Orchestrating a Seamless and Efficient Customer Experience

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

We live in an always-on world with instant access to information and news and trending hashtags always at our fingertips. There have been numerous studies done about the effects of digital devices and the growing need to always feel connected. As I’m writing this, I have no electricity or internet access thanks to the power of mother nature which, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, is giving me a good bit of anxiety about the percentage of battery left on my smartphone – my one connection to knowing what’s going on in the world without actually having to leave my house!

It’s certainly no secret that this new normal of constant digital connection and instant access to information in our personal lives has also changed our expectations for our engagement with businesses and brands. Organisations are facing the challenge of delivering a quality support experience over a growing number of contact channels. Messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger and WeChat, and smart speakers, like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, have been added to existing touchpoints, like the phone, website and social media, instead of replacing them. On top of that, many organisations are struggling with lots of disconnected information sources making it difficult to keep content updated and deliver the right information to customers on all channels. So how can organisations bring this all together to create a consistent, convenient and efficient customer experience?

Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO of Creative Virtual, will join Engage Customer on Tuesday, 27 November for a webinar to address this question, Orchestrating a Seamless and Efficient Customer Experience. Through a series of live demonstrations and practical tips, attendees will learn:

  • The benefits of centralising knowledge management control and using a single orchestration platform to deliver consistent support across contact channels
  • Best practices for implementing chatbots, virtual agents and live chat to provide accurate and seamless omnichannel engagement
  • Ways to leverage a hybrid of artificial intelligence and human input to reduce support costs whilst improving conversational engagement

Register now for the webinar Orchestrating a Seamless and Efficient Customer Experience. Can’t attend the live event? Don’t worry, a recording will be sent to all registrants after the webinar.

You can also request a personalised demo to see how our technology can help you deliver seamless, consistent support and increase customer satisfaction scores.