Article

Transform contact centers with Conversational AI

Gunasiri Perera,

Senior Director - Technology,
Head of AI/ML, Conversational AI Evangelist

 

Published: April 2, 2021

Organizations are under enormous pressure to reimagine the contact center experience. Industry leaders are exploring conversational AI as part of their digital transformational strategy to deal with the challenges presented by the ongoing global crisis.

Key Challenges 

In the wake of the pandemic, contact centers have experienced an unprecedented growth in call volumes, with the average for a large enterprise being a million calls a month. With the cost of each live interaction with B2B and B2C customers being $13 and $7 respectively, the overall contact center costs have risen exponentially. Besides, such large call volumes are also responsible for extended wait times and abandoned calls leading to customer dissatisfaction. In addition, poor IVR and static menu-driven messaging systems coupled with high agent training and onboarding costs make the situation even more grim.

Increasing adoption of Conversational AI

Technological advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and STS (Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech) in conjunction with IVR solutions have led brands to leverage domain-led Conversational AI solutions to offer better customer experiences. Conversational AI solutions can help achieve 90% direct cost savings and improve customer experience with zero lead time. Impressed by the business outcomes delivered by Conversational AI solutions, organizations across industries are focusing on aggressive implementation of the solution.

 

Conversational AI exponential growth trajectory

Conversational AI exponential growth trajectory

According to the findings of a recent report by Research and Markets: IVA (Intelligent Virtual Assistant Market) Forecast 2020-2027 

  1. Global Conversational AI market size is expected to reach $45.1  billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 34%
  2. The average cost of live interaction for B2B ($13) and B2C ($7) can be reduced to $0.6 per interaction with Conversational AI transformation (~90% cost reduction)
  3. 77% of users believe that immediate online help would increase the likelihood of completing transactions
  4. North America held the largest revenue in IVA in 2019 whereas APAC is anticipated to witness the highest growth in the coming years. 85% of businesses believe that immediate online assistance would improve online sales conversion rates
  5. 65% prefer communicating through text messages as it is fast and convenient

Conversational AI enables omnichannel personalized experiences 

By leveraging Conversational AI, organizations can offer personalized omnichannel experiences that feel like a one-on-one human conversation based on context-aware interactions. User experiences are intuitive and proactive, with AI-enabled bots providing a wealth of contextual knowledge during conversations. Collaborative and engaging conversational experiences lead to high call containment and enriched user experiences, which, in turn, help business cross-sell and upsell products and services.

Take customer service to the next level with Conversational AI 

Deployed as voice bots or chat bots, and leveraging all contact center channels including voice, messaging, chat, email, and SMS, a Conversational AI solution can take personalized customer service to the next level. Conversational AI solutions come with interactive dashboards and reports that can help contact center managers learn about customer interactions and improve call outcomes.

Some of the accelerators, frameworks, and services that can help organizations jumpstart their Conversational AI journey include:

  • Off-the-shelf NLP AI data assets and bot flows
  • Industry-leading Conversational AI framework competency such as Kore.ai, Nuance, Dialog Flow, Amazon Connect
  • Integration accelerators and IVR and STS integration interface to enable ASR platform services with accelerated delivery
  • Universal bots, specialized bots with domain ontology, proactive bots with near real-time processing, and human-like voice bots
  • Pragmatic Conversational AI solution implementation exposure and direct client engagement for post-production AI model train, optimization, and new intent discovery 

As the global emerging technology solution leader, Virtusa combines its deep-engineering heritage with vast industry experience to deliver large-scale Conversational AI transformation projects. Virtusa has helped the global banking sector achieve 40% call containment and 90% reduction in calls routed per month to live agents by implementing its Conversational AI solution.

 

Gunasiri Perera

Gunasiri Perera

Senior Director - Technology,
Head of AI/ML, Conversational AI Evangelist

 

Gunasiri has over 22 years of experience in global IT services and emerging technology solution development and product incubation. In the past, he has held leadership positions in the US, Europe, UAE, and Sri Lanka. At present, he leads the AI/ML and conversational AI engagements in the banking and financial services sector in the US, as part of the global leadership team at Virtusa. 

He is a Chartered Engineer in IT and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Moratuwa and an MBA degree from PIM. At present, he represents the faculty board of Ithaca College, NY, USA, as an industry expert, and offers guidance on the college curriculum, mentoring industry professionals and undergraduates.

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