2016 has certainly been the year when Artificial Intelligence (AI) placed itself firmly on the agenda. In fact, this year has seen machine learning write a new Friends script, IBM’s Watson supercomputer create an entire trailer for a movie and Sony put its software to work by generating a new song in the style of The Beatles.
Many analysts predict that AI, and specifically its use in supporting virtual assistants, represents the future of customer service. Indeed, Gartner predicts that by 2020, some 85% of customer touchpoints will be offered without human assistance. Others suggest that by 2018, a new generation of cross-channel bots will also be deployed that will be able to recognise not only customer voices but also their faces.
While we know that analyst projections can sometimes be a little over-optimistic, the reality is that AI and machine learning are here to stay. Sabio, the contact centre specialist, are in no doubt that AI will be one of their key technology trends for 2017, expecting that next year AI and machine learning will start to have a bigger impact in terms of intelligent customer contact.
AI is clearly a very broad subject, and Sabio are very much focused on its implications for virtual assistance. The company are specifically focusing on how chatbot technology can help engage customers in conversations on websites and mobile apps as well as messaging services such as SMS, Facebook Messenger etc. This is very different from previous-generation virtual assistants, which were often little more than simple front-ends to a knowledge base, as today’s AI-enabled assistants are taking things to the next level, with full conversational interactions throughout the customer journey.
Looking forward to 2017, we see an organisation’s Digital Front Door, all of its websites, mobile apps and other digital interfaces, quickly evolving to become more conversational. For example, instead of trying to navigate our way around a complicated website we could simply ask a question though speech or text, allowing us to either resolve our problem or connect to an additional level of human assistance.
Bringing together AI support and a high quality conversational interface will become increasingly commonplace. However, organisations that want to differentiate themselves will also be able to add further value by leveraging back-end data to provide chatbots and virtual assistants with the intelligence to deliver brilliant customer experiences. This would include an ability to reach out for live support as and when necessary.
The momentum behind AI and machine learning is set to continue in 2017. You’ll be able to find out more about its impact on customer engagement at Sabio’s Disrupted Customer Contact event to be held at The Brewery in London on February 23, 2017. To find out more, click here.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Sabio – View the original post