A glimpse into what will drive the Conversational AI market in 2023
Given today’s global macroeconomic conditions, it has become imperative for businesses to focus on optimising their operational costs in order to sail through 2023. Moreover, CXOs are rapidly shifting their focus towards making their customer and employee processes more efficient in order to stay agile. And as always, automation will play a central role here due to its ability to streamline operations and help businesses maintain a competitive advantage. Businesses are becoming more confident and enthusiastic about AI, and particularly conversational AI. This will result in more adoption and a readiness to try out Conversational AI solutions in 2023 as a method to better manage the current economic climate.
In such a scenario, the top trends that we can see shaping the Conversational AI industry in 2023 are:
Humanisation of voice AI will be the next big thing – While 2022 saw voice emerge as a prominent channel of communication for brands, the focus now is on making it more human. As users demand more human-like personalised experiences while interacting with voice AI agents, 2023 will see the industry working towards achieving this feat. Voice AI agents will only become more mainstream if synthetic monotones are completely replaced by conversational human tones. At Yellow.ai, we have already introduced key feature updates to our voice automation offering, including highly advanced multilingual capabilities, configuring pre-post speech pause duration, interruption handling, and personalising the tones of branded voice AI agents, to name a few. All these features are contributing to making voice more humanised, and we are already working on our Voice 2.0 product suite, which is in sync with the demand for humanised voice AI. In fact, the next year will see the industry moving towards delivering highly advanced voice AI offerings that would significantly contribute to a stronger adoption of voice AI by both businesses and end-users. There will also be a quicker transition from analogue voice in telephony to digital voice, which will eventually lead to voice interactions supplemented by video.
The government sector will quickly catch up to the Conversational AI wave – In the last two years, we saw global enterprises accelerate their adoption of Conversational AI solutions. At the same time, there has been a noticeable demand for Conversational AI solutions from governments across countries. Our recently launched Dynamic AI agent for Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is a testament to that. One key reason for this trend is that, globally, citizens are increasingly expecting to be able to engage with their governments online without much delay, with the growth of digital-native populations and the proliferation of mobile devices driving the trend. In order to meet this demand, more government entities and public sector undertakings will get on the Conversational AI bandwagon to improve efficiency and human productivity, streamlining the overall process of delivering citizen services digitally. In fact, in the last quarter alone, our platform has served over 2.7 Million unique users for our government sector clients worldwide and this number will continue to grow in 2023.
Multiexperience to become a must for brands – Customers are looking for highly flexible communication today, and they don’t want to be restricted by pre-defined experiences. They are looking for conversations with brands that can switch between modes and channels to deliver more immersive and engaging experiences. The key to this is multiexperience, which is all about creating seamless and simple experiences across apps, digital touchpoints, and interaction modalities. Going forward, brands would need to adapt a strategy that would be equipped with the ability to drive automation across different modalities, be it voice or chat or across web or social, as well as across channels, be it WhatsApp or Instagram. And Conversational AI-powered Dynamic agents would be key to delivering the much sought-after multiexperience.
Conversational Commerce will be a key competitive advantage for brands– The crux of a successful digital commerce strategy is to reach customers on their preferred channels at the ideal time and in their desired communication mode. It is also about leveraging each touchpoint to contribute to the end goal of conversion and revenue generation. Keeping this in mind, many brands are increasingly capitalising on the popularity of messaging channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Business Messages, Instagram, iMessage, and Viber, to connect with their customers. They are leveraging Conversational AI solutions to deliver differentiated Dynamic AI agent-initiated conversations through these channels. These automated messages proactively engage with customers through promotions, campaigns, back-in-stock notifications, abandoned cart reminders, etc. Furthermore, continuous feature rollouts on these channels are creating more lucrative up-sell and cross-sell opportunities for brands, so much so that, in the future, conversational commerce will be a non-negotiable element in every brand’s marketing, sales, and customer support strategies.
CX and EX will become singular and inseparable – Globally, organisations have increased their investments in their customer experience (CX) strategies for savings, growth, and competitive differentiation. However, there is also an emerging sharp focus on employee experience (EX) strategies, especially in the current macroeconomic circumstances. While CX and EX strategies are now being given centre stage in organisations, more often than not, they are siloed and developed in a vacuum—which is one of the biggest mistakes that any organisation can make. Moving forward, CX and EX strategies would be a unified, circular process in which increased EX will empower employees to improve CX, and increased customer satisfaction will enable better alignment of employees toward overall business goals. When it comes to doing so effectively, Conversational AI is the missing piece of the puzzle. Enterprises that leverage such solutions across both chat and voice channels will be successful in creating differentiated experiences at scale for both employees and customers.
Usage of Generative models in Conversational AI – We have all seen the recent buzz around ChatGPT and DALL-E 2, and in 2023, the usage of generative AI will only increase. Generative models can provide developers with capabilities that help address manual, time-consuming tasks. There would undeniably be more focus on how it can be used lucratively by enterprises to solve real business problems. For instance, more focussed research on how generative models could be used to generate personalised responses or recommendations based on an individual user’s preferences or history. Or how ChatGPT could be used to create a chatbot that can assist customers with questions or issues related to a product or service. There is also likely to be a trend towards the development of hybrid models that combine generative and discriminative techniques. These models could be more efficient and effective at tasks such as image classification, language translation, and natural language processing. Having said that, there is still much ground to cover in order for such tools to be used efficiently and accurately for enterprise use cases to solve real business problems.
The article has been written by Raghu Ravinutala, CEO and Co-Founder, Yellow.ai