Conversational AI For Your Business

All you need to know about conversational AI + what’s in it for your business

Ever since the pandemic wreaked havoc on the entire business landscape, customer and employee experiences (CX and EX) have transformed drastically.

With the advent of various technologies, customers now expect personalized, immersive, and end-to-end brand engagement. Even employees are now considered customers of a digital world— expecting seamless collaboration and tailored engagement, even as interactions become more virtual, mobile, and distributed.

Over the past year, conversational AI has emerged as the new spectrum in both CX and EX.  Businesses globally have adopted conversational AI to provide customers and employees exceptional experiences throughout their journeys with the organization.

As per Gartner, the conversational AI market is expected to reach an astounding AUD 22.6 billion by 2024.

This blog takes you through everything you need to know about conversational AI and what’s in it for your business.

What is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI is a set of powerful technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), dynamic text to speech, intent and entity recognition, and machine learning (ML) that empower computers to understand, process, and respond to human utterances and text inputs naturally.

Conversational AI is used in chatbots, voice bots, and virtual assistants and helps conduct simple, natural, human-like conversations with customers and employees. It allows enterprises to design cost-efficient digital experiences, streamline internal operations, and deliver superior customer engagement.

Bots can operate 24X7 and provide instant solutions to millions of customer and employee requests simultaneously.

Users may experience the technology on various platforms, including social media (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger), enterprise messaging apps (Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom), voice assistants (Alexa, Google Home), websites, and interactive voice response systems (IVR).

Emerging Capabilities of a Conversational AI platform

Let’s take a look at some of the emerging capabilities of conversational AI businesses should look out for —

  1. Low-code chatbot development – Low-code chatbot building platforms like Microsoft’s Power Virtual Agents allow people with little or no coding knowledge (citizen developers) to build professional-grade bots within a few days. Such platforms host a visual interface, pre-configured templates, and drag-and-drop features, and reduce development costs by up to 90%.

  2. Multilingual chatbots – Only 7.5% of the world’s population are native English speakers. Global organizations employ people from around the world and have a wide customer base that spreads over geographies. Multilingual chatbots help scale the business’s localization efforts and amplify reach amongst customers from different regions. By making them feel heard and supported, organizations that engage with their staff in their native language have higher chances of building loyalty and retaining employees.

  3. Omnichannel experiences – As discussed above, users can experience conversational AI through bots embedded on different channels. Here, a significant capability of the technology is its ability to empower users to start a conversation on one channel and continue it in another— without losing context.

  4. Proactive engagement – As the business landscape becomes more digitized, the users of conversational AI not only expect omnichannel engagement but also want organizations to understand their intentions and preferences and respond accordingly. Bots must anticipate customer and employee needs in advance, intervene at moments when they may need help, and push personalized, context-aware information at the right time.

  5. Sentiment analysis – Another key capability of conversational AI is sentiment analysis— a bot’s ability to comprehend the type and intensity of a user’s sentiment, steer conversations, and escalate to agents for human support.

  6. Context management – With conversational AI, interactions feel truly human-like. A chatbot can remember critical information from past dialogue and retain context from one response to the next, ensuring interactions don’t feel scripted.

Conversational AI for customer and employee experience

Conversational AI has a wide range of use cases for both employees and customers.

In the case of employees, function-specific bots for HR, IT, business intelligence, CRM, and enterprise intranets are making life easier for remote workers by fulfilling the following use cases—

  • Answer employee queries instantly— anytime and anywhere
    For example, “How do I reset my password?”, “What is my leave balance for this year?”
  • Simplify and automate mundane, repetitive tasks
    For example, raise IT tickets, book meeting rooms, schedule a video call
  • Fetch relevant information quickly
    For example, retrieve project files, HR policy documents, and business KPIs
  • Push personalized alerts and notifications
    For example, network outage, HR policy changes, upcoming events

Learn More: 4 Ways Chatbots Are Making Life Easier for Remote Workers

Moreover, chatbots transform customer experiences and ensure meaningful engagement at every stage of the sales funnel as follows—

  • Reach – Push alerts about new products, send personalized tips, collect data about customer preferences.
  • Acquisition – Suggest products to purchase, help customers navigate the brand’s online store, assist with checkout, guide on product use.
  • Retention – Analyze customer needs, inform customers about latest offers and sales, upsell/cross-sell products.
  • Loyalty/Advocacy – tailor loyalty programs, send personalized rewards and discount coupons, collect customer feedback.

Learn More: Customer Service and Beyond: Harnessing Chatbots to transform the customer experience

What can conversational AI do for your business?

By harnessing the power of conversational AI in everyday business, organizations can reap the following benefits

Benefits for customersBenefits for employees/organization
  • Increase revenue through upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  • Build a loyal customer base through personalized and meaningful engagement
  • Reduce customer effort
  • Improve net promoter scores
  • Improve employee productivity
  • Reduce voluntary turnover rates
  • Uncover data-driven insights to make intelligent business decisions
  • Reduce cost per contact

To learn more about conversational AI and how businesses can transform the post-pandemic digital CX with conversational AI, please feel free to go through our e-book “Transform the post-pandemic digital CX with conversational AI.”

In this guide, we’ll talk in depth about what is conversational and how it has helped transform customer experience in a post-pandemic world.

Conversational AI: A sneak-peek into real-life use cases

Una - Unilever’s chatbot for HR

Unilever leverages its HR chatbot Una to answer employee queries on various HR topics, including performance appraisal, allowance, and perform certain routine tasks like checking meeting room availability, claiming for healthcare, etc. Una is capable of conversing with employees in 106 countries, using 32 languages.

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Leena Nair, CHRO at Unilever, in an interview, said, “Una hub is like a google search  leverage scale in transaction answering. UNA handles about 7 million transactions in a year.

By using this technology, we have taken time away from the HR person, in some cases, as high as 1 hour a day, that usually they would spend in resolving queries and given them the time to do things that drive business performance which is doing interventions for teams, getting people focused on the big things to do.

In our recent Univoice survey, 93% of our people felt that they were really well supported during COVID with the equipment and technology that allowed them to be productive.”

Ponds Chatbot


POND’s SAL is an exciting real-life example of how conversational AI has transformed the digital customer experience.

SAL leverages technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality to provide an immersive online shopping experience. Customers can say “hi” to SAL on Ponds’ flagship Shopee store.

Users must first upload a selfie, and while the personalized skin analysis takes place, SAL sends beauty tips to keep them engaged.

Post determining the customer’s skin type, SAL offers personalized product recommendations from POND’s across four significant areas – pimples, wrinkles, spots, and uneven skin tone.

95% of users who completed the SAL experience on Shopee have stated a positive experience with the bot.

How can Acuvate help?

At Acuvate, we help clients deploy customer and employee-facing chatbots that deliver fast, meaningful, and personalized interactions with our enterprise bot-building platform called BotCore.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we use the best of Microsoft’s AI, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) technologies to build our bots.

BotCore hosts the following list of advanced capabilities —

  • An intuitive, low-code, visual interface, allowing the quick implementation of AI chatbots
  • Flexible integrations with existing legacy systems and AI services
  • Our chatbots simulate both simple and highly complex conversations.
  • Our bots are deployable on most of the popular enterprise messaging and social media channels and support several languages, including English, German, French, Italian, etc.

Moreover, we help clients build and implement AI chatbots using Microsoft’s low-code bot-building solution called Power Virtual Agents (PVA).

To know more about BotCore and PVA, feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.