Top 3 Trends in Conversational AI for 2020
With 2019 in the rearview mirror, 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for conversational AI.
By Paige Twillmann
January 9, 2020
The stage is set for a revolution in terms of its reach and power. Here are the top trends that will shape how conversational AI changes the world in 2020.
More and more people without tech degrees will build bots and use them to achieve their goals.
While conversational AI has never been more technologically advanced, it’s also never been easier to put into practice—even for those of us without highly technical backgrounds.
We predict that next year will see an increase in the number of people and types of roles designing, implementing, and optimizing chatbots at companies worldwide.
In fact, as more and more companies scale up their use of conversational AI to reach as many consumers as possible, they’re increasingly turning to their contact center agents to build and manage conversational bots.
Because these agents are already highly skilled in helping customers resolve their intentions, they know how bots should react to different situations and conversational flows.
Many agents are even moving into new AI-related roles, like conversation designer or bot manager—all without ever having earned a computer science degree.
Tech made easy
This change is being driven by tools like LivePerson’s Conversation Builder, which makes it simple for non-technical staff to create AI-powered bots.
And it’s great news for people of all backgrounds who need to prepare for the AI economy. Instead of being replaced by AI, they’re moving into new and exciting careers that remove the stress of tense customer phone calls and that can offer higher pay and job satisfaction.
With new tools harnessing the power of conversational AI for people of all technical skill levels, the opportunities afforded by building bots are available to more people than ever before.
Conversational AI will understand what you want—and how to respond—in real time.
As consumers continue to flee phone calls and email in favor of conversations with friends and family on SMS, iMessage, and other popular messaging platforms, they’re starting to expect brands to meet them there, as well.
With over 1.6 billion active users on WhatsApp and 1.3 billion on Facebook Messenger alone, it’s no simple task for companies to respond to the massive volume of consumers on these platforms.
WhatsApp is more popular than ever.
It’s even more difficult to respond at the pace they’ve come to expect in today’s world of immediate gratification. To get this right, we expect 2020 will see more companies introducing conversational AI–driven experiences that recognize and respond to your intentions in real time.
While any bot can offer up a generic greeting, the future of conversational AI hinges upon its ability to truly understand you—as quickly as possible—so it can resolve your intentions or route them to the bots or human agents that can.
Recent advancements mean that companies of all kinds can start implementing real-time intent recognition into their messaging conversations.
LivePerson’s LiveIntent, for instance, uses natural language understanding (NLU) to analyze conversations between consumers and agents (whether bot or human) as they occur, providing instant insights into customer intentions.
Airline customer service
Let’s illustrate this with an example. Imagine you’re messaging with an airline about booking a new flight. You might type new flight, book flight, or help booking flight to the airline on its WhatsApp channel, or you might even just say, “My flight was canceled,” and expect them to respond with your options.
AI is the future of customer service.
There are tons of ways to express yourself, but in the end, you just want help getting where you need to go. Conversational AI that recognizes your intention—out of the multitude of ways you could possibly express it—helps you get on your way faster.
As brands build out and improve the conversational AI powering how they recognize and respond to the intentions most important to their customers, you can expect better and faster customer service experiences.
Personalized conversations will become the norm—without intrusive data-mining or privacy-violating practices.
In 2020, consumers and brands will embrace conversational AI, not just because it’s speedier but also because it’s smarter. Thanks to new tools giving AI the capability to draw on contextual data sources, bots will be presented with clearer portraits of individual customers, leading to better informed, highly personalized conversations.
How was your last conversation with a bot?
A giant source of frustration for consumers is repeating information they’ve already shared, like reconfirming a phone number or having to explain a problem more than once to multiple agents.
As brands adopt tools like LivePerson’s Context Warehouse, which allows conversational AI to connect to conversation histories, customers’ previously stated intentions, and other data, the conversations bots have with consumers will begin to feel far more personalized.
Other information on file—like VIP status for banking customers or location data showing a telco customer is in an area affected by an outage—can contextualize a conversation for a bot before a customer has even stated what they need. Advanced implementations could even predict future purchases and interests.
The key thing to keep in mind here is that the data shared with conversational AI from these tools does not come from privacy-invading sources, like cookies that follow your activity across the web. Instead, these tools simply provide better ways for conversational AI to connect to data that’s already on the books.
As the year goes on, companies will also start to think about how to use data customers volunteer within conversations to serve them better.
Protecting your privacy is paramount.
For example, if someone sends a message saying that they need new sneakers since they’re taking up running to get in shape for their wedding, the brand may be able to use that extra information to serve them better.
Combining contextual data with conversational data means innovative brands can let the consumer be their guide when it comes to personalization.
Moving towards the future
Thanks to safe, secure connections between data sources and conversational AI, interacting with bots in 2020 promises to be a much more personalized, efficient experience for the average consumer.