Time and again, I read about businesspeople that are faced with the multiple challenges of managing remote workforces, or satisfying ever-changing customer needs and expectations, or even overcoming escalating operating costs in today’s tough economic environment. The overwhelming majority of these concerns are expressed by owners and operators of small- and medium-sized organisations who, by-and-large, find themselves isolated and cut off from many of the modern tools and solutions that are truly transformative. Innovations like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and other advancements like Conversational AI can be game-changing for smaller businesses. Unfortunately, many in our industry have mistakenly assumed that these customers are not suitable candidates for these innovations. They could not be more wrong.
While SMBs may not have the budgets or in-house expertise as their larger cousins, they are nonetheless perfectly suited for innovation. AI-based capabilities help organisations streamline workflows, reduce costly errors, and compete locally and across the globe. These are very recognisable pain points for small businesses, who must run lean and efficient operations while also keeping a steady eye on competitive opportunities and threats. While smaller customers may not have the headcount of an enterprise, the needs of SMBs are as sophisticated as any corporation. Providers that do not acknowledge this dynamic are doing themselves and their customers a disservice.
Having worked with SMBs across Europe, Enreach has a track record of bringing enterprise-level functionality within the reach of smaller companies, starting, for example, with making Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) accessible to small- and medium-sized organisations. Enreach appreciates just how sophisticated small businesses are, and how smart solutions like Conversational AI can literally transform not just their daily operations, but their entire business model.
There are several instances that illustrate this point. For example, Enreach recently helped a Dutch taxi company successfully use Artificial Intelligence to revamp their service offerings and compete directly with popular rideshare services. By adding Conversational AI and automation to the Voice and WhatsApp channels, the taxi company can now support fully automated ordering via WhatsApp with customers just sharing a location pin --- adding substantial convenience to customers while also reducing operating costs. The company maintains its brand integrity and can grow in a market dominated by encroaching rideshare operators. The early results of this project proved very compelling: the taxi company found it can serve customers faster and more reliably through self-service features, it reduced overhead, and most impressively, the company found this combination of enhanced customer service and operational efficiency was the perfect remedy to win back business from rideshare services.
In another example, Enreach assisted a regional financial services provider that was looking to improve collections activities. After meeting with the company, we determined that AI-generated analytics and automation features, integrated into the contact centre platform, would deliver the capabilities that would allow this customer to increase collections while reducing expenses. The use of analytics in this specific scenario is critical for optimising efficiency and productivity. Rather than employ teams of agents to randomly dial phone numbers and search for customers, the financial services provider was able to act on reliable and timely data that identified the most effective time and method to reach customers through either voice or text. In addition, the system recorded each interaction, ensuring that all regulatory mandates are met. The introduction of AI tools into this workflow enabled our customer to increase receivables in less time, maintain regulatory compliance, and lower the cost of collections. It is a perfect illustration of how AI can completely reimagine critical business processes.
Other examples include AI solutions specifically designed for restaurants and other small businesses that do not have automatic booking systems. These businesses discovered they can significantly improve efficiency around managing appointments or table reservations. The AI-based automated assistant handles incoming requests intelligently and instantly, allowing customers to book a table at a restaurant any time around the clock without having to consider opening times or waiting for a member of staff to answer the phone. This way, the restaurant frees employees of repetitive tasks linked to reservation management, while at the same time, enhance customer service.
It's important to note that in these use cases, the customers are prototypical small businesses. They are regional companies but compete against much larger and better-known providers. Their aspirations, strategies, and processes are similar to an enterprise, but they lack enormous budgets and teams of IT personnel. Simply put, AI levels the playing field for these organisations.
Enreach’s ability to help customers utilize AI solutions is a core part of our mission. The way we see it, our “Converged Contact Solutions” are not strictly an umbrella for the unified communications, contact centre, and collaboration services we provide. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that our products and services are not siloed offerings, but rather, serve as the connective tissue that brings productivity tools to life.
To fulfill this undertaking, Enreach works closely with the very best in the technology sector—CRM vendors, AR/VR/XR solutions providers, AI and Machine Learning experts, vertical market specialists, and other outstanding innovators to ensure that our customers have constant and reliable access to the very best solutions. We invest heavily in developing APIs and other tools that give customers the ability to add the applications and services they need to succeed in today’s fast-changing marketplace.
Our experiences teach us that SMBs require today’s advanced features to compete. For them, AI is not a fantasy; it is a necessity. Enreach embraces this reality and will continue our efforts to bring best-of-breed technologies like AI and other capabilities to the ambitious and savvy small businesses that drive our economy.
This article was published on Telecom Reseller on December 15th, 2022
A virtual agent is an automated computer conversation system that uses conversational AI to simulate a human-like conversation. It can respond to customer inquiries, provide customer service, and make recommendations.
Virtual agents are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology and natural language processing algorithms. They can understand customer intent and context, generate customized solutions, and interact with customers in a personalized way.
Virtual agents are being used in a variety of ways to help SMBs boost customer service and sales. For example, they can provide personalized product recommendations, automate order placement processes, answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), and quickly get customers to the right representative if needed. Virtual agents can also be used to help SMBs manage customer relationships, providing follow-up information quickly and accurately.
The benefits of conversational AI for SMBs include cost savings, improved customer service, increased sales, and better customer relationships. With automated conversations, customers get the answers they need faster and no longer have to wait on hold or repeat themselves when speaking with support agents.
This not only improves customer satisfaction but also contributes to cost savings by reducing wait times and the need for additional staff. Additionally, conversational AI can help SMBs improve customer relationships by providing personalized experiences that make customers feel heard and appreciated.
Overall, conversational AI is an exciting technology that can bring many benefits to SMBs looking to streamline their customer service and sales operations. With virtual agents powered by artificial intelligence, companies can provide faster, more personalized customer experiences while also saving time and money.
By leveraging conversational AI, SMBs can stay ahead of the competition and create better customer relationships. With the right approach and AI technology, SMBs can tap into the power of conversational AI and revolutionize their customer service strategy.
A virtual agent is a powerful tool for SMBs looking to have an efficient and cost-effective customer service strategy. It can save time, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales.
With virtual agents powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, companies can provide faster responses to inquiries, automate order placement processes, offer personalized product recommendations, and quickly get customers to the right representative if needed.
Additionally, virtual agents can be used to manage customer relationships, providing follow-up information quickly and accurately without additional staff. By leveraging conversational AI, SMBs can stay ahead of the competition and create better customer relationships.
A virtual agent can do a variety of tasks to help SMBs with their customer service and sales operations. Some of the tasks that a virtual agent can do include:
• Respond to customer inquiries;
• Provide personalized product recommendations;
• Automate order placement processes;
• Answer frequently asked questions (FAQs);
• Quickly get customers to the right representative if needed;
• Manage customer relationships by providing follow-up information quickly and accurately.
By leveraging conversational AI, SMBs can stay ahead of the competition and create better customer relationships. With automated conversations, customers get the answers they need faster without waiting on hold or repeating themselves when speaking with support agents.
This not only improves customer satisfaction but also contributes to cost savings by reducing wait times and the need for additional staff.
Using a virtual agent successfully requires some planning and effort on behalf of SMBs. Here are some best practices for leveraging conversational AI:
• Understand your customers’ needs: Identify the types of questions that customers usually ask and provide tailored responses.
• Develop a conversational flow: Create an engaging conversation flow that will guide users to complete their tasks with minimal effort.
• Train your virtual agent: Use machine learning and natural language processing techniques to continuously train your virtual agent to improve its accuracy.
• Test and optimize: Test your virtual agent and make sure it can handle a variety of scenarios. Optimize the system to improve its performance over time.
By following these best practices, SMBs can ensure that their virtual agents are providing efficient customer service and helping them create better customer relationships. With the right approach and AI technology, SMBs can tap into the power of conversational AI and revolutionize their customer service strategy.
A virtual agent in AI is an automated computer conversation system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology and natural language processing algorithms to simulate a human-like conversation.
It can respond to customer inquiries, provide customer service, and make recommendations. Many SMBs are now leveraging virtual agents powered by conversational AI to streamline their customer service operations.
By using virtual agents for tasks such as order placement, customer inquiries, and product recommendations, SMBs can reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and relationships, and increase sales.
With the right approach and AI technology, SMBs can tap into the power of conversational AI and revolutionize their customer service strategy.
An agent in AI is a computer program built with artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing technologies to simulate a human-like conversation.
It can understand customer requests, provide accurate responses, and make recommendations. Agents use machine learning algorithms to process user input, analyze data, determine the best response, and answer questions.
Virtual agents powered by conversational AI are being used by many SMBs to streamline customer service operations, provide faster responses to inquiries, automate order placement processes, and quickly get customers to the right representative if needed.
By leveraging conversational AI, SMBs can stay ahead of the competition and create better customer relationships.
Chatbots are automated computer programs that use AI technology to simulate a human conversation. They can understand customer requests, provide responses, and make recommendations.
Virtual agents are similar to chatbots but are much more powerful, as they use advanced natural language processing algorithms to interpret user input and have access to larger sets of data for analysis. Additionally, virtual agents are better at recognizing context and understanding customer intent, which makes them more efficient and accurate.
Virtual agents can be used for tasks such as providing customer service, order placement, product recommendations, and quickly getting customers to the right representative if needed. Thus, virtual agents are better suited to automate complex customer service operations for SMBs.
In conclusion, an AI-powered virtual agent is a powerful tool that can help SMBs optimize their customer service operations.
By leveraging conversational AI, virtual agents can provide faster responses to inquiries, automate order placement processes, offer personalized product recommendations, and quickly get customers to the right representative if needed.
With the right approach and AI technology, SMBs can tap into the power of conversational AI and revolutionize their customer service strategy. This will not only improve customer satisfaction but also contribute to cost savings and better customer relationships.