Intelligent Virtual Assistants: The Next Generation of Chatbots that Transform Businesses
Intelligent virtual assistants, also known as IVAs, can engage with customers in a conversational way. IVAs are often confused with traditional chatbots, but they are far more advanced than conventional chatbots as they can interact with customers in a human-like manner, especially when it comes to simple and repetitive requests.
As recent advancements in AI are making IVAs easy to use and cost-effective, businesses are increasingly using IVAs in their operations instead of traditional chatbots. This is because when it comes to interaction with humans, chatbots can only imitate human dialogue to a certain extent, constrained by a given script.
On the other hand, IVA solutions, which are heavily dependent on AI, will likely be more widely adopted in various industries in the near future as business demand for efficient customer engagement grows. The IVA market is expanding rapidly, and it is expected to reach US$44,255 million by 2027, rising at a CAGR of 37.7% from 2020 to 2027.
The BFSI industry vertical currently dominates the IVA market due to its higher adoption and rising IT investment. However, healthcare and automotive are among the most lucrative segments and will likely maintain this trend.
IVAs are Replacing Traditional Chatbots
Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation. Traditional chatbots rely on keywords and cannot comprehend a customer's intent if it is not expressed precisely as the development team has programmed it. Customers may become frustrated due to chatbots because of their limited capabilities, which make it difficult for them to always find solutions to their problems.
One significant advantage of an IVA is the ability to retain track of facts throughout a discussion and learn as they go. An IVA can read and understand customer questions using Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. Using this technology, they can even respond to questions they’re not explicitly programmed to understand. In addition, deep learning allows them to grow their intelligence and vocabulary with every customer interaction.
Conversational AI, unlike traditional chatbots, does not require each exact query to be pre-programmed, and it will comprehend what the client wants regardless of how it is phrased.
This implies that if you write "bank statements" or "I'd want to see my accounts for the previous month," the AI-powered bot will comprehend that you want to see your bank statements. Even if you misspell something in your message, it will understand you!
Also, conversational AI will learn more as it interacts with clients. This means that, with time, it will understand the language better and be more efficient at providing customers with the assistance they need. Hence we can see that IVAs play a significant role in the digital transformation of companies of all sizes.
Using machine learning and deep learning, IVAs can build up an extensive vocabulary, understand local slang and misspelled words, and learn from each experience. This also means that they can give precise and personalized responses to inquiries and only get better as time goes on. And that’s a clear advantage compared to traditional chatbots, which can only provide scripted responses and cannot learn and grow.
How Businesses Can Benefit from IVAs
IVAs can alter how a company interacts with its customers. Machines analyze data and deliver personalized insights to customers in ways that a customer service worker simply cannot match.
By deploying virtual agent technology, businesses may provide 24/7 service with nearly no downtime. IVAs, particularly when connected to a CRM platform, enable organizations to personalize experiences for individual customers and keep track of their previous behaviors, thereby streamlining interactions.
Businesses also save money by automating some of their customer service processes because there are no additional training costs. Furthermore, existing customer care agents can take on more complex work while the IVA handles the repetitive tasks, resulting in happier employees and lower turnover rates.
Businesses can substantially improve their customer service procedures by implementing IVAs, and the entire customer service procedure is streamlined. There is no need to wait indefinitely to talk with a representative because IVAs can reply to customer queries anytime. This significantly impacts the consumer experience, as waiting in long queues either on the phone or for live chat support often leaves customers with a negative perception of the business.
For instance, Wyeth Nutrition improved customer service efficiency within a year of implementing the AI-powered Laiye Chatbot. With this solution, Wyeth Nutrition has managed to remove repetitive questions and processed a total of 2.48 million messages with approximately 280,000 customers on its online messaging platform, achieving a high answer recall rate of 85% and a recall accuracy rate of 90%, as well as reducing the average number of rounds of conversations from 11 to seven or eight rounds.
By 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts that global consumer retail spending via chatbots will soar to $142 billion—up from just $2.8 billion in 2019. Consumers today demand high-quality service and assistance 24/7 in various sectors, from finance and retail to healthcare. Firms can profit hugely from getting it right.
IVAs Enhance the Customer Experience
Chatbots powered by AI revolutionize everything. They can adapt processes to respond faster to changes in client behavior. They can intelligently scan documents to significantly improve the user experience for individuals asking for credit, loans, mortgages, or simply purchasing and inquiring online.
With the above capabilities and more, IVAs can put a customer’s needs at the forefront — significantly enhancing a brand’s customer experience and ultimately driving ROI.
That is why IVAs are increasingly being used across all industries by Wyeth Nutrition, Nike, Taiping Life Insurance and many more. And we should only expect more companies to hop on the bandwagon and onboard their own virtual agents as technology advances.
Are you considering the adoption of AI-powered chatbots to improve customer experience? You can find more information about Laiye’s Intelligent Automation solutions here.