We asked this question to four CEOs of prominent Conversational AI and chatbot companies: here are their answers.
A big thank you for the insights they provided to Alex Terry, Richard Smullen, Lars Selsås and Antonio Giarrusso.
This article has been featured in the Conversational AI Initiative 2020.
Alex Terry, CEO at Conversica
The smartest companies will embrace this opportunity to use conversational AI technology to excel. Intelligent Assistants powered by AI are increasingly joining our teams and producing results. They handle important routine work to improve our bottom lines and let people focus on more valuable and enjoyable activities. To help businesses prepare for and benefit from changes enabled by Conversational AI it’s important to be an active participant in this change – think big, start small, but by all means start. Select initial projects that can produce clear ROI in 6-12 months. Focus on clear revenue-generating opportunities or clear cost-cutting opportunities; choose specific goals. It’s better to fully solve a smaller problem with high quality than provide a half-baked solution that will annoy users.
Conversational AI is more than a conversation. To really provide value, a conversational AI solution needs tight integration with systems of record, the ability to understand inputs, make appropriate policy decisions (and change policies over time), take autonomous actions, and continuously learn from user feedback. Almost every software company has bolted “AI” onto their offering. Experience matters, so it’s critical to choose a vendor with a solid track record.
Richard Smullen, CEO of Pypestream
Enterprises first need to accept that there is a seismic shift taking place, one whereby consumers are now in full control of the relationship. Then, they need to embrace this new paradigm by collapsing all their consumer channels (web, mobile, app, social, call center) into a single, persistent channel that is asynchronous and delivers on-demand care. This channel is B2C messaging on which all use cases ie. Payment, troubleshooting, product discovery, loyalty, FAQs will be accessible in a single, consolidated user interface powered by robotics and therefore Conversational AI.
Lars Selsås, Founder and CEO of Boost AI
To prepare for Conversational AI enterprises first need to figure out what is hype and what will really work in production and add real business value. To do this they should start by demanding to test any vendor they choose and focus a lot on how many implementations they have in production that stay in production that can be seen and tested. There is a huge difference in what is presented and how well things really work in real life for a lot of solutions.
Antonio Giarrusso, Founder & CEO of Userbot
Customer needs have changed: they want a more immediate, quick and informal relationship with companies. Communicating in chat for customers is much more natural and saves time. Conversational AIs are the most suitable tool that meets these new user requirements.
What is necessary for the companies, in my opinion, is to build internal training activities: we need to communicate the true value that conversational AI technologies are able to bring and explaining how it can be used and implemented in multiple processes. Companies will need to structure processes and data to be able to use them in a Conversational AI experience.