Conversational AI is a form of technology that utilizes speech-based assistants and facilitates stronger interactions and greater engagement at scale across users and platforms. It combines speech-based technology, NLP, and ML into a single platform to develop and build applications for specific as well as multiple use cases across verticals. Most vendors in the market offer conversational AI solutions to organizations seeking to know their customers and build a stronger customer base. The conversational AI solution centralizes fragmented customer interaction data from across channels and leverages the benefits of AI to power action-ready insights from throughout customers’ journeys for driving an immediate lift in customer conversion, upsell, and retention. The vendors in the market offer the conversational AI solution as a proprietary NLP engine and conversational middleware that focuses on orchestration and Product Life Cycle (PLC).
Conversational AI is secure and can support sophisticated enterprise-security considerations. It can also be used to complete complex transactions, replacing humans beyond a mere shopping cart click. Conversational AI solutions can be used to build intelligent conversational interfaces so that businesses can easily interact with devices, services, customers, suppliers, and employees in real-time. Conversational AI has high adoption rates in retail and eCommerce, BFSI, and media and entertainment verticals, owing to the growing application areas of conversational AI in these verticals. The global conversational AI market size to grow from USD 6.8 billion in 2021 to USD 18.4 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.8% during the forecast period.
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During the pandemic, many companies experienced a significant increase in pressure from customers, while their number of available employees decreased. Many contact centers were unable to cope with demand or closed because of lockdown restrictions, leading to long delays in customer service queries, which significantly affected the customer experience. As businesses develop a more strategic approach to their ongoing business that delivers resilience into operations through flexibility and scalability. While at the same time working to improve operational efficiencies, so conversational AI is rising to the forefront of technology enablers. For instance, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration successfully automated over 270,000 inquiries at the height of the pandemic’s first wave with a success rate of over 80%. Silvercar by Audi piloted and launched a virtual agent for COVID-19 response in a matter of days, enabling the luxury car rental company to respond to customers quickly and consistently. Leading Norwegian bank, Sparebank 1 SR-Bank, deployed a unique integration that, combined with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), made it feasible for customers impacted by the pandemic to automate the process of home loan forbearance via its virtual agent without needing to speak to a human agent. The latest generation of chatbots and voice-based agents is easier to build and deploy and is more responsive to user inquiries. Once adopted, in other words, these systems are most likely to stay, proving their value through their ease of use and affordability.
Some of the major players in the conversational AI market include Google (US), Microsoft (US), IBM (US), AWS (US), Baidu (China), Oracle (US), SAP (Germany), FIS (US), Artificial Solutions (Spain), Kore.ai (US), Conversica (US), Inbenta (US), Creative Virtual (US), SoundHound (US), Avaamo (US), Haptik (US), Solvvy (US), MindMeld (US), Kasisto (US), Gupshup (US), Senseforth.ai (US), Cognigy (Germany), Rasa (US), Pypestream (US), Rulai (US), AmplifyReach (India), Saarthi.ai (India), Exceed.ai (US), Mindsay (US), and Clinc (US).
Google (US) is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Its core products and platforms include Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play, Search, and YouTube, and each of them has over 1 billion active users every month. Google has built a platform in the cloud and invests in infrastructure, security, data management, analytics, and AI. The company’s global clientele is spread across verticals, such as automotive, BFSI, retail and eCommerce, education, energy, engineering, entertainment, environment, food, beverage, government, healthcare, manufacturing, media, telecommunications and IT, transportation, and travel and hospitality. As more digital experiences are being built in the cloud, the company’s cloud products are focusing on helping enterprises of all sizes take advantage of the latest technologies and efficiently run their businesses. Google invests in platforms such as Android mobile OS, Chrome browser, Chrome OS, and Daydream Virtual Reality (VR). It operates through 70 offices in more than 50 countries.
Microsoft (US) develops software, services, devices, and solutions to compete in the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. With the increase in investments in the mix-reality cloud, Microsoft enables its customers to digitalize their business processes. The company’s offerings include cloud-based solutions that provide customers with software, platforms, and content. Its product offerings include Operating Systems (OS), cross-device productivity applications, server applications, business solution applications, desktop and server management tools, software development tools, and video games. Microsoft’s platforms and tools help drive the productivity of small businesses, the competitiveness of large businesses, and the efficiency of the public sector. The company works on three pillars, which include privacy, cybersecurity, and responsible AI, to provide tools and frameworks for its customers to encourage policy change. It focuses on investing in data centers and other hybrid and edge infrastructure to enhance its service offerings. Microsoft operates in three segments: productivity and business processes, intelligent cloud, and more personal computing. The productivity and business processes offer dynamic business solutions, including Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based applications across ERP and CRM, Dynamics ERP on-premises, and Dynamics CRM on-premises. It has a geographical presence in more than 190 countries across North America, APAC, Latin America, MEA, and Europe.
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