We’ve discussed how AI powers technology for marketing automation, customer service communication, and personalization. Now it’s time to double-click into the systems that empower AI to behave as human-like as possible.

A Conversational User Interface (CUI) is an overarching system that fuels AI. This system is what makes Artificial Intelligence intelligent. AI Assistants go beyond what you think of as an outdated chatbot, primarily because AI platforms integrate Natural Language Processing (NLU and NLG), decision and policy management, business process automation, and deep learning capabilities to intelligently automate customer engagement.

We’ll break down how Conversational UI systems work to power a human-like Virtual Assistant that can supercharge your business.

The Difference Between Conversational UI and Chatbots

“Chatbot” is sometimes used as a catchall term to describe any automated communication interface, ranging from rules-based bots to AI-powered virtual assistants. There’s cause for this mixup, though. Conversational UI refers to the suite of AI technologies that creates smart assistants, whereas a chatbot is a singular software program that communicates with customers primarily through text. Chatbots can leverage Conversational UI or not. A chatbot that does not integrate Conversational UI typically runs on a flow-based model, or a scripted conversational flow-chart for responses. Think of a flow-based chatbot as a program that can respond to customers, but only as much as the script allows it to. When customers prompt a flow-based chatbot, the chatbot guides them through the conversation flow chart, step by step.

Two core differences between Conversation UI and chatbots is intelligence and implementation. Conversational UI is built to perceive, understand, decide, act, and learn, which provides a human-like customer interaction. These processes create smarter Virtual Assistants, whereas many chatbots are limited by their flow-based infrastructure. Chatbots can be incredibly helpful in directing customers to their desired resource, answering frequently asked questions, or curating search results—but they are limited by their infrastructure to go beyond that.

Let’s take a deeper look at the Five Pillars of Intelligence and how they operate holistically:

  • Perceive: AI Assistants perceive when new contacts are added to your CRM, MAP, or database. These contacts can be automatically linked to a campaign for the AI Assistant to promptly and persistently follow up.
  • Understand: AI Assistants understand unstructured text in two-way conversations by leveraging Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to interpret a contact’s intent (such as expressing interest in a meeting, requesting more information, or opting out) as well as entities (including contact information or date/time). AI Assistants engage with contacts over multiple communication channels and in multiple languages to drive towards the next best action.
  • Decide: AI Assistants know when to notify your Reps about a hot lead or customer in need, nurture a relationship over time via email, or even stop messaging an uninterested contact.
  • Act: Once the AI Assistant makes a decision, it autonomously executes the next best action as it pertains to that decision. The next best action could be continuing a conversation with Natural Language Generation (NLG), alerting a Salesperson of a hot lead, updating contact data in your CRM, or continuing the conversation at a later date—all without human micro-management
  • Learn: A Conversational AI Platform is always improving itself by leveraging machine learning and deep learning, which means the first four pillars are getting stronger every day.

Conversational UI Framework

AI Assistants act like digital team members, which requires a Conversational UI framework designed to hold two-way conversations naturally and efficiently. There are many considerations when it comes to designing a Conversational UI framework, but the most important is to get to the root of what your customer is trying to accomplish when using the system.

Understanding the customer needstate influences how you communicate with them, and it’s equally as critical to understand the user’s control of the system. The user should feel in control of the system, and not the other way around. This means the Conversational UI needs to allow the customer to reset or interrupt the conversation at any time, change topics, or ask questions. Remember: every interaction should feel natural, organic, and human-like.

Conversational UI Examples

Today’s marketplace is embracing digital at breakneck speeds, but there are four notable sectors where Conversational UI is being adopted at higher rates:

  1. Healthcare – As a result of COVID, the healthcare industry was forced to embrace digital solutions overnight to meet patient needs. The pandemic accelerated innovation in order to provide longitudinal care through patient portals, virtual appointments, scheduling, and more. Practitioners need to collect a lot of patient information, as well as monitor their health, which is one way Conversational UI can be integrated. Gathering this patient information can be handled by an AI Assistant that has deep learning capabilities and can intelligently automate patient engagement.
  2. Education – Online education platforms require high levels of student engagement, as well as the management of documents, data, and deadlines. Conversational UI is designed for both the administrator and the student, prompting engagement and organizing information.
  3. E-commerce – There are countless ways to integrate Conversation UI into retail commerce, B2B sales, and beyond. Over-leveraged customer-facing teams can increase efficiencies by automating time-consuming outreach and real-time customer service responses without adding overhead.
  4. Smart Devices – Many consumers are interacting with smart devices like speakers, wearables, and televisions daily. Voice commands, and the ability for the device to understand and respond, is a prime example of Conversational UI in action.

Conversational UI can grow your business without increasing overhead. Below are just a few ways Conversica AI Assistants can boost your bottom line:

  • Strengthen the top of your funnel with up to 100% lead coverage and increased engagement rates. Conversational Marketing drives the next best action across website chat, email, and SMS.
  • Never miss a Sales-ready opportunity again. Build a healthy pipeline of quality opportunities with Conversational Sales. Conversica AI Assistants can do the work of at least 10 SDRs and achieve 4x pipeline at half the cost of employee-driven engagement alone.
  • Increase efficiencies for your over-leveraged Customer Success teams by automating time-consuming outreach with a Conversica AI Assistant. Retain and grow revenue from your base using Conversational Customer Success.

Conversica AI Assistants are easy to deploy thanks to a rich and extensive conversation library, battle-tested by more than one billion interactions. Interested in learning how adding a Conversica AI Assistant to your team increases capacity, drives higher engagement rates, and ultimately generates more revenue for your business?