Customer Success | 5 MIN READ

The Beginner’s Guide to AI Virtual Assistants

What are AI virtual assistants, how do they function, and how do they benefit the Customer Success niche? Read on the blog to discover the answers right away.

Simran Mohanty
Simran Mohanty
Apr 29, 2021

AI-Virtual-Assistants

AI Virtual Assistants

Recent advancements in the world of Artificial Intelligence have rocked the whole world, in a positive light. It has certainly paved the way to a new avenue of organizational excellence and productivity enhancement in all niches, including customer success. On that note, AI virtual assistants have become an integral part of the AI ecosystem. Companies are approaching digital assistants that can seamlessly bridge the gap between personal customer data. That too, in a secure and formal way that captures the most of the opportunity. So, how does it do it all, and how does it benefit us? Let us get started right away.

What is an AI Virtual Assistant?

Basically, it is a program that utilizes natural language processing to perform and complete daily tasks given by the humans in a natural language. Year on year, it has started pacing upon the estimated revenue front that is being sent on AI digital assistant. This report here says it all:

Source: TRO

How do the AI Virtual Assistants work?

AI virtual assistants help our lives by drastically simplifying our interactions with technology. To fulfill human requests, virtual assistants stand on a firm foundation of AI technology which constitutes the following:

Source: voicebot.ai
  • Wakeword: An already inbuilt wakeword detector runs on the device which waits for the user to say the particular phrase to activate or switch on the assistant. This activation can also be done by other means, such as enabling the ‘push to talk’ button.
  • Automatic Speech Recognition: Then, the function of an ASR is to convert the spoken audio from the user into an easily readable text transcription.
  • Natural Language Understanding: From here on, NLU takes up the transcription from the ASR and predicts the intention of the user in a way that is actionable. Basically, this function understands the fact that the users can come up with the same request in a thousand other ways that should all have the same outcome or similar answers.
  • Dialogue Manager: Now it is up to the DM to decide what to respond to the user. In case of an action-oriented task, it performs the needful or simply reverts with a helpful response.
  • Text to Speech: Finally, it is the TTS that is the output voice of the assistant.

Five of these functions need to work seamlessly for the AI virtual assistant to provide a helpful response. The technology needs to cope with the ambiguity and the breadth of natural language at large. Therefore, it also depends a lot on machine learning (a group of AI algorithms that identifies user patterns and makes decisions with minimal human intervention). In a nutshell, this lets the AI assistants learn how the users speak and how best to interact and generate useful results for them.

How do AI Virtual Assistants differ from Chatbots?

AI Virtual AssistantChatbots
These are digital AI agents that help humans perform daily tasks.These are the automated AI programs used to converse/interact with humans.
Speech-based.Text-based.
Helpful in everyday tasks.Significantly helpful in Customer Service.
Can respond to unpredictable queries.Can respond only to programmed queries.
Can respond to higher range of tasks.Can respond to handful of repetitive tasks.

How can Customer Success be benefitted by AI Virtual Assistant?

  1. Use of AI to target Customer data: Be it lead generation, nurturing, abandonment, or upselling, it is all about data. Due credits to AI assistants that this customer data can be used to paint a clear picture of the customer’s intent, shopping patterns, and behaviors. Further, with the help of AI-assisted customer success system, one can turn a huge pile of data into a system of intelligence that can take the customer experience a notch up.
  2. Chatbots to the rescue: As discussed, chatbots are a part of AI virtual agents that help in customer support. They have been designed to interpret and respond to the customers’ queries. Additionally, they provide 24×7 assistance to your customer. Customer success as a niche can reach new heights if it leverages AI-enabled chatbots in the right manner. And for the issues that need an expert opinion, they can always escalate them to the human agents, thereby cutting down on the wasting time and resources of your company.
  3. AI-enabled CRM boosts up Customer Success: With AI-enabled CRM, you can streamline processes related to customer service and organize them the way you wish. AI ensures that the data which was once ignored by the traditional CRMs are efficiently utilized to generate new ideas. Also, AI-enabled CRM can trigger countless opportunities with the usage of a higher level of competence shown by AI with advanced computing algorithms.
  4. Augments Customer Success Automation: The customer expectations are tending to take no backseats at all. That is when AI assistants help you in meeting this demand of driving actions by pulling in big data, smart workflows, and intelligent algorithms. These algorithms aid in recording every step of a customer’s purchasing pattern and ascertain potential automation avenues that carry out data interpretation. 

Parting Thoughts

It is safe to say that the magic of AI virtual assistants has just begun. The future of AI and how it enslaves customer success as an industry is yet to be seen in the years to come. While the underlying technology is continually improving, we expect AI assistants to become more customizable, conversational, and contextual as well. But will the dynamics of AI change the way we see and customer interactions? The answer is unknown.

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Originally Published April 29th, 2021, Updated April 29th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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