The way people interact with businesses has been revolutionized the past few years, thanks to the innovative advances now available through conversational AI.

Conversational AI has allowed our contact centers to engage with customers more naturally than ever, fast-tracking them to resolution more quickly than interactions handled by traditional systems. A customer is no longer frustrated by complex menus and instead simply asks a question or speaks their need. A bot then responds and delivers the customer to where they need to go. Well-designed bots and virtual assistants engage customers more deeply and with more expertise, encouraging them to explore automated services that might otherwise go unnoticed and untouched.

The benefits of conversational AI are not limited to just the customer experience, they extend to the agent as well. Bots free up agents from routine tasks allowing them to respond to more complex and emotionally charged interactions, adding value and building loyalty.

And it’s only getting better.

Flexible Deployment: Last week IBM announced advancements in its Watson Anywhere approach that “allows you to run all Watson products including Watson Assistant, IBM’s conversational AI product, on the IBM Cloud or clouds from other vendors, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – as well as on-premises environments.” To make things even easier, it now features built-in integrations to leading contact center platforms including  AT&T, Cisco, Avaya, Genesys, Blueworx, Content Guru, IntelePeer, and Nexmo the Vonage API Platform.

Emotional Comprehension: One of the great perks of sophisticated artificial intelligence is its ability to continuously learn and adapt. As conversational AI has become more common place and embedded in day-to-day life, it has evolved to gain a deeper understanding of the tone, personality and emotion tied to customer conversations. And now, thanks to advances in Natural Language Understanding (NLU), it is capable of responding in a more complex, human-like manner that no longer feels as scripted and robotic as it has in the past.

Cognitive Experiences: With the ability to leverage both structured and unstructured data across multiple channels, intelligent bots and virtual assistants are able to pull together a full view of the customer and their behavior so they may seamlessly deliver a higher, more interactive level of service. Customer expectations are being satisfied by the growing cognitive ability to understand and reason learned from each interaction.

Conversational AI is transforming customer service, breaking down barriers and opening the door to billions of people who choose voice as their preferred way to connect with the people and businesses around them. It’s no doubt that voice services will continue to improve, leading to more authentic customer connections.