Laptop screen showing Dialpad's conversational AI answering questions for an agent
Not your average chatbot

Conversational AI

Chatbots and virtual assistants are very helpful for automating some types of customer communications. But how is the average chatbot different from its more evolved cousin, conversational AI? Book a product tour to learn more!


What is conversational AI?

Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to essentially simulate natural-sounding conversations with computer programs.

Instead of having a rigid set of standard answers that respond to preset questions or inputs (like traditional chatbots), conversational AI can provide more varied, context-dependent responses.

Dialpad Ai Contact Centre, for example, has a conversational AI feature (along with other unique AI solutions) that optimises workflows for your agents, since it can handle most basic, straightforward questions from customers.

How does conversational AI work?

Chatbots used to "talk to" customers by essentially matching preset answers to preset yes/no or multiple choice questions.

Today, conversational AI applications take things a step further. Dialpad Ai, for instance, can search not only databases and FAQ pages for answers to customer questions, it can also search unstructured sources of data, like PDF documents and past customer conversations.

For example, if a customer has a tough question about something that has never been covered on your company's FAQ page, but another customer has asked a similar question before, Dialpad can show an agent that past transcript to help them!

Not only does conversational AI empower your human agents and customer support teams, it also improves customer satisfaction and creates a better customer experience overall, especially when complemented by other self-service options and automations.

🤖 For example:

If a customer has a tough question about something that has never been covered on your company's FAQ page, but another customer has asked a similar question before, Dialpad can show an agent that past transcript to help them! Not only does conversational AI empower your human agents and customer support teams, it also improves customer satisfaction and creates a better customer experience overall, especially when complemented by other self-service options and automations.

More than just a conversational AI platform

So, how does Dialpad’s deep learning and AI technology make its contact centre platform one of the best out there? Here are a few examples of what you can do with it.

Screenshot of creating a chatbot response flow using Dialpad's no-code drag-and-drop builder.

Easy no-code setup

Incorporating things like text-to-speech algorithms into workflows doesn’t require as much specialist knowledge as you might imagine. With Dialpad, you can easily set up virtual agents and deploy a conversational AI solution just by dragging and dropping. Who says you have to use a complicated conversational AI system for developers?

Screenshot of Dialpad Ai transcribing a phone call in real time.

Real-time transcription

With Dialpad's AI-powered natural language understanding, it can transcribe your voice conversations in real time. No more trawling through hours of recorded conversations trying to find that one thing someone said.

Screenshot of Dialpad Ai analysing the sentiment of multiple calls in real time

Live sentiment analysis

Dialpad can also do sentiment analysis—again, in real time. This way, supervisors who are overseeing multiple agents on active calls can quickly see if a call is going south, open up the live transcript to get more context, and then decide if they need to jump in to help the agent.

Screenshot of Dialpad's real time assist card feature popping up helpful notes for an agent or rep when a tricky question comes up on a call.

Real-time agent assists

Even the best conversational AI platforms don't always have this, but real-time assists (aka. screen pops) are an important component in conversational AI contact centre technology. With Dialpad, managers can create RTA (Real-Time Assist) cards with tailored notes on specific topics and set them to pop up automatically on agents’ screens when certain trigger words or phrases are spoken.

What is an example of conversational AI in different industries?

There are many examples of conversational AI use cases in different industries. Let’s look at a few ways it’s being used in healthcare, retail, HR, finance, and banking.

Conversational AI in healthcare

Conversational AI services in healthcare can be used for a range of diagnostic, screening, and health management purposes.

Important conversational AI healthcare tools include symptom-reporting programs and intelligent appointment scheduling apps. These lessen the burden on healthcare providers by making sure patients see the right specialists and doctors aren’t overloaded with appointments that could've been resolved over a quick call or message.

Conversational AI in retail

In terms of retail, AI-powered virtual agents are great for providing support and guidance throughout the customer journey.

Not only can intelligent chatbots optimise your sales funnels by offering general information and promos or discounts, they can also reduce the volume of work for human agents by dealing with routine troubleshooting, after-sales support, and even customer surveying.

Conversational AI in HR

In very large global enterprises, there are a number of dedicated conversational AI recruiting and HR tools designed to help companies recruit, manage, and retain employees.

For HR departments looking to incorporate bots into their workflows, conversational AI chatbots can provide more efficient and engaging employee interactions and personalised conversational experiences.

When employees do need to contact HR, AI-enabled systems can empower HR team members by putting real-time, up-to-date information about policies, benefits, and more at their fingertips.

Conversational AI in finance and banking

When it comes to conversational AI for banks and other financial services providers, two key requirements are efficient (and effective) client service and a high level of security.

Thanks to natural language processing, AI virtual assistants can respond to bank account and other financial queries in seconds with personalised answers. This makes it possible for clients to receive an immediate and accurate resolution to routine requests such as cancelling a lost or stolen credit card.

Considering how much conversational AI costs compared to expanding contact centre staff— and the fact AI works 24/7, in multiple languages, and across multiple channels—it’s able to massively increase the scope of an organisation’s support operations for a relatively low cost.

Conversational AI for customer service

There are many types of conversational AI tools that can be used to enhance customer service.

Virtual assistants can respond to customers, either answering FAQs or directing people to the right agent. This frees humans up to handle complex enquiries, and callers don’t have to wait in a long queue.

Chatbots and interactive voice response (IVR) menus perform similar roles, understanding what the caller needs and when to escalate the query. AI technology can also run sentiment analysis on calls, revealing the customer’s positive or negative feelings.

Conversational AI for sales

In sales, conversational AI examples can be found in areas including outreach, lead qualification, and scoring. Using predictive analytics, AI can identify which leads are most likely to convert, helping reps to focus their efforts.

During sales interactions, conversational AI can help agents access information on prospects’ needs and preferences, and suggest personalised talking points—so reps don’t have to rely on pre-written scripts. AI can also run real-time sentiment analysis to check which way the prospect is leaning.

The benefits of conversational AI tools for different customer interactions

When it comes to improving customer interactions, three conversational AI benefits in particular stand out.

It ensures everyone’s needs are attended to—without overextending your team

While conversational AI software can’t (and shouldn't) replace a customer service team and a good quality assurance program, it can help human agents do more work, more efficiently. Think of the suite of Dialpad conversation intelligence tools as a kind of conversational AI assistant that augments and enhances—rather than outright replaces—human agents.

Ideally, you'd use conversational AI and other automations to take simple requests and questions off your human agents' plates, and give them time back to focus on fewer inquiries that actually require a person to be involved.

It lets you provide 24/7 customer support

Because chatbots and AI-powered web chat tools run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, customers can always get help with their questions, even if your contact centre is closed and your staff are all at home tucked up in their beds.

Conversational AI ecommerce solutions in particular have been popular because of the repetitive nature of the inquiries from these customers (like questions about purchases, refund or exchange policies, troubleshooting, and so on). To be fair though, any business or organisation in any industry that interacts with an audience online regularly can benefit from conversational AI.

It lets you cover more languages

Do you work in an organisation that does most of its internal communications in English but has an international, multilingual customer base? If so, you're probably already familiar with the challenges language barriers that can get between customers and your customer support team.

The good news is, chatbots and other AI conversational technology can speak multiple languages. Dialpad's IVR menu, for instance, can cover English, Spanish, French, Japanese, German, and more. This means customers who speak different languages are still able to navigate your IVR paths—without you needing to hire a translator or a ton of new team members who speak each of those languages.

What’s the future of conversational AI?

Conversational AI is here to stay, and it will only get smarter. It’s becoming easier to train the bots, as more data is generated to feed them and they develop faster learning capabilities.

Advances in conversational AI will mean that chatbots and voice assistants can handle more complex tasks, and understand non-linear conversations. This has obvious benefits for AI in customer communication, as bots start to sound more like humans and adapt to a user’s conversational style.

AI is also getting better at recognising accents, dialects, and context, and responding to body language and facial expressions in video chats. Bots will come to understand user intent, which means companies are better able to predict customer needs.

It’s not surprising that the conversational AI market is expected to grow to$29.8 billion globally by 2028. But there will need to be a focus on mitigating bias and protecting data.

How can a conversational AI platform improve your customer journeys?

There is a wide, wide range of conversational AI tools out there that all do slightly different things.

If you’re wondering which might be best for your business, we can help you narrow that search down a bit! If you're looking for an intuitive, easy-to-set-up conversational AI platform that you can integrate into your business processes quickly, why not check out Dialpad Ai Contact Centre?

Not only do you get a fully integrated communications solution that lets you access telephony, instant + SMS messaging, video meetings, and contact centre functionality—in a single interface—Dialpad's conversational AI is also a leader in the space, giving you access to a range of fully automated and AI-enhanced functions across multiple channels.

Find out how Dialpad could help you incorporate conversational AI into your business workflows today.

Looking for a conversational AI tool?

Why not try a contact centre provider that has it built right in? Book a product demo to see how it works now or, take a self-guided interactive tour of the app!

Conversational AI FAQs

What is the difference between conversational AI vs. a chatbot?

There’s been a lot of talk about conversational AI and chatbots, but is there actually a difference between chatbots and conversational AI?

Essentially, a chatbot is any computer program designed for human conversation. However, basic chatbots are based on predefined conversation flows and can have only a limited number of inputs and outputs.

On the other hand, a conversational AI chatbot or conversational AI bot uses natural language processing and machine learning to not only decipher a greater variety of questions, but also deliver more customised responses.

What are the components of a conversational AI tool?

Does Dialpad have built-in AI?

What is natural language processing (NLP)?