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How Conversational AI Companies Work: What Brands Should Know

Sorting through conversational AI companies to build your next voicebot? First, find out how they wrangle the technology.

April 26, 2023 by Jean-Rémi Larcelet-Prost
How Conversational AI Companies Work: What Brands Should Know

At its core, the purpose of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is to create conversations between humans and computers. Those conversations may be written, like with a chatbot on a mobile app. They may be spoken out loud, through a voicebot. Either way, these discussions are already taking place, and they’re happening just about everywhere: on computers, on mobile apps, through smart speakers, in our cars, over the phone, and more.

Conversational AI companies are the tech geniuses that make this possible—but really, the creation of a conversational AI chatbot isn’t the work of just one creator. It takes collaboration between specialists. If you’re thinking of building a smart speaker app or introducing your own branded voice assistant, here’s what you should know about how conversational AI companies work together. Before we discuss how partnership is central to the creation of this technology, though, let’s review why it’s so powerful for brands.

How A Conversational AI Platform Could Help Your Business

What’s the benefit of conversational AI? It scales brand communications to limitless

heights. Automated communication can help with everything from marketing to the IT helpdesk, but it’s becoming particularly valuable in three general areas of business:

1. Customer Support

Think of your standard contact center. Consumers may reach out to brands through a website, a messaging app, or a phone call. Conversational AI chatbots and voicebots can help in all these channels, decreasing the workload for human employees. These conversational AI systems can answer common questions, then escalate complex issues to a human agent. That saves significant time and money.

2. Customer Experience

Voice-based conversational AI can create a consistent (and consistently good) brand experience online, over the phone, at brick-and-mortar locations, and just about anywhere else—but only if you develop a strong, branded custom voice.

Looking for machine speech that stands out from the crowd? Learn about custom branded text-to-speech voices from ReadSpeaker AI.

Over time, people recognize your voice wherever they hear it, and they develop an emotional association with the sound. In addition to building relationships with consumers, these voice channels also generate valuable qualitative data. They reveal the questions customers are really asking. That shows brands where they should invest to meet ever-changing customer needs and preferences.

3. Internal Training

Human resource departments are using voicebots for faster, more effective employee training. A specialized conversational AI website is ideal for role-playing scenarios, automating training in customer support and sales jobs. These systems can run trainees through sample interactions, record the responses, and provide feedback to improve performance. That way, senior staff can spend their time doing what they do best instead of on training.

Navigating the Various Types of Conversational AI Companies

When you decide to invest in conversational AI, your first stop will probably be a conversational AI agency. These companies can build you a chatbot, a voicebot, or a smart speaker skill—but they rarely act alone. Conversational AI depends on multiple advanced technologies, and no one company specializes in them all. In short, conversational AI is always a team effort and it’s common to work with at least three main players. When you break down an AI voicebot into its major parts, it includes:

  1. Automatic speech recognition (ASR). The first step in any conversation is listening, and ASR is the way computers capture speech data. This technology recognizes human language and converts the speaker’s words into text, a necessary first step for the use of natural language processing (NLP) technology to understand what the user says.
  2. Conversational design. An AI voicebot needs a framework for creating responses, and conversational design is the process for building that framework. Designers program rules and intent for the system to respond meaningfully to the user’s requests.
  3. Text to speech (TTS). TTS is what gives an AI voicebot a unique and consistent voice. Because these systems create responses dynamically, voice recordings won’t work, and using the default voice of Alexa will only give brand equity to Amazon. TTS is the voice that speaks back to the user, and you want to make sure that voice represents your company brand while also giving you control over what is said and how it’s said.

Companies may specialize in any one of these three steps, and they may even occupy a smaller niche or add on features to those listed above, focusing on a single vertical. You can find ASR specialists for the retail industry or for in-car voice computing. If you’re in banking, look for a conversational designer who has experience with the finance industry. They’ll understand the questions your customers are likely to have without an extensive (and expensive) learning curve.

Regardless of your industry, it’s essential to make sure that these three major components are at the start of your voice strategy and not each considered separately. When it comes to the voice of your conversational AI system, it’s what the customer experiences; it’s the emotional center of the interaction. Want to make sure it represents your brand? Invest in a custom TTS voice from ReadSpeaker AI.

Contact us to learn how we can help bring your voice experience to life—and the conversational AI companies we partner with to make sure your voice strategy and action plan is useful, effective, and engaging.

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