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Latest 27 Feb 2020 | Company News

This Week: Airline Closes Call Centers, Conversational AI Breakthrough and Key Messaging Stats

Hello and welcome to The Conversation Round-Up where I sift through the latest news and trends in messaging, automation and customer experience to bring you the stories that matter.

AirAsia Shutters its Call Centres

Back in 2019, Lush opted to close its social media accounts after being “tired of fighting the algorithms”. 

The cosmetics brand now engages with customers over messaging channels such as Apple Business Chat instead.

And now AirAsia has taken a similar step - closing all of its call centers. The airline has invested heavily in messaging and in particular its AI chatbot, AVA.

"...we've been able to do something really controversial … which is close our voice call centre, because what we've learned is nobody wants to sit on hold to a voice call center anymore. Life is about messaging." - Chief Customer Happiness Officer, Adam Geneave

We’ve been working with the leading low-cost-carrier in Mexico, Volaris, to help them streamline their customer support offering. Messaging accounts for most of their inbound traffic and they were able to turn off live chat in 2018. You can learn more about our journey with Volaris here.

When you make a change as big as shutting down your call center you need to be bold. Plan ahead and, when it is the right time, pull the bandaid. 

Related Content

  1. Why Move to Messaging?
  2. This Week: Google Adds Business Messages to Maps and Search
  3. This Week: Is This Chatbot the Future of Retail CX?

Google Goes in Search of The True Conversational Chatbot

2.6 billion parameters

40 billion words

341 GB of text

And the result? Cow jokes, obviously.

image3 (1)

To be serious for a second, this is Meena - Google’s attempt at making a true conversational AI.

To prove Meena’s effectiveness, the good people at Google have also created a new metric - Sensibleness and Specificity Average (SSA). Essentially, SSA is the rate at which a chatbot provides a suitable response that’s understood by the user. Humans apparently have an SSA of 86%, while Meena isn’t far behind with 79%! 

But what does this mean for brands utilizing chatbots? For now, not much will change. Brand to consumer chatbots are predominantly geared towards completing specific tasks. That means they draw upon existing customer data and Natural Language Processing (NLP) when required to, but, for the most part, they have a defined back-and-forth, Q&A structure with a consumer. 

It’ll be interesting to see how Meena’s open-ended approach to conversational dialogue develops. Our current approach is to let bots handle the tasks that they’re good at while humans deal with any interactions that call for empathetic understanding.

Perhaps in the future, the process-specific bot will pass a customer query on to another bot which has more sophisticated conversational AI...

Our Key 2019 Messaging & Automation Stats 

It turns out 2019 was a huge year in CX for our clients. The growth of private messaging channels was huge! 

It’s taken us a few weeks to crunch the numbers, but here are some of the headline stats:

  1. In 2019, brands sent 54% more responses over private messaging channels than in 2018.
  2. Inbound Instagram messages shot up by 27% 
  3. And WhatsApp messages skyrocketed by 21,906%!
  4. The average CSAT went from 3.20 to 3.87
  5. Conversocial Bots sent over 60 million messages
  6. They also understood and handled 82% of conversations directed to them
  7. Over 150,000 conversations were handed over between bots and humans

Let’s keep the conversation going

Thanks for swinging by again. You can carry on the conversation at @conversocial or @idohacohen

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