The Future of Conversational AI In B2B — Kyndryl Digital Workspace


Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots are an exciting technology that has the potential to transform the way we interact with brands and businesses. Today automated chatbots can be used by marketers, salespeople, and customer service representatives to deliver better value for the customers and improve customer experience. The technology is still in its infancy, but if we get it right, there’s no limit to what AI chatbots can do for businesses in B2B.

Illustration of robot holding wine. Credit: Pexels.

I believe that AI will have a significant role to play in improving B2B marketing over time. AI is already being used by brands such as Kyndryl, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify as well as email marketing platforms like MailChimp, which are all using AI technology effectively in their business processes today.

Let’s take it from the top; Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies, like chatbots or virtual agents, which users can talk to. They use large volumes of data, machine learning, and natural language processing to help imitate human interactions, recognizing speech and text inputs and translating their meanings across various languages.

When designing a conversational AI, it’s important to think about how your potential users might want to interact with your product and the main questions they may have. You can then use conversational AI tools to help route them to relevant information. In this section, we’ll walk through ways to start planning and creating a conversational AI.

A chatbot for example carries out conversations and automates recurring tasks. It can be used to answer questions, perform tasks, and make decisions. A chatbot can be programmed to do things like:

  • Answer questions about your products or services
  • Help you with lead generation by asking qualifying questions of the visitor and then suggesting products or services based on the responses

The main difference between a chatbot and an application has to do with how they’re controlled. In an application, users control all aspects of their experience via buttons and menus; in a chatbot, users control only some aspects through text input — everything else happens automatically based on predetermined rules (for example, if someone asks “How much does it cost?” then the chatbot will present the pricing menu).

The applications of current conversational AI systems are considered weak AI by experts, as they focus on very narrow fields of tasks. Strong AI, which is still a theoretical concept, focuses on a human-like consciousness that can solve various problems and perform a broad range of tasks.

Freeing up time with chatbots

AI chatbots can free up employees’ time to do more important tasks — if we get the technology in place first.

Chatbots are a great way to provide customers with self-service and reduce your customer service costs. However, many businesses have been hesitant about implementing chatbot technology because of fears that it will displace employees, who may feel their jobs are under threat by automated assistance.

It’s true that AI Chatbots are already beginning to replace certain tasks in roles such as customer service and even sales, but this doesn’t mean that they will completely take over every aspect of these roles. Used right, it will free up your employee’s time to do their job even more efficiently.

The limitations of current AI chatbot technology

While AI chatbots have been increasingly used in the B2B space and are seen as a viable solution to solve several business problems, they do come with limitations that need to be addressed.

One of the biggest challenges in using chatbots in customer support is interpreting messages and understanding the user’s intent. Programming flexible algorithms to interpret the intent of the message is a top priority when developing a chatbot.

In other words, they are imperfect when it comes to understanding the meaning of words (a problem called “natural language processing”), so even if two people say the same thing but use different words or phrases, they may interpret each other differently — or completely misunderstand one another entirely.

Current marketing applications for AI chatbots

AI chatbots are currently used to deliver personalized content, offers, emails, and newsletters. The following list highlights the most common applications of AI chatbots in B2B marketing:

  • Personalized content (e.g., news on your industry)
  • Personalized offers (e.g., discounts based on purchase history)
  • Personalized emails (e.g., personalized email templates)
  • Personalized newsletters (e.g., customized news according to audience profile)

Current customer experience applications for AI chatbots

Customer service: AI chatbots are a valuable tool for customer service. While it’s not yet possible for them to replace human agents in all cases, they can be used as an assistive tool when customers have questions about products or services.

  • Marketing: Chatbots are also being used to answer basic questions about product offerings and provide information on upcoming sales.
  • Product research: With the number of products available online that reach every niche imaginable, it can be difficult for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for when searching online. Chatbots can help direct them toward relevant content based on their search topics and previous purchases.
  • Sales: Finally, chatbots can help drive sales by assisting users with finding the right products or services at the right time through automated notifications via email or SMS message — especially if there is a limited-time offer available from your company!

AI chatbots can help salespeople

AI chatbots can also help salespeople with lead generation and qualification, as well as closing.

AI chatbots can be used to ask customers questions about their needs and preferences, which allows the salesperson to tailor their message specifically for that customer. This makes them feel special and valued by your company, which increases trust. And if you’re selling a product or service that’s meant to help people solve problems they’re having in their day-to-day lives, chances are good that those problems will include some sort of frustration or pain point related to your product or service — and an AI chatbot can tell you exactly where the pain points are before you even talk to them!

AI chatbots as data-gathering machines

Chatbots are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they help users sort out root causes. On the other hand, they provide you with important information about the user.

While this information is only a fraction of what you gather with ad tech tools, it does provide important insights into the behavior and preferences of the target audience. And that’s what you need to consider.

To do this, chatbot data needs to be integrated into the management system with a specific set of metrics so that the incoming information can be sorted and used. This also helps in understanding what appeals to the audience in a particular episode and what puts them off. This helps adjust the behavior of the bot and the type of responses. It also helps to uncover weaknesses in the presentation of the products.

In summary

When you consider the benefits of chatbots, it’s easy to see how they can help your business. Chatbots save time and money by providing accurate answers to customer questions, allowing you to spend more time developing other aspects of your business. They also allow sales teams to focus on selling solutions instead of manually answering customer inquiries. And by generating leads for your sales team, chatbots provide another way for you to maximize the return on your marketing budget.

The most common and leading chatbot today is the CommBox platform. Beside the Omnichannel platform they have, they have an advanced chatbot with AI under the bonnet that could help any business to increase sales significantly and improve customer experience with no time.

Originally published on Ido Vapner’s Medium blog

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