Young man talking to virtual agent

What is a Key Differentiator of Conversational AI?

When conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is implemented properly, it can recognize a user’s text and/or speech, understand their intent and react in a way that imitates human conversation. This intuitive technology enhances customer experiences by letting intent drive the communication naturally. Conversational AI improves your customer experience, makes your support far more efficient and allows you to better understand your customer. 

While there are many benefits to using virtual agents powered by AI, the key differentiator of conversational AI is leveraging a machine’s ability to engage naturally with your customer’s intent in a quick, adaptable, and responsive way. It breaks down the barriers between humans and machines by merging linguistics with data. Automated conversations no longer have to sound like robots or proceed in a completely linear fashion. The capabilities of AI have expanded, and communicating with machines doesn’t need to be as menu-driven, confusing, or repetitive as it has been in the past.

You already know that you can set your customer service apart from the competition by resolving customer inquiries more efficiently and removing the friction for your users. In order to create that customer service advantage, you can build a conversational AI that is completely custom to your business needs, strategies, and campaigns. By using AI-powered virtual agents, you no longer need to worry about how to increase your team’s capacity, business hours, or available languages. Your conversational AI fills in as a scalable and consistent asset to your business that is available 24/7.

What Is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI is the modern technology that virtual agents use to simulate conversations. By using data and mimicking human communication, conversational AI software helps computers talk with humans in a more intuitive manner. 

The complex technology uses the customer’s word choice, sentence structure, and tone to process a text or voice response for a virtual agent. Conversational AI is based on Natural Language Processing (NLP) for automating dialogue. NLP is a branch of artificial intelligence that breaks down conversations into fragments so that computers can analyze the meaning of the text the same way a human would analyze it. 

Natural Language Processing is responsible for computer software that can interpret text and respond in real-time. It’s commonly used in business solutions and processes to improve efficiency or streamline customer support. NLP also helps computers understand the meaning, intent, and sentiment behind a conversation. Conversational AI apps use NLP to build patterns and algorithms that support natural dialogue. 

The Difference Between a Chatbot and Conversational AI

Traditional chatbots are outdated versions of artificial intelligence. Since they generally rely on scripts and pre-determined workflows, they are limited in the way that they respond to users. Also, most chatbots aren’t able to “learn” from previous data. Instead of forcing the user to choose from a menu of options that a chatbot offers, conversational AI apps allow users to express their questions, concerns, or intentions in their own words. 

Endless phone trees or repeated chatbot questions lead to high levels of frustration for users. Callers are likely to give up or hang up when this occurs. Conversational AI systems are built for open-ended questions, and the possibilities are limitless. 

Top Conversational AI Benefits

A virtual agent powered by conversational AI will understand user intent effectively and promptly. By determining the intent quickly, conversational AI directs the customer to the agent or team that can help them without forcing the customer to jump through unnecessary hoops or sending the customer to the wrong department. 


Meanwhile, NLP assists in curbing user frustration and improving the customer experience. Cut down on call times by getting to the customer’s needs quickly and removing forced scripts or limiting menus. NLP can evaluate the caller’s goals faster and decrease overall call time. It’s a win for everyone. 


A virtual agent can decipher and respond in different languages, removing the language barrier from your customer journey and expanding your potential demographics without a translator or international support teams. Virtual agents also are more efficient, cost-effective, and can be used in a multi-channel approach with a variety of platforms.


Additionally, virtual AI technology adapts and engages with consumers. Human conversation changes and can be complex. The ability to navigate, and improve upon, the natural flow of conversation is the major advantage of NLP.


The insight gained from your virtual AI is invaluable. The data you receive on your customers can be used to improve the way you talk to them and help them move beyond their pain points, questions or concerns. By diving into this information, you have the option to better understand how your market responds to your product or service.

Importantly, some AI engines handle different tasks better than others. Major players like IBM, Google, Amazon, and Nuance have developed AI engines as well as proprietary AIs created with the jargon used in specific industries in mind. Understanding the capabilities of these vendors and how they align to your needs is important in optimizing your application. With AI Fusion, Plum Voice allows you to take advantage of various engines’ strengths, switching between AI engines for different aspects of your application, improving response time and accuracy.

Building A Roadmap 

AI is already part of the customer experience landscape. Consumers are getting less patient and expect more from their interactions with your brand. You don’t want to be left behind, so start building your conversational AI roadmap today. If you are unsure of where to start, let an expert show you the best way to build a roadmap.

Conversational AI apps support the next generation of voice communication and a virtual agent can improve the experience. It’s time to give your company a major edge and a more modern approach. To better understand how conversational AI can work with your business strategies, read this ebook.

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