• April 29, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Conversation Can't Outweigh Content, CRM Evolution Panelists Contend

WASHINGTON — When it comes to customer interactions, content, not conversation, is king, panelists at an afternoon session during the CRM Evolution conference contended.

The panel, assembled to address the question of whether conversational artificial intelligence is king of customer interactions, stressed the need for AI to provide the right answer more than the manner in which the information is presented.

"Content is king. If a chatbot does not have the right answer for you, it does not matter how well the speech recognition worked," Frank Weigel, general manager of customer care intelligence at Microsoft, said during the discussion.

And for AI to come up with the right answers, data quality and accuracy is paramount, the speakers asserted.

System quality really "comes down to how much data you have coming into your CRM," Weigel said.

"There will be a lot of data," advised Jeff Wartgow, senior director of product management at Oracle, added. "You need AI to sift through the data to get the answers to your virtual assistants."

And then, another fundamental element is that "with any conversation, the AI needs to be optimized for customer service," Michael Machado, senior director of Einstein product management at Salesforce.com, offered.

This is particularly important as agent costs continue to rise, Nico Acosta, director of product and engineering for the Autopilot conversational AI platform at Twilio, said during an afternoon presentation. "Agents are expensive,"he noted, "They cost, on average, 4 cents per minute".

To keep costs down, the AI needs to provide the agent with the best answer in the least amount of time, he said.

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