Staying ahead of the curve

Adam Wilson, director of strategic partnerships at Vonage, outlines how to navigate the AI business communications revolution with MSPs and resellers.

GDP in the UK is set to rise by 10.3 per cent by 2030 due to the transformative power of AI developments, according to PWC. The race is now on for businesses to get a slice of the pie and implement AI into their tech stacks.

As the demand for AI related services continues to surge, MSPs must adapt their offerings, expand their capabilities, and stay well informed about AI trends to thrive in this evolving landscape.

By understanding how AI will shape the future of business communications, MSPs can position themselves strategically to capitalise on the emerging opportunities and overcome the challenges in the AI driven era. So, how is AI transforming the communications landscape?

Automation and assistants

Gone are the days of struggling to understand customer queries or frantically searching for relevant information during a call. AI driven voice transcription systems can accurately convert spoken words into text in real time, enabling agents to follow conversations more effectively and respond promptly to customer needs.

This not only enhances the overall customer experience but also increases agent productivity and reduces the likelihood of miscommunication.

AI powered assistants provide agents with real time knowledge, which provides quick references for addressing customer inquiries. The assistants offer valuable insights, information, and solutions to common issues. This empowers agents to provide accurate and efficient resolutions.

By leveraging AI technology, companies can streamline their customer service operations, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and reduced resolution times.

Moreover, the impact of AI goes beyond eliminating customer frustrations. Virtual assistants, powered by advanced AI algorithms, are transforming customer support by automating processes and reducing human involvement in issue triaging.

These intelligent assistants can understand and respond to customer queries, freeing up valuable agent time and resources. By automating routine tasks, such as gathering basic customer information or performing initial troubleshooting, virtual assistants enable agents to focus on more complex and high value interactions.

This not only improves operational efficiency but also ensures a faster resolution for customers, reducing the need for lengthy hold times and frustrating waiting experiences.

Conversational commerce

AI powered conversational commerce tools are now enabling businesses to communicate and sell to customers through various platforms. Conversational commerce leverages the power of AI and natural language processing (NLP) to facilitate seamless and personalised interactions between businesses and customers.

By integrating AI chatbots and virtual assistants into messaging platforms, companies can provide instant support, answer customer queries, and even guide customers through the purchasing process in real time.

One of the key advantages of conversational commerce is the ability to meet customers where they are already spending their time. With messaging apps being among the most frequently used applications on smartphones, businesses can engage customers in their preferred communication channels.

Whether it’s seeking product recommendations, inquiring about pricing, or making a purchase, customers can interact with businesses directly within these messaging platforms, creating a convenient and familiar shopping experience.

AI powered conversational commerce tools are equipped with algorithms that enable natural and context aware conversations. Through NLP techniques, these tools can understand customer queries, extract intent, and provide relevant responses.

This allows businesses to offer personalised recommendations, suggest complementary products, and guide customers through the sales funnel, replicating the experience of an in-store salesperson.

Conversational commerce tools can also be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) systems and ecommerce platforms, enabling seamless synchronisation of customer data and purchase history.

This integration allows businesses to provide personalised recommendations based on previous purchases, offer targeted promotions, and deliver a more tailored customer experience.

Collaboration with AI vendors

Partnerships with AI vendors also provide MSPs with access to advanced AI tools and platforms. These tools may include AI frameworks, libraries, and development kits that can accelerate the development and deployment of AI applications.

MSPs can leverage these resources to build customised AI solutions for their clients, addressing their unique business challenges and optimising their processes.

In addition, collaborating with AI vendors allows MSPs to keep pace with the rapid advancements in AI technology. AI is a rapidly evolving field, with new algorithms, techniques, and frameworks being developed regularly. By partnering with AI vendors, MSPs gain insights into the latest AI trends, innovations, and best practices.

This knowledge enables them to incorporate the most up-to-date AI capabilities into their service offerings, ensuring that they deliver state-of-the-art solutions to their clients.

Partnerships with AI vendors can provide MSPs with opportunities for joint research and development. By working closely with these vendors, MSPs can collaborate, share knowledge, and co-create AI solutions. This collaborative approach fosters a mutually beneficial relationship, where both parties can learn from each other’s experiences and contribute to the advancement of AI technology.

AI has already transformed the business communications landscape, helping businesses to streamline and triage customer enquiries through automated virtual assistants, and support with sales on the platform of a customer’s choosing with conversational commerce.

New advancements are being made on a daily basis, and it’s imperative that MSPs keep up to date with the latest AI trends in order stay ahead of the curve.

This opinion piece appeared in our August 2023 print issue. You can read the magazine in full here.

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