The Future of Conversations in 2021

By Ravi Saraogi, Co-founder and President of Asia Pacific, Uniphore

The year 2020 has shown us that businesses need to embrace digital tools early to be agile and resilient when the next disruption strikes. We saw a definitive adoption of Conversational Service Automation (CSA) this year. CSA enables businesses to listen to, analyse every customer interaction, use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate, and augment the conversational experience from self-service to agent-assisted service.

Come 2021, Uniphore predicts that CSA will proliferate as businesses further utilize the potential of conversational AI to encourage a much closer working synergy between technology and humans. This tag-team between human agents and technology will emerge as a powerful tool for businesses battling to mitigate the long-lasting impact of the global pandemic. It will also help push brands to be at the forefront of customer experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a soaring demand for automation as business process management (BPM) conversations swell. Although this is an indicator in every previous economic downturn, the trend this year coincides with an event where contact centre agents are working remotely. The increase in contact centre agents is promising, as it has enabled more businesses to understand and adopt the beauty of AI-human collaboration in real-time.

The customer service market which was estimated to be a $380 billion market is now estimated to be at a staggering $470 billion market. Gartner forecasts that by 2025, businesses that embed AI in their multichannel customer engagement platform will elevate operational efficiency by 25%[1].

The future of conversations is set to change in 2021. With remote working being the new business as usual, particularly in countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and Hong Kong, conversations with brands will become more personal than before. The role of contact centre agents is likely to evolve as they work hand in hand with technology to address customer queries more efficiently, improving the overall customer experience in the long run.