Customer service in times of ChatGPT: these startups boost your business with conversational AI

Since Eliza, the first ‘chatbot’ to be developed in the 1960s, voice assistants have come on leaps and bounds thanks to the advancement of conversational AI. The popularisation of ChatGPT, which is surprisingly capable of imitating written human conversations, is the latest example of this. Some startups are already using the technology behind this tool to help other companies improve their customer experience and focus their professionals on valuable tasks.

“My goal is to enable people to work more efficiently by providing useful information and assistance in real time.” The statement, written automatically by ChatGPT sums up its mission perfectly: it provides written answers in just a few seconds on any subject thanks to the language model that supports it, GPT-3. The system, which was developed by the company OpenAI has astonished everyone with its natural language processing ability (the branch of artificial intelligence and AI focused on understanding human language) and has expanded the number of possibilities for conversational AI.

Growth forecasts for the chatbots market are also high. At the recent 4YFN, the startup space of the MWC, the company, which specialises in natural language processing (NLP), accompanied BBVA Spark at its stand. “We are at a critical point when it comes to automating processes and improving the role of people within organisations,” said Elisa Martinez during the event who is the Vice President of Sales Iberia at  Juniper Research predicts that the sector will grow from $5.6 billion in 2022 to $46.6 billion in 2026. By 2024, Juniper Research predicts that consumer retail spending via ‘chatbots’ worldwide will reach $142 billion (€133.15 billion) by 2024, up from $2.8 billion (€2.6 billion) in 2019.

For companies and startups, the evolution of AI can provide a new impetus. “From a corporate point of view, conversational AI allows us to reduce time, material resources and economic resourcesso that professionals can focus on valuable tasks”, states Maria Grandury, engineer and machine learning researcher at Neurocat, a company specialising in AI solutions for the automotive sector. One of the areas where AI can help is in customer service, an area where startups have already developed solutions for others to improve their businesses.


Landing bots and conversational banking, trends in conversational AI

In recent years, companies have emerged that offer different conversational AI solutions. One example is the Colombian company Vozy, which develops voice assistants that can replicate up to eight accents from different areas of Latin America. Another of them is Aivo, an Argentinian company that creates automated conversational tours with AI. BBVA in Argentina joined forces with Aivo in 2016 and successfully implemented a ‘chatbot’ on its public website that automatically resolves its users’ queries.

According to its CEO, Martin Frascaroli, one of the areas where there is the greatest room for growth is in what is known as conversational banking. Conversational banking helps naturalise conversations with banks, whether through voice or text,” he says.

"Just like a salesperson asks you questions and tailors their suggestions based on your answers, these types of tools are already proactive in helping you"

Helping chatbots to have natural conversations also helps Sentimer. José Gómez, the CEO of this startup that specialises in employing conversational AI to optimise user conversion processes on web pages, highlights the importance of developing landing bots as a trend: thanks to them, users start a conversation as soon as they enter a page, offering immediate advice to users.

Gómez likens the work of these chatbots to the work of a sales professional. “Just like a salesperson asks you questions and tailors their suggestions based on your answers, these types of tools are already proactive in helping you. In addition, they have the ability to be non-intrusive and choose the right moment to talk to you,” says the head of this startup, which, since 2021, has been working with BBVA as a result of a pilot test with BBVA Open Innovation.


How can AI help your business?

43% of consumers say they would be willing to pay more for a more convenient shopping experience, according to a report by CMSWire. Meanwhile, a McKinsey report indicates that 71% of consumers expect companies to offer personalised interactions.

AI can help companies in different aspects of their business:

  • Enhanced customer service. At Sentimer, they have found that this specialised and digitalised care benefits, above all, the elderly. In addition, thanks to the evolution of AI, the user’s mood can be sensed to adapt the conversation accordingly. In this way, assistants can provide support to professionals so that the latter can focus on the highest-value tasks and deliver an even more personalised experience to customers in need.
  • New sales channel. 41% of all business chatbots are used for buying and selling processes, while 35% of business leaders say these virtual assistants make it easier to close their deals, according to Intercom.
"We humans will engage in the important issues in order to have a better understanding, establish a closer relationship with our customers"
  • Speed up internal processes and improve products. Between 2018 and 2020, there was a 67% increase in the use of chatbots, according to Salesforce. AI not only helps customers and end users, but also makes each company’s internal procedures more effective: professionals can turn to them for any queries they may have in order to make their work more efficient. Maria Grandury, from Neurocat, argues that “they will increasingly help to automate tasks, read emails, organise your calendar, transcribe meetings, respond to instant messages, summarise texts or even study the competition.” In the case of ChatGPT, workers can also use it as a first resource to find information on a given topic and then delve deeper into it. For example, the Peruvian platform Crehana, which is focused on talent development and management, recently launched a 10-minute course, created in about five hours with the help of ChatGPT. Without support from the AI it would have taken two to four weeks to create it.

The conversation is not over yet

If we ask ChatGPT which tasks will be best suited to humans, it will say they are those focused on “performing work that requires judgement, empathy, creativity, and complex problem solving.” It is not a mere perception of this language model, but all the experts consulted in this article, specialists in conversational AI, agree with the tool.

“We humans will engage in the important issues in order to have a better understanding, establish a closer relationship with our customers and solve serious problems,” says Sentimer’s CEO. “We will have to wait and be careful with security and privacy, the corporate world is not yet ready for ChatGPT,” adds Aivo’s Martin Frascaroli.

While ChatGPT continues to improve the answers it provides to users, these and many other startups are innovating to help professionals in other industries improve their business by offering better customer service and speeding up their internal processes through conversational AI. As ChatGPT says 24 hours a day: “Please talk to me about whatever you need and I’ll be happy to help you.

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