William Webster

written by

William Webster

Researcher, Avoncourt Partners GmbH

Culture Blog - Aug 2, 2018

AI as your personal assistant

Early 2016, when chatbots were proclaimed the next revolution in customer service, we felt ourselves on the cusp of a transforming sales, service and accounting world. Two years into chatbot interface, complaints and low returns indicate a failed vision. Clients and customers have shown us: nothing beats speaking to a real human with a real emotional element.

Be that as it may, AI programmers are developing the capacity to imitate the emotional intelligence of a customer service representative. It may in fact not be over for the chatbot dream.

Finger pressing a digital button with the text virtual assistant. Concept of personal PA services. Composite between a hand photography and a 3D background

One example is with Google, which showcased a system named “Duplex AI” during their annual developers conference in May. It is a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out real-world tasks over the phone. Google will begin testing the technology with Google Assistant on smartphones to help users set up appointments. Users won’t even need to make actual phone calls themselves. The AI system will make the call on a user’s behalf.

With emotionally intelligent AI assistants, here’s what your sales department, marketing division and accounting services could start looking like:

– Clients and prospects can book consulting appointments with you. Your AI assistant will respond in a human voice to find, book, add to calendar, send confirmation emails and make reminder calls.

– Clients can interact over the phone with data/software for quotes, accounting, sales material and estimates. The AI assistant will reply in a human voice (and be as accurate as the accuracy of data in the software).

– AI can interact with your clients to remind them to send their documents to prepare tax returns in time. It can ask for clarifications on certain budget issues. It can even make calls to remind about overdue payments.

– As AI learns the context of various sales sectors and products, for example life insurance or accounting, it will more and more be able to derive its own business advice based on that context. Salespersons and accountants can then enrich their own human intelligence to create exceptional value for clients. AI will not overlook minute details, which can be a challenge for human beings because of lack of time or reduced focus due to multi-tasking.

A boy sits in a sofa with his grandfather and they are bonding with help of consumer electronics. In front of them on a table stand a digital assistant, which is an intelligent loudspeaker with built-in microphone. The digital assistant can help answer questions and enable the family to control internet of things such as lightbulbs and door locks with voice commands.

AI can redefine the speed at which business operations, sales and accounting interact. It will reduce or even eliminate the lag times between discovering prospects’ needs and closing a sale, and between actual business operations and the availability of related accounting information. Chatbots are giving way to a new generation of AI which can account for the emotional needs of a prospect or client as well as the business needs of a sales department or accountant.