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How Conversational Process Automation and Conversational AI differ

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Within the domain of automation, chatbots and Conversational AI are becoming more and more familiar terms. Recently, a new player has appeared: Conversational Process Automation (CPA). Now, businesses have options. Each of these three hold the power to upgrade a business’ digital capabilities and hence, customer experience and profits. So, which one(s) to choose? 

Last week, we covered how the functionality of chatbots is strengthened through CPA. This week, we’ll cover how Conversational AI is different from CPA and the relationship between the two technologies.

 

What is conversational AI?

According to Deloitte, conversational AI is: 

A programmatic and intelligent way of offering a conversational experience to mimic conversations with real people, through digital and telecommunication technologies.

In other words, Conversational AI is the brainpower that makes machines capable of understanding, processing and responding to human language.

As per the name, Conversational AI mainly focuses on the communication between computers and humans. Conversational AI platforms make use of various technologies aimed at offering the best conversational experience, learning from it and improving it over time. These are some of the specific technologies leveraged:

  • Natural Language Understanding : NLU enables computers to comprehend human language by parsing and decodifying it.
  • Natural Language Processing: NLP leverages NLU to understand human intent and to link it with precise action or simply by communicating back to humans in their own languages.
  • Machine learning: ML is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that makes uses of algorithms aimed to automatically improve through previous experience.
  • Predictive analytics: is the use of statistical techniques aimed to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data.

All these technologies are addressing a unique goal, which is the optimisation of the conversation between two parties. Therefore, the main question AI tries to answer is: how to manage a conversation between a computer system and a human?

 

How is CPA different?

CPA foresees the use of conversational interfaces to gather and structure human input, therefore it overlaps with Conversational AI.

While Conversational AI focuses uniquely on conversations, expert chatbots that rely on Conversational Process Automation (CPA) are primarily concerned with the execution and optimisation of the business processes it covers. In other words, CPA brings the actual capabilities to execute the demands of the customers that require actions outside of the conversation itself. The ultimate aim of CPA is to allow businesses to be more performant by nimbly adapting to customer needs through the gathering of structured data and continuous improvement.

CPA  links the customer interaction with backend systems and processes. In fact, CPA provides automation of previously manual and analogue interactions. Therefore, it is the unique link between Conversational AI and Business Process Automation (BPA). BPA is widely used in many industries thanks to the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Expert chatbots, powered by CPA, can be directly integrated with RPA systems, with insurance platforms (e.g. policy, billing and claims platforms) and insurance on-premises applications (claims and policy systems), therefore executing Business Process Automation.

Conversational Process Automation is the meeting of BPA and Conversational AI

Conversational Process Automation is the meeting of Conversational AI and BPA

Tying it all together

Let’s take the example of the quote and buy process. Every CPA implementation starts with a full diagnosis of the business process to be improved. At this stage inefficiencies and automation opportunities are identified.

The new customer-facing process is implemented and the conversational experience created. Integration with core systems allows generation of quotes (through integration with rating engines) and the purchase of the policy. 

CPA allows to analyse in depth conversations, and highlights improvement opportunities based on customer demographics (e.g. age, gender, location etc.) and behavioural patterns (e.g. how many people drop the conversation at a specific point of the conversation, which tone of voice to adopt to increase conversational performance etc.) This process opens the door to further personalisation and ultimately, conversion rate optimisation.

Thus, CPA has the wider ambition of optimising businesses outcomes by making use of chatbots and Conversational AI. The aim is not just improving conversations but improving them for a deeper, bigger why, namely: the progress of the business and the services it provides.

 

So, Conversational AI or CPA?

As we have seen, in reality, there is no choosing between the two. Both are needed for an efficient conversational experience that satisfies the customer while maintaining business standards. Hence, instead of trying to decide between the two, why not start from the diagnosis of the business process, carry out a critical review of its weaknesses, and pinpoint a strategy to improve it through automation? If you’re ready for that, contact us here to get started.

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Discover Conversational Process Automation

CPA allows end-to-end processing through chatbots and leverages advanced analytics to continuously improve both the underlying process and the conversation with the end-user.

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