In the post pandemic era, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is assuming a lot of roles within enterprises. As companies are quickly moving towards digital solutions, AI has a leading role to play in this new world, where most customer experiences may be contactless.

Research company Forrester recently conducted a survey on the effectiveness of AI powered conversational solutions such as chat bots. The surveyed entities included 40 businesses across the Asia Pacific region, a huge market in terms of consumers.

In the specific context of the pandemic, 76% of the respondents were of the opinion that conversational AI improved resolution times of customer issues. Chat bots proved to be the most effective solution, with a success rate of 32%.

Smart self service and virtual assistants were also able to resolve customer issues with a success ratio of 28% and 23% respectively. Speech enabled virtual assistants proved the least effective with a success rate of just 8%.

A major reason for the sub par performance of speech enabled AI conversational solutions was a lot of variation in the spoken accents within a language. Nearly half of the respondents were in the process of implementing or expanding smart self service tools.

However, only 17% of the respondents said this AI powered automation could actually lower the turn around time (TAT) and time to response metrics. Despite the promising efficiency stats of conversational AI, things are not as good in customer experience.

The 80% majority of respondents said that chat bots produced more negative experiences, as compared to positive or neutral ones, especially during the pandemic. 75% of the respondents had the same feedback about virtual assistants.

70% respondents said that speech enabled virtual assistants also led to sub par customer experience (CX). Smart self service fared relatively better, with 66% respondents saying it produced bad customer experiences.

According to Forrester, it is imperative that companies prioritize improving digital channel experiences over the coming 12 to 18 months. Customer experience (CX) improvement and a digital first approach also need to be given top priority in the post pandemic world.