Turns contact center agents — 1 in 57 Americans — into bot creators and managers
LivePerson, Inc., a leading provider of conversational commerce solutions, launched Maven, a conversational AI that enables brands to replace traditional websites and 800-numbers with personalized conversations over SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google RCS Business Messaging, Amazon Alexa, and other popular messengers and voice assistants. Maven enables not only computer scientists, but also the millions of agents working in contact centers to develop conversational AI experiences. This patent-pending mesh between human agents and AI makes it possible for brands to have personalized conversations with hundreds of millions of consumers, outperforming traditional websites and 800-numbers on measures such as customer satisfaction and sales conversion.
“I watched the first generations of conversational AI and bots frustrate consumers because the technology relied on decision trees that could send them in circles,” says Robert LoCascio, LivePerson’s founder and CEO. “We created a new direction. Our AI is designed to be taught and managed by contact center agents. One in 57 Americans works as a contact center agent, and when paired up with AI, their impact on the lifetime value of a customer is transformative. Where we once thought that AI would replace people, especially in contact centers, we know now that people in contact centers, who converse with consumers everyday, are the best conversational designers for AI. We will need this population to create and manage the millions of AI-powered conversations that will be necessary for consumers to speak to brands through their home and mobile devices.”
LivePerson, a pioneer and market leader in brand-to-consumer messaging, developed Maven using its conversational data set of billions of brand-to-consumer interactions. Maven operates as the brains behind new LivePerson AI-based products that brands use to create, manage, and capture the most from their conversations with consumers:
- Conversation Builder, which non-technical staff such as contact center agents use to design high-quality automated conversations. The conversations are not built from scratch. Conversation Builder creates the initial versions by mining a brand’s existing conversation transcripts. Prebuilt industry templates are also available, providing the dialogue and integrations necessary for common use cases such as billing.
- Conversation Manager, a console that suggests automated responses and next best actions to contact center agents, who edit and select from them. Edits and selections dynamically improve the responses and next best actions. When the content reaches a brand-set accuracy threshold, it can be offered to consumers without human intervention. Conversation Manager also includes sentiment monitoring to alert contact center agents to conversations that require their attention. Designed for use in large contact centers, Conversation Manager sends these requests to agents who have the capacity and appropriate skills to respond. A major retail brand that adopted this approach in its sales operation increased agent productivity 300 percent within 12 weeks of launch.
- Conversation Intelligence, dashboards and reporting which take the true voice of the customer — their direct discussions with a brand, spoken in their natural language — and turn it into actionable sales and service intelligence. A major wireless provider using early versions of Conversation Intelligence reported the product identifies the root cause of service issues faster than monitoring software, enabling the provider to accelerate the fix and reduce inbound customer inquiries. A leading hospitality firm used Conversation Intelligence to identify and add new, top-selling items to its menu selection.
Leading direct-to-consumer women’s luxury shoe brand Tamara Mellon is among Maven’s early adopters. “We are committed to delivering a superior experience and have found messaging to be the most natural and effortless way for us to communicate with our customers,” said Tamara Mellon, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Tamara Mellon Brand and formerly the co-founder of Jimmy Choo. “We are partnering with LivePerson so that our customers can ask us questions, get recommendations, and make purchases in the messaging apps and voice assistants they use everyday. LivePerson’s new automation capabilities give our customers quick answers on topics like product availability while allowing our team to monitor the experience and put the finishing touches on conversations where needed.”
Tamara Mellon is not alone. Gartner’s recent report, Market Guide for Conversational Platforms, forecasts that by 2021, AI will handle 15 percent of all customer service interactions — an increase of 400 percent from 2017. The stakes are high. Less than 5 percent of consumers convert to sales on websites, and 90 percent of consumers dislike calling an 800-number. The cost of answering the phone calls alone is more than a trillion dollars per year.
LivePerson’s new AI-based products work in concert with its existing set of conversational commerce capabilities that brands use to connect with consumers via popular messaging services and voice assistants, along with their apps, websites, and phone systems. LivePerson also provides APIs, SDKs, and connectors to access the myriad third-party systems necessary to fulfill customer intentions such as checking order status or making changes to a reservation.
Maven and LivePerson’s new AI-based products are accessible via LivePerson’s Early Access Program and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2019. Brands can apply for the Early Access Program at www.liveperson.com/ai.