Conversational AI: Pioneering & Perfecting Digital Messaging

Jim Ryan

Founder & CEO


Digital Messaging

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I remember reading about the future of automation and AI for many years and thinking how exciting the world will be. I never thought perhaps a decade later I would be thrust into designing automation and building bots for conversational AI messaging. So, here’s how it started…

Building a Foundation on Reputation

Two decades ago, OutPLEX started as a call center; an outsourced provider for basically whatever clients we could add on. I had an executive background at AT&T supporting our markets with call center services and brought that level of professionalism to lead the company. We developed a solid reputation for delivering exceptional service for our clients. One key difference about us was our smaller size and entrepreneurial spirit. That enabled us to take risks and try new things ahead of the larger BPOs.

Adapt or Die

Between 2005-2006, we launched many ideas into reality with the “Adapt or Die” spirit of evolution. One of our successes was a virtual worker platform, which enabled us to extend our reach for incredible talent and clientele.

Another key component of our success story is around utilizing live chat technology for our clients. Enterprise global chat took off in amazing ways for OutPLEX. It was originally a live chat experience, and it created an extended level of concurrency and efficiencies for us and our clients. One agent could engage in several conversations simultaneously to provide excellent service and customer experiences.

We invested in new platforms, partners, and technology to support our evolution. That was a great experience for us as a company providing service in a digital format. It was then that OutPLEX propelled itself as a superior contender for innovation in customer experience.

Automation: It’s No Longer “the Future,” It’s the “Now” in a Post-COVID World

Fast-forward to just a few years ago, when we started exploring automation as a potential means to enhance the customer experience. Back then, automation had been around for a while, but it wasn’t great. It was kind of choppy and obvious to the customer that their conversations lacked the human touch. Even today you’ll see some really sub-par examples of “chatbots” still out there from companies that jumped on the bandwagon when it was hot but fell short of continued investment as systems evolved to give an outstanding customer experience.

OutPLEX saw tremendous potential here. COVID rushed in, sweeping worldwide, and 34% more customers than at any time before are now buying online. As a business, that forced us to accelerate our evolution well beyond traditional customer support. We are bot builders, tuners, data analysts, conversation designers for artificial intelligence (AI) messaging, and extraordinary sales and service agents handling complex customer engagements from voice to digital where AI just hasn’t learned yet.

Our team saw investment in this technology not only as something to pioneer but also as a means to increase our value and reach. We brought that value directly to our clients. It wasn’t long before new tech and platforms advanced to make those experiences more seamless with the introduction of conversational AI messaging. We built some incredible conversational AI messaging bot platforms for our clients that are so robust that most customers don’t even realize that they aren’t talking with a human being at all.

By the Numbers

There are two sum goals for messaging, the first is what we call conversation containment. For our clients, containment is achieved where the entire transaction is resolved through automation. No human is involved, and the customer’s needs are met. The “yang” to containment is effective customer satisfaction. When customers are pleased with the responses, that results in greater returns.

As OutPLEX matures, our clients benefit across the board. Let’s look at how this evolution results in ROI for our clients:

  • Conversational AI messaging can be as high as 40:1 in conversations, netting client savings as high as 72%.
  • Today, 64% of all customers prefer messaging over making a phone call to a brand or business.

The numbers speak for themselves, customers want messaging and brands are eagerly implementing.

But what about the jobs?

Now, the misconception is that AI is replacing the need for humans. However, the truth is that conversational AI messaging enables human agents the capacity to work with more complex customer interactions, either via chat or voice. Through the use of conversational AI messaging bots, we are eliminating the mundane, repetitive interactions that filled the day for our agents. Focusing on more stimulating interactions increased employee engagement, and it created more job opportunities. Some of our top agents are the best bot conversation designers today.

How are we changing the industry? Well, Bloomberg television filmed a two-week segment featuring OutPLEX on their series “Next Jobs” about how automation is being pioneered and how AI is changing jobs. This video clip from the show gives you an inside look with a conversation designer. Since we introduced conversational AI messaging, our client base has grown, and we have more than tripled our company size.

So, as you see, we aren’t eliminating jobs with the use of conversational AI messaging technology. Instead, we are redefining those positions and offering employees more on-the-job advancement through hands-on learning of technology applications… a valuable professional skillset.

Results: Enhanced Customer Experience, Greater Client ROI

The result of conversational AI messaging means reduced wait time and heightened levels of satisfaction with the customer experience. With today’s demand for immediate gratification, conversational AI bots are quickly becoming critical for increasing engagement and retention levels with customers. The next great evolution of AI messaging bots is expansion in voice automation, more digital channels, and ultimately higher degrees of AI cognitive learning.

Consider that the ultimate goals when a customer contacts the company are to solve a problem, provide a service, and give the customer that service in the fastest possible time. When you analyze the data, you start to notice many opportunities where automation might benefit the company and its customers. This is where we start with deep discovery. We analyze our clients’ calls, CRMs, and other layers of application interaction. From there we determine which types of calls to address first and start designing those conversations.

We propose automating high-volume simple tasks first. Customer orders, quick answers, and service requests are fine examples of automation opportunities. The conversation is simple, highly predictable, and thus easy to automate and reduce our clients’ expenses. In some cases, we have eliminated as much as 72% of our client’s customer service operations through advanced automation.

OutPLEX optimizes digital messaging for brands connecting them to their customers at scale. We do this by coupling the best conversational AI bot platforms and the highest skilled human experts. Our goal is to obtain the highest automation containment and customer satisfaction resulting in greater ROI for our clients. We’ve pioneered conversational AI at scale.

To summarize, there’s a great future in conversational AI and messaging… buckle up for the ride!