Conversational systems are the future and there is no running away from this dialogue


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Recently, I stumbled upon a very interesting video by one of my favorite music composers -Hans Zimmer. It was an introductory clipping of his online music tutorial -MasterClass, where he was trying to explain to his prospective students how composing music is a fairly simple journey (a modest claim indeed). He described how each musical note is a question and the one that follows it, is the answer. Effectively, the entire composition is nothing else but a seamless conversation turning into a beautiful symphony. Quite an artistic stance of simplifying the concepts for his students. Although, on several occasions art does imitate life or perhaps life imitates art?

There is no doubt about the fact that we are at the cusp of a revolutionary change in the field of technology. With the explosion of machines and an outburst of channels available for consumers and businesses alike, there is a gradual emergence of a pattern looking to make sense of this din. A pattern that calls for a definite aggregation of systems within the segregation. A need for a dialogue or a call for a conversation. Only when these systems can truly converse in a seamless fashion amongst each other, will their true potential be tapped leading to zero breakouts, minimized lags and a consistent experience. This claim has already been substantiated with an ‘omnichannel ecosystem’ being touted as the ideal one and several businesses are slowly looking to steer their ships in the very same direction.

At one of the Gartner Symposiums I have attended in the past, one of the keynotes was dedicated to highlighting the upcoming technologies. During this session, it was pointed out, that the future of technology is heading towards an ‘Intelligent Digital Mesh’. While ‘Intelligent’ referred to the concepts of AI, smart apps and things; ‘Digital’ consisted of augmented reality, digital twins as well as block chain and ledger. What truly caught my attention was the ‘Mesh’ which stressed on the emergence of conversational systems that essentially combined the intelligent and digital as well. The important question is how do we apply this concept of future tech to our contact centers to stay relevant and achieve maximum productivity metrics along-with highest levels of customer satisfaction? The answer is quite simple and lies in one term, ’omnichannel.’ Your business is broadly divided in two categories – the end customer experience and the agent/staff engagement center. The need of the hour is to bring in an omnichannel end customer experience and also an omnichannel customer engagement center that transforms your traditional contact center force. Is your business headed in the right direction? Let’s find out.

Omnichannel customer experience: It is essential that a business provides a seamless experience to their end customers across all channels. These channels could include voice, text, social or even apps. Customers should not feel any loss of context when they switch from one channel to another and for this it is essential that all channels are conversational in nature with each other. In addition to this, each channel should be conversational within itself as well. For example, something as basic as your voice IVRs should be dynamic in nature and predict the intent of a call on the basis of last interaction. This makes self-service truly personalized and not a static shoe that may not fit all. Virtual assistants over text should be able to comprehend the customer’s intent and provide accurate answers.

Omnichannel customer engagement center: Maintaining continuity across the systems used by internal workforce is essential as well otherwise it could lead to siloed operations resulting into multiple delays and disconnects. Whether it is the interaction of a customer prior reaching to an agent or a task opened by an agent reaching to the back office staff: – a seamless conversation is necessary between all the channels. This is exactly what converts a traditional contact center into a futuristic customer engagement model. It takes care of all loopholes found in customer interaction journeys today and enhances the overall contact center metrics. There has never been a bigger need for an ecosystem with systems that are not only conversational within themselves but also with each other. I leave you with some food for thought to contemplate over where your contact center is currently positioned and whether it is heading in the right direction.

Ayesha Borker
I have spent a decade in the contact center industry helping businesses transform their customer service strategies. I have a diverse background helping customers across several industries in two different geographies- APAC and North America. My expertise lie in automation and cloud transformation. P.S: All views expressed are solely my own.


  1. Conversational is in our view indeed the way forward, because it’s such a natural way of communication between business and customer. However, the trick is to make it scalable and still a great experience. We’ve learned that with Conversational AI is a great technology but far from perfect in terms of recognition and resolution rate. Hence we’re more aiming on semi-automation first with smart answer blocks ( to not hurt the experience but still keep it scalable.


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