Conversation AI expert Raghuvardhan Reddy Suram Weighs In On the Future of Chat & Voice Bots
- A growing industry: the conversational AI market is expected to be worth $18.4 billion by 2026¹
- Banking, retail, and healthcare industries could save over $11 billion a year by utilizing chatbots for customer service²
- A recent MIT Technology Review report states that after employing chatbots, over 90% of businesses interviewed reported a noticeable improvement in complaint resolution, call processing, and both customer and employee satisfaction³
Raghuvardhan Reddy Suram is an expert in a field that many people simply take for granted. He’s spent a decade working in the industry, specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). He’s built world-class products for Fortune 100 clients and was educated at the finest tech institutes, including Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and University of Southern California (USC).
Therefore Suram is perfectly qualified to weigh in on the future of AI, NLP, and the use of chat and voice bots – and he’s excited about where his industry is going. “So many complex interactions can be automated,” he says. “Conversational AI has significantly evolved over the last decade, allowing many companies to use virtual assistants, aka bots, to solve customer inquiries.”
While there are some who feel that AI is replacing the human touch, Suram is confident that it does just the opposite. Bots are, after all, written and designed by humans for humans; and they are constantly improving and evolving. Suram points out that the key to effectively utilizing AI is finding the perfect balance between artificial and human intelligence aspects.
He defines conversational AI as “a branch of machine learning that understands the user’s query and provides responses to resolve their query” but points out that “AI has not reached a state where it can solve the complex questions that require the skill, intuition, and empathy of a human to resolve.” He describes the ideal combination that most companies are resorting to is having AI at the forefront, with human agents as fallback for more complicated issues.
“Most companies now realize that to provide a great customer experience, it’s essential to augment conversational AI-based chat or voice bots with human agents,” Suram says. He states that studies are showing a 30-50% decrease in company costs when using conversational AI as opposed to only employing human agents.
This is the type of service that he has provided for top tech companies over the years, such as Salesforce and 7.ai. As a Senior Manager in Product Management at Salesforce, Suram is currently building a No code messaging platform to help Enterprises solve the needs of their customers. Salesforce is a hugely successful company that specializes in cloud-based software and is best-known for its widely used customer relationship management (CRM) products.
Suram has built several key products from the ground up, such as 7 Conversations, which combines the efficiency of AI with human insight to anticipate and resolve customer issues in a quick and cost-effective way. The program allows customers to choose how, when, and where to connect with the brand and utilizes advanced AIVA technology to discern intent behind customer requests. This AI-powered context capturing and conversation enablement solution aided top companies in resolving customer needs. While creating Conversations, Suram collaborated with the industry’s top solution providers, and the resulting product helped automate over 50% of customer queries This saved the companies using Conversations over one billion dollars.
Suram says that products such as 7 Conversations are not designed to replace humans. He points to AI-human collaboration as the future of the customer response industry, and demonstrates that if conversational AI powered chat and voice bots are able to take over basic interactions, it frees up human agents for more complex tasks. “Properly designed conversational AI can be utilized to improve customer satisfaction by quickly identifying customer intent and effectively resolving issues,” Suram says. “By reducing costs, companies can pass those savings on to their customers. Good customer service and reduced pricing creates customer loyalty.”
Suram’s goals are always improving AI technology and working with top companies to control costs and improve the customer experience. He feels strongly that successful conversational AI is the way of the future, and can be used to create memorable, satisfying customer interactions. He continues to be an industry leader at Salesforce, consistently providing new and improved innovative solutions for his team.
Raghuvardhan Reddy Suram is a Senior Manager of Product Management at Salesforce and has created innovative products for 7.ai during his 10+ years of expertise in the conversational AI industry.