Vonage boosts conversational commerce with GenAI

Keeping pace with a number of peer cloud communications companies that have climbed aboard the artificial intelligence (AI) train to enhance their core offerings, Vonage has announced the launch of generative AI (GenAI) for its Conversational Commerce service.

By using advanced GenAI capabilities integrated in its Jumper.ai-powered product, Vonage said it can arm businesses with the tools to create real-time and personalised connections with customers across platforms, delivering more meaningful customer data and streamlining operations through automation. In addition, the GenAI updates – such as the addition of a marketing template content generator, live chat assistance and intuitive knowledge base inquiries – are designed to improve customer engagement across customer touchpoints by empowering agent, marketing and customer support teams.

Core to the GenAI-powered capabilities is an assistance in live chat interactions designed to help agents tailor their responses and provide better customer service in real time.

By improving and accelerating live chat responses to customers, as well as rephrasing functionality to ensure precise communication by allowing agents to refine their tone and responses, Vonage assured that the power of AI can help businesses enhance agent productivity and overall communication effectiveness.

Also included in the offering is a content generator, built for crafting WhatsApp-based marketing templates to speed and simplify the production of diverse marketing content and significantly reduce the workload on marketing teams.

AI-powered answers through the offering’s knowledge base is seen as providing a way to reduce human dependency and allow an associated AI bot to interpret user queries, parse through knowledge base documents and answer user queries directly. By using documents uploaded as the knowledge base to respond to queries and streamline customer support, the system is said to be able to eliminate the need for canned, impersonal responses, delivering a more personalised experience for the customer.

In all, by reducing the time and resources to craft diverse marketing messages, Vonage said the end result will be that marketing teams are better equipped to run multiple campaigns while still ensuring the message resonates with the individual customer. With these intuitive templates, businesses are unlocking the kind of connections that drive real leads and ultimate profitability.

In the use case of referral marketing, Vonage said Conversational Commerce users can now initiate WhatsApp referral campaigns right from the dashboard, giving them the ability to acquire new customers without additional marketing overhead costs.

“With WhatsApp and Vonage, we’ve been able to better identify and market to the top 25% of our active subscribers,” said Kamila Skötsch, global CRM team lead of international travel company HolidayPirates. “Our subscribers using WhatsApp are faster to act on deals than people using other channels, generating more traffic to our partners with click-through rates as high as 40%, and some messages receiving a 97% open rate.”

Vonage has also launched Conversational Commerce application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable third-party applications to connect with the Jumper.ai dashboard, and deliver conversational marketing and commerce capabilities via its integration with customer engagement platforms such as MoEngage and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

These developer APIs allow marketers and product owners to extend their platform from lower-level, one-way notifications to richer, two-way conversations. Generative AI for Vonage Conversational Commerce, powered by Jumper.ai, is currently in beta, and will be generally available in the second quarter of 2024.

Assessing the launch and what benefits such technology could achieve, Krishna Baidya, senior director of information and communication technologies at analyst Frost & Sullivan, said: “Advancements in generative AI can be harnessed to significantly enhance Conversational Commerce solutions, empowering ecommerce marketers and online retailers to seamlessly connect with potential customers while delivering a personalised experience.

“Infusing generative AI with the knowledge base, brands can respond to queries and streamline customer support, ensuring efficient and reliable self-service options during conversations. Adding AI-powered assistance in live chat interactions will boost agent productivity and communication effectiveness.”

“We are seeing a significant increase in demand for integrated AI capabilities that can easily be expanded across platforms as businesses recognise the efficiency and customisation possibilities that generative AI offers,” added Vonage executive vice-president of product and engineering Savinay Berry. “By integrating state-of-the-art generative AI capabilities with our Conversational Commerce solution, we are empowering users to generate creative content, automate tasks and improve the overall user experience.”

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