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May 10, 2024

What Is Conversational AI? Everything You Need To Know

Urgent and sporadic customer service demands are characteristic of the utility industry. Someone reports a problem and wants to know when service will be restored. They may also require service switched on, off, or transferred. As a result, conversational AI platforms have transformed these interactions, eliminating frustrating contact center lines, confusing online menus, and outdated FAQs.

However, as businesses strive to meet customers' ever-increasing expectations, understanding conversational AI becomes imperative. Conversational AI emerges as a game-changer, offering utility companies the tools to engage customers more effectively, optimize processes, and improve overall efficiency. Furthermore, it can support your energy company's efforts to remain competitive in this customer-driven market. 

We'll look at utility companies' usage of conversational AI in the parts that follow, along with their motivations. And the reasons your business should use it.

Highlights of the Blog: 

  • What Is Conversational AI?
  • How Can Conversational AI Help Utility Companies?
  • Enhanced Customer Service
  • Lower Costs
  • Digital Marketing Capabilities
  • Customer Acquisition
  • 24/7 availability
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ

What Is Conversational AI?

It refers to technology that enables computers to understand, process, and respond to human language naturally and conversationally. Further, conversational AI, powered by NLP, employs Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs) to understand customer voice input, discern their intent, and respond as a human would. Hence, this may include responding to frequently asked questions from customers or, if a query is too complicated, referring them to a live agent who can. Live platform could be used to automate a lot of common queries and frequently asked questions in the utilities sector, saving operating expenses.

Moreover, for utility companies, Interactive Virtual Assistants (IVAs) powered by conversational AI can handle typical tasks like starting or stopping services, processing payments, scheduling appointments, and providing updates on power outages, usage rates, and peak hours. Unlike traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, IVAs equipped with conversational AI can handle more complex tasks, as they can understand the tone and rhythm of customers' speech. IVAs ensure speedy, efficient, and effective assistance to customers.

How Can Conversational AI Help Utility Companies?

It offers several benefits to utility companies:

1.  Enhanced Customer Service

According to the research, 42% of customers don’t fully trust their insurer, and 60% of the insurers agree that their companies lack a CX strategy. Moreover, one of the most significant impacts of conversational AI in utility companies is on customer service. It is a tool that utility businesses use to provide a personalized, effective, and efficient customer experience.

Besides, it is beneficial for both parties to reduce the amount of time spent on the phone by quickly identifying the intention of a caller. Furthermore, this improves customer satisfaction and reduces the workload on human agents, allowing them to focus on more complex issues. Any business that uses conversational AI will benefit from this efficiency in terms of competition. 

Recommended Article What is utility customer experience, and how can it be improved?

2. Lower Costs

Conversational AI and task automation alleviate the pressure on live agents by swiftly and precisely handling common inquiries through IVAs. This liberates live agents to tackle more intricate requests, enhancing their availability. Consequently, contact centers achieve higher call containment rates, with a greater number of queries resolved without live agent involvement. This streamlined process enables contact centers to manage a larger volume of calls more frequently, expanding their operations while maintaining cost efficiency.

3. Digital Marketing Capabilities

Conversational AI assistants can reward and retain customers while strategically expanding the customer base since they can store and analyze large volumes of customer and company data. Nevertheless, through chatbots and virtual assistants, companies can engage customers in real-time conversations, gather valuable insights, and deliver personalized content, ultimately improving customer engagement and conversion rates. Additionally, according to the statistics, 49% of customers say they will likely become repeat buyers after receiving a personalized shopping experience.

4. Customer Acquisition

Conversational AI strengthens customer relationships and re-engages with complex or hard-to-reach customers. Unlike traditional methods, where customer acquisition costs escalate annually, it offers a cost-effective solution. By integrating AI assistants into marketing initiatives and business processes, companies can deliver persuasive communications personalized to individual customers, effectively convincing them to either remain with the company or return after being lost. This personalized approach not only reduces customer churn but also enhances customer loyalty and satisfaction.

5. 24/7 availability

Supporting customers, particularly in the utilities sector, presents a significant challenge due to their expectation of near-instant availability. Delays in reaching customer service can lead to frustration. Virtual agents address this issue by providing round-the-clock availability, ensuring businesses are accessible precisely when customers need assistance the most. This flexibility enhances customer satisfaction and mitigates the frustration associated with waiting for support.


Conversational AI revolutionizes how utility companies deliver services, interact with customers, and manage operations. Utility businesses are encouraged to adopt it to meet customers' expectations in the current market due to competition from competitors. 

People want information, and they want it fast. Personalized automated interactions with conversational AI are available 24/7, every day of the week, for a whole year. Thus, customers will have quick and straightforward access to utility service information wherever they live. 

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1. What is Conversational AI, and how does it benefit utility companies?

It enables utility companies to offer personalized, efficient, and effective customer experiences 24/7. It allows customers to interact with Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs) that can understand caller intent, leading to improved customer service, lower contact center costs, and increased power and flexibility for utility companies.

2. How does Conversational AI improve customer service for utility companies?

It allows utility companies to offer personalized customer experiences, handle common inquiries efficiently, decrease overall phone time, and free up live agents to address more complex issues. This efficiency creates a competitive advantage for companies implementing Conversational AI.

3. Can Conversational AI help utility companies reduce operational costs?

Yes, by automating routine inquiries and tasks, it reduces the workload on customer support teams and operational staff, leading to cost savings and increased efficiency.

4. What tasks can IVAs using Conversational AI perform for utility companies?

IVAs using Conversational AI can be trained to activate services, accept payments, set up service appointments, send notifications about power outages, usage rates, and peak times, among other tasks. They can handle more complicated tasks than traditional IVRs by picking up on the cadence and tone of a customer's voice.

Learn more about how the Live product family can help you support and improve your customer experience strategy.

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