Generative AI making customer support conversations more human, leading to wider adoption – The Economic Times

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Remember the last time an inane bot directed you to “terms and conditions” while you frantically waited for a human voice to request a refund for your online order? Well, artificial intelligence-powered customer care is here to ease that pain according to a slew of conversational AI platforms such as Exotel, Freshworks, Gupshup, and
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While this transformative technology is applicable to multiple channels from websites to apps, social media as well as messaging platforms including Google’s RCS (rich-communication services), the most prominent early adopter is proving to be Meta’s WhatsApp. Generative AI is making WhatsApp-based customer support conversations more “human and free-flowing”, rendering standard bot-replies redundant according to businesses that have incorporated this new tool. has already witnessed 10% of its enterprise customers opting for GenAI-powered customer support conversation with response time reduced to 0.6 seconds. Enterprise software maker Freshworks said its Gen -AI platform Freddy Copilot has resulted in savings of over $94,000 in the first year of implementation for a B2C enterprise retail customer, yielding a 187% return on investment.

“A bot-led chat is no longer dependent on ‘Press 1 for bank balance’. Customers can directly ask, hey, can you share my bank statement or when is my credit card payment due,” said Darshan Datt K S, Director of Engineering at Exotel.

As it is “already a context-aware bot which understands your language preferences, your state (emotion) and knows the best ways of resolving it, it’s even telling consumers who misbehave, to behave appropriately,” he added.
The Bengaluru startup has integrated its conversational suite of offerings with Open AI’s ChatGPT and Meta’s Llama models to transform both bot-led and agent-led conversations on WhatsApp Business.
“Let’s say, a user complained about an order which was not received on Monday. Four days later, he can get back on the same chat to simply ask, hey, where’s my order,” according to Datt.

In addition to WhatsApp, website and in-app chat support will be the next promising opportunity for GenAI integration since these are cost-effective mediums where brands directly own the channel, noted Ankush Sabharwal, CEO and co-founder of, the developer of GenAI model BharatGPT.

Double-digit growth
According to Grandview Research, the global conversational AI market size was estimated at USD 7.61 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow at an annual rate of 23.6% from 2023 to 2030.

There is good reason for the bullish sentiment around this Gen AI-led tool. For cloud communications provider Gupshup, integrating GenAI capabilities has increased average clickthrough rate by 39%, upsell and cross-sell opportunities by 52%. The company said it has created a WhatsApp chatbot for the Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer’s office, which engaged over 1.2 million citizens during 2023 state elections. It addressed queries including voter list verification, polling location inquiries, and clarification on acceptable identification documents.

This trend will only further accelerate with GenAI automating almost every customer touchpoint, according to AI experts who point to these platforms now being capable of “having more advanced human-like conversations, while eliminating the need for coding conversational workflows and training the NLP (natural language processing) model.”

“The spending propensity of brands has increased even as the cost per conversation has gone up from Rs 1.5 upto Rs 6–Rs 10,” said Rashid Khan, co-founder,, which released a proprietary small language model called the YellowG LLM in May last year.

“This is because they are already releasing more revenue upside with more conversions, repeat sales and the first order effect of reducing dependence on human agents,” he added.

There is good reason for businesses to be optimistic. Priya Subramani, Vice president at Freshworks reckons that “for our customers, the impact is tangible, with a significant reduction in ticket resolution time by 54% and an impressive 58% improvement in response times on average using Freddy Copilot.”

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