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AI Fuels Virtual Assistants in the Customer Service World

Shep Hyken Interviews Robert Weideman on the Merging of AI and Customer Service

How would you like to utilize innovative technology that makes your business more efficient in order to create better customer interactions?

Shep Hyken sits down with Robert Weideman, a leader in merging customer service and Artificial Intelligence. Robert gives insight into what customers want and need, and how businesses can deliver it most effectively with the help of AI.


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Top Takeaways:

  • Chatbots differ from virtual assistants in that virtual assistants can do more and provide more information. There is more data that goes into a virtual assistant than a chatbot. Chatbots are much simpler and geared toward one specific platform.
  • AI is measured on a spectrum. A chatbot could be compared to an elementary school student, and a virtual assistant could be compared to someone with a Ph.D. Virtual assistants are able to have conversations, whereas typical chatbots cannot connect separate sentences.
  • Virtual assistants are intended to be mimicking a human. In order to do that, the following must happen:
    • Understanding the words being spoken
    • Ability to talk back using text to speak
    • Ability to identify someone by their voice
    • Understanding what is meant within the context
    • Ability to have a conversation through advanced dialogue systems
  • Combining AI with human interaction leads to a much more effective interaction with the customer. The customer’s questions can be answered or problems resolved much faster than if done by human alone.
  • As a company, you must automate all channels because that’s what customers want: to be able to reach you on Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. They want to be able to reach you on the platforms they are already using daily. Customers want control of how and when they connect with companies.
  • When multiple platforms are used, customers become “friends.” They can text a simple message, in the same way they could to a family member, and get the necessary response.


Robert Weideman is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division, responsible for customer self-service solutions that are used by leading organizations around the world to automate and optimize the customer care experience – from the call center to the Web and mobile devices.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, “New York Times” best-selling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

“AI is mainstream. And in fact, it’s evolving from the ship’s computer in Star Trek to Jarvis in Iron Man. It’s getting really, really sophisticated and really, really powerful.” – Robert Weideman


This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I implement AI in my own business?
  2. Am I making myself available to my customers on enough platforms?
  3. How can AI improve customer experiences?
  4. Can anyone use AI or chatbots?
  5. Is AI going to replace customer service jobs?
  6. Will AI replace people?
  7. How advanced is AI?

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