Enter the next frontier of business productivity with conversational AI agents
Enter the next frontier of business productivity with conversational AI agents

Enter the next frontier of productivity with conversational AI agents

Boosting human performance and productivity with the help of artificial intelligence.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a part of everyday life. Sales from AI applications – from the voice on your phone to the speaker in your home – are expected to grow from $644 million in 2016 to $37 billion by 2025.

Having conversations with AI is routine for consumers and soon it will be for employees, too. Leading businesses are now stepping into the next frontier of business productivity with “conversational agents.” Divided into two categories – chatbots and intelligent assistants – these AI applications enhance business environments with the ability to assist workers, streamline office operations, execute internal processes and deliver data more efficiently.

Consider the following points of advice to successfully apply, adopt, deploy and evolve conversational agents to complement your human employees.     

Areas where conversational agents excel

Conversational agents provide the most significant benefit when assisting the team, streamlining office operations, and delivering information. Agents observe and learn group patterns and activities to become a virtual team member. They remember past discussions, action items and complete certain tasks, such as ordering lunch. With the ability to understand intent, sentiment and urgency, these assistants have shown to engage sales leads more effectively and help book as many as 30 percent more appointments compared to human teams working alone. Bots also offer on-demand information and craft custom reports, and by repurposing data and resources between areas, they also reduce retraining.

Foundational capabilities all conversational agents need

To serve employees efficiently and effectively, a conversational agent must have the ability to learn, to fail usefully, personalize responses, and prioritize user experience. This progression allows the conversational agent to learn alongside employees and grow into its role, as well as adapt to the evolving needs of its users. Even when not understanding completely, the conversational agent provides a constructive response for an employee and catalogues such events for future training. A personalized experience encourages each employee to build a rapport with the conversational agent and enjoy an experience tailored to their specific interaction style.

This was crucial when KPMG designed a conversational agent for a large multinational financial institution. A challenging task for all financial institutions is to ensure that employees avoid independence conflicts in their personal account dealings, a concern with frequent policy changes at regulatory bodies. In only four weeks, KPMG created a conversational agent who could handle simpler questions and demonstrate a scalable handling of policies, allowing the risk personnel time to investigate more complex issues.

Achieving long-term value through successful deployment

To generate a ROI from conservational agents, companies must master three key areas: technology strategy, organizational capabilities, and organizational culture. The technology strategy must include an enlightened bot interface to encourage human interactions, provide task fulfillment to foster adoption, and obtain crucial knowledge curation and guidance to develop the bot’s overall capabilities. While conversational agents can improve business functions, they also disrupt how organizations do work. Organizations must onboard new skillsets to support the deployment and get the most value from its human employees and bots. By promoting the bot’s benefits and preventing misuse, companies can create a culture where conversational agents thrive alongside human employees.

Maximizing conversational agents capabilities with evolving technology

To keep relevant in the current market, a conversational agent must evolve over time and act on new data, both from users and knowledge management systems. Integration with the organization’s collective knowledge will help the agent gather data from different functions and acquire new capabilities. The bot also must be available when employees are working to best serve the company and continue to provide high-quality service with every interaction.

To learn more about KPMG’s approach to deploying conversational agents at work, read “How may A.I. assist you?" or download the full report. Unlock the value of AI to enhance, accelerate and automate decisions with KPMG Ignite, KPMG's AI platform.