LivePerson Launches Maven Conversational AI

LivePerson, a provider of conversational commerce solutions, has launched Maven, a conversational artificial intelligence-based solution that enables companies to replace traditional websites and toll-free phone numbers with personalized conversations over SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google RCS Business Messaging, Amazon Alexa, and other popular messengers and voice assistants.

Maven enables computer scientists and the millions of agents working in contact centers to develop conversational AI experiences.

"I watched the first generations of conversational AI and bots frustrate consumers because the technology relied on decision trees that could send them in circles," said Robert LoCascio, LivePerson's founder and CEO. "We created a new direction. Our AI is designed to be taught and managed by contact center agents. One in 57 Americans works as a contact center agent, and when paired up with AI, their impact on the lifetime value of a customer is transformative. Where we once thought that AI would replace people, especially in contact centers, we know now that people in contact centers, who converse with consumers everyday, are the best conversational designers for AI. We will need this population to create and manage the millions of AI-powered conversations that will be necessary for consumers to speak to brands through their home and mobile devices."

LivePerson developed Maven using its conversational data set of billions of consumer interactions with companies. Maven includes the following AI-based products for conversations with consumers:

  • Conversation Builder, which non-technical staff, such as contact center agents, use to design automated conversations. The conversations are not built from scratch. Conversation Builder creates the initial versions by mining companies' existing conversation transcripts. Pre-built industry templates are also available, providing the dialogue and integrations necessary for common use cases like billing.
  • Conversation Manager, a console that suggests automated responses and next-best actions to contact center agents, who edit and select from them. Edits and selections dynamically improve the responses and next-best action recommendations over time. When the content reaches a set accuracy threshold, it can be offered to consumers without human intervention. Conversation Manager also includes sentiment monitoring to alert contact center agents to conversations that require their attention. Designed for use in large contact centers, Conversation Manager sends these requests to agents who have the capacity and appropriate skills to respond.
  • Conversation Intelligence, dashboards and reporting that take the voice of the customer, including direct discussions in natural language, and turn it into actionable sales and service intelligence.

Women's luxury shoe brand Tamara Mellon is among Maven's early adopters.

"We are committed to delivering a superior experience and have found messaging to be the most natural and effortless way for us to communicate with our customers," said Tamara Mellon, its co-founder and chief creative officer, in a statement. "We are partnering with LivePerson so that our customers can ask us questions, get recommendations, and make purchases in the messaging apps and voice assistants they use everyday. LivePerson's new automation capabilities give our customers quick answers on topics like product availability while allowing our team to monitor the experience and put the finishing touches on conversations where needed."

Tamara Mellon is not alone. Gartner's recent report, "Market Guide for Conversational Platforms," forecasts that by 2021, AI will handle 15 percent of all customer service interactions, up 400 percent from 2017.

LivePerson's new AI-based products work with its existing set of conversational commerce capabilities that companies use to connect with consumers via popular messaging services and voice assistants, along with their apps, websites, and phone systems. LivePerson also provides application programming interfaces, software development kits, and connectors to access the myriad third-party systems necessary to fulfill customer intentions, such as checking order status or making changes to reservations.

Maven and LivePerson's new AI-based products are accessible via LivePerson's Early Access Program and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2019.