CogniCor is an artificial intelligence platform, which offers an enterprise grade cognitive virtual assistant. It has recently expanded its operations in India. It was initially based in Spain and the US. It prides in combining patented algorithms in natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, and cognitive methods for customer issue resolution.
BE’s Anustup Roy Barman spoke with Dr. Sindhu Joseph, CEO & Co-founder of CogniCor, about their platform, business, and future plans.
Q. What are the solutions provided by CogniCor?
A. We are an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that helps in automating engagements in all customer engagement channels. Our virtual assistant can help in improving user experience by providing a human like cognitive response for every query that comes up. Cognicor’s virtual assistant is a case of application of AI technology in understanding and resolving user queries in customer engagement channels such as websites, applications, and social media channels. It helps enterprises to improve user experience, save costs, generate better revenue, and improve operational efficiency.
Q. How does it work?
A. The AI platform is driven by customer conversations. Understanding the user is the most fundamental block of virtual assistance. This is achieved by Cognicor’s natural language processing algorithms assisted by machine learning capabilities. One of the key features of our virtual assistants is their cognitive capability and accuracy in responding.
Understanding the intent of the user and the context of the conversation are the critical parts. Once these are understood, the system gets relevant data from the internal systems including the AI model for that data and responds accordingly. The entire domain information and product/service-specific details are modelled on the specific business domain. These form the basic knowledge base for automated cognitive responses.
Q. What was the idea behind CogniCor ?
A. Have you ever tried calling your bank? In fact, 270 billion customer calls are made to banks every year. Customers like us spend several hours asking questions, finding solutions, and resolving issues with companies. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just chat with the bank like we chat with our pals and get instant answers? That’s where CogniCor comes in.
We drive the next generation customer engagement for enterprises powered by a cognitive virtual assistant platform. Based on CogniCor’s patent pending artificial intelligence technology, the cognitive platform understands the customer intention and synthesizes personalised responses that are relevant to the context of the user and carries out actions to assist users. The platform handles user journeys pertaining to pre-sales, customer on boarding and customer services and has conducted over three million interactions in the banking, insurance, and telecom domains in Europe and Asia. CogniCor was founded based on my Ph.D research. Subsequently it has been selected as the most innovative web start-up from Europe by the European Commission and was also awarded by the British Telecom.
Q. How can start-ups benefit by CogniCor?
A. With no legacy to transform, start-ups are in a sweet spot in terms of providing a great user experience to their customers. Deployment of virtual assistants to serve customers can help start-ups launch customer care at a fraction of the cost of launching a conventional call centre or a human chat centre-driven model.
Also, customer experience will be much better as it is available 24x7. Start-ups can also gain from a customer acquisition perspective. Compared to website and digital marketing-driven customer acquisition channels, chat driven-models are giving better results. Hence, the Return on Investment (ROI) on the initial marketing budget investments will be much higher.
Q. What do you think about the future prospects of such companies in India?
A. Indian businesses have been on a customer acquisition model till now and customer service and user experience have not been a priority till date. As we are already noticing, this is changing and businesses are paying more attention to customer servicing. As the focus moves to customer retention and with tough budgetary constraints, enterprises are left with no choice but to migrate to virtual assistants.
Q. Has there been any help from the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ project?
A. We are an active part of the “Make in India” project. The approval process for enrolling in the project was done at an impressive speed. We hope that we will be able to add more value to the government and public sector enterprises especially in the banking and financial domains.
Q. What are your future projects?
A. We would like to provide such an interface to enterprises that can be used for different stake holders that the enterprises engage with. Providing a virtual assistant for employees (across enterprises) and insurance agents/ financial advisors (in case of insurance companies and financial companies) is another step in progress. With time, our AI platform will play a broader and a more comprehensive role in all platforms where there is an opportunity to improve process efficiency or to improve customer experience and engagement. This can go beyond the domains of finance, insurance, and telecom.