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To say artificial intelligence (AI) is having its moment would be an understatement. People everywhere are buzzing about the potential of AI to revolutionize everything from art and finance to retail and transportation, allowing individuals and businesses to be more creative, efficient and productive than ever.

But while much of the focus of late has been on generative AI (the sort chatGPT and DALL-E recently made famous) and its power to upend fields like education and design, there’s been less talk about the potential of AI as an analytical tool for human conversation, especially outside a sales or marketing context.

That’s where conversation intelligence comes in. Conversation intelligence is able to analyze and extract insights from natural speech or text, making it a valuable tool for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of communication and interactions.

And while it’s becoming more and more common in the fields of sales, customer experience, and marketing, conversation intelligence also has many other applications — including in virtual care.

Here’s a quick primer on how virtual care teams can use conversation intelligence to improve quality of care and boost staff and patient satisfaction.

Key takeaways

  • Conversation intelligence uses AI and natural language processing (NLP) to analyze and understand the content, context, and structure of a conversation and offer insights based on it
  • Virtual care is an ideal use case for conversation intelligence, particularly for quality assurance, training and workflow optimization
  • Conversation intelligence can be used to QA 100% of telehealth interactions in real-time, automate common tasks, optimize training and improve both patient and staff satisfaction

What is conversation intelligence?

Conversation intelligence is a technology that utilizes AI and natural language processing (NLP) to understand and analyze the content, context, and structure of a conversation in order to effectively participate in it and carry out tasks or fulfill requests. This can involve tasks such as detecting and tracking the topic of a conversation, identifying the intent behind spoken or written statements, and generating appropriate responses.

Conversation intelligence is commonly used by businesses to improve sales, customer experience and marketing as it allows companies to analyze a large volume of text and voice exchanges and provide sales teams with data-driven insights in real time.

In the B2B context, these insights can help teams tailor their approach to better address each customer’s unique needs and pain points and avoid misunderstandings or poor communication that can lead to product abandonment or a poor experience. However, conversation intelligence also has many applications beyond B2B and can help any organization that has a high volume of text or voice-based interactions gain a deeper understanding of customer and staff behavior and challenges.

Immediate opportunities in virtual care

Virtual care presents a terrific use case for leveraging conversation intelligence, especially when it comes to quality assurance and workflow optimization.

Quality assurance on 100% of calls

In order to determine the quality and effectiveness of a telehealth program, for example, organizations have traditionally needed to rely on post-call surveys and Net Promoter Score questionnaires. However, these methods often have low response rates and do not offer the same level of clarity and immediacy as live interactions.

With the power of conversation intelligence, virtual care teams can not only QA 100% of conversations, but do so as they happen. Interactions can be compared against organizational or clinical best practices in real-time to assess whether care teams are meeting quality standards and identify key areas for improvement, leading to a better patient experience and outcomes.

Automating work for patient-centric care

Conversation intelligence can analyze interactions and, by understanding the content and context, create smart notes on behalf of care team members, noting key topics like patient symptoms, medical history and previous interventions, saving staff hours of time and energy.

Organizations could even integrate AI with an internal knowledge base, allowing the tools to surface appropriate educational material for patients, organizational policy for staff or any other relevant resources as virtual care calls are taking place, saving staff from digging through thousands of pages and following up with additional patient communication.

This not only makes work more pleasant for care team members (after all, who wants to spend hours a day on admin?), but also frees up their attention to focus on what matters most: their patients.

Performance evaluations and training

Conversation intelligence can also be a big difference-maker when it comes to optimizing training and performance evaluation in virtual care.

Where traditionally managers would need to spend hours manually auditing calls to assess team performance and build training plans (drawing on only a small sampling of calls), conversation intelligence can now empower them with insights about each staff member’s performance across thousands of interactions.

By analyzing virtual care interactions, managers can easily measure team performance and get the insights they need for truly personalized and evidence-based coaching and performance evaluation.

This can also work in an automated fashion: As a virtual coaching tool, conversation intelligence can draw on the work of an organization’s top performers to offer real-time assessments and guidance that helps underperforming or inexperienced care team members refine their approach and be more effective and efficient during calls.

This can go a long way toward creating consistent care delivery, ensuring that expectations are clear for staff and that patients always have a high-quality interaction.

Bottom line: A new frontier in virtual care

Though conversation intelligence is becoming increasingly common in the fields of sales, customer experience, and marketing, its potential in virtual care has perhaps been underestimated.

Virtual care teams can use conversation intelligence to improve quality of care and boost staff and patient satisfaction by QAing 100% of interactions in real time, automating common tasks and optimizing personalized training.

These innovations have the potential to improve communication, patient and staff satisfaction, and health outcomes because they all allow care teams to shift their focus fully onto their patient.

Waleed Mohsen

Author Waleed Mohsen

Waleed Mohsen is the CEO and founder of Verbal. He has been named a UCSF Rosenman Innovator and has over 10 years of experience working with leaders of hospitals and medical institutions in his business development roles at Siemens and Cisco

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