Contact Center

Choosing the Right Tech Between Conversational AI and Generative AI

Madhuri Gourav
February 29, 2024
 mins read

Last modified on

Businesses dealing with the quickly changing field of artificial intelligence (AI) are frequently presented with choices that could impact their long-term customer service and support plans. One such decision is to build a homegrown solution or buy a third-party product when implementing AI for conversation intelligence.

This blog explores the nuances between conversational AI vs. generative AI, the advantages and challenges of each approach, and how businesses can leverage these technologies for an enhanced customer experience.

View the future interactions shaping up when Conversational AI adopts Generative AI.

Conversational AI vs. Generative AI: Understanding the Difference

Conversational AI and Generative AI represent two sophisticated branches of artificial intelligence, each with distinct functionalities and applications, particularly in interacting with users and processing information.

Conversational AI

Definition and Focus: Conversational AI is engineered to enable interactions between humans and machines using natural language. It aims to comprehend human inputs (whether through typing or speech) and deliver appropriate, coherent replies. 

This branch of AI leverages natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), and natural language generation (NLG) to decode user intentions and provide answers that simulate human-like conversations.

Applications in Customer Service: Conversational AI finds its place in chatbots, virtual assistants (such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant), and customer support bots. These tools are designed to perform various functions, from responding to common queries to facilitating transactions or offering personalized suggestions, enhancing the generative AI customer service experience.

Key Features:

  • Understanding User Intent: It can grasp the user's request, regardless of how it's phrased.
  • Generating Responses: It can offer predetermined or on-the-fly responses that are contextually appropriate.
  • Enhancing Through Learning: It continuously evolves by incorporating feedback and additional data.

Generative AI

Definition and Focus: Generative AI surpasses mere interpretation and response to inputs by also creating novel, original content or data. This is achieved through sophisticated machine learning models, like Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) or transformers (e.g., GPT-3), enabling it to produce outputs—text, images, videos—that mirror those created by humans.

Applications Beyond Conversational Interfaces: Generative AI's utility spans creative and analytical fields, including content generation (articles, music, artwork), product design, and drug discovery. Within customer support, it revolutionizes generative AI for customer service by crafting responses beyond predefined answers, tailoring them to the unique aspects of the user's inquiry.

Key Features:

  • Innovative Content Creation: It can autonomously conceptualize and generate new ideas, answers, or data from learned patterns.
  • Versatile Adaptability: Its outputs can span various domains, adjusting responses based on acquired context.
  • Complex Problem-Solving: It adeptly handles intricate requests, offering novel solutions or responses.

Key Distinctions

  • Functionality Range: Conversational AI focuses on interpreting and replying to user inputs conversationally, striving for human-like interaction. Generative AI, conversely, has a broader ambit, capable of generating new content or data that exhibits human-like creativity and intelligence.
  • Application Domains: Conversational AI is predominantly used in user interaction scenarios (e.g., customer support, virtual assistants), whereas generative AI applies in interactive settings and fields requiring new content or solution creation (e.g., creative content, design, innovation).
  • Complexity and Creativity: Generative AI involves more complex algorithms and exhibits greater creativity in its outputs, surpassing the conversational pathways mapped out by conversational AI systems.

Conversational AI improves human-machine interactions through language understanding and response generation, while generative AI generates unique content based on learned information. Both play complementary roles in enriching customer experiences, from direct support to personalized interactions.

In-depth call feedback using LLM models
In-depth call feedback using LLM models

Generative AI in Contact Center Customer Service and Support

Generative AI is transforming contact centers by enhancing customer service and support through key advancements.

  • Utilizes Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning for personalized, dynamic customer service.
  • Enhances efficiency by automating routine tasks, and reducing customer wait times.
  • Provides 24/7 customer support, catering to diverse consumer groups across different time zones.
  • Offers scalable customer service solutions that adapt and improve over time.
  • Leverages conversational and generative AI to meet and exceed modern consumer expectations.

Generative AI vs. conversational AI represents a pivotal shift in customer service and support, leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence to craft dynamic, context-specific consumer replies and solutions. Diverging from conventional AI that depends on pre-programmed answers, generative AI can generate original content, rendering it exceptionally suited for crafting personalized customer interactions.

By automating the generation of responses to frequent queries, this technology significantly enhances the efficiency of generative AI customer service, enabling the processing of more inquiries with faster response times. Additionally, it offers the advantage of assisting around the clock, ensuring 24/7 customer support.

The personalized response generation characteristic of generative AI customer support is rooted in analyzing each customer's unique data and past interactions. This approach facilitates more customized support experiences, thereby elevating customer satisfaction levels.

Furthermore, generative AI for customer service excels at problem-solving by leveraging a comprehensive database of knowledge and historical interactions, frequently outpacing human agents in issue resolution. Its ability to continuously learn and adapt means it progressively enhances its capability to meet customer needs, perpetually refining the quality of service delivered.

Incorporating generative AI in contact centers transforms the landscape of customer support. As a homegrown solution or through a generative AI agent, it redefines generative AI for the contact center, enriching generative AI for the customer experience. This evolution underscores the consumer group generative AI calls on, advocating for a sophisticated blend of conversational AI and generative AI to meet and exceed modern customer service expectations.

Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning

Advanced analytics and machine learning stand at the core of the transformative impact on customer service, propelling conversational AI and generative AI capabilities to new heights. These technologies enable sophisticated data analysis and learning from patterns, which is essential for developing and enhancing AI-driven customer support solutions.

In customer service, advanced analytics and machine learning underpin the intelligence of generative AI systems, allowing them to understand complex customer queries, generate contextually relevant responses, and provide personalized support. This enhances generative AI for customer service and elevates the overall customer experience by making interactions more efficient and tailored to individual needs.

Applying advanced analytics and machine learning to generative AI agents and systems facilitates a deeper understanding of customer behaviors and preferences. This knowledge is crucial for generative AI in contact center, where the aim is to resolve customer issues swiftly and accurately, often predicting and addressing concerns before the customer explicitly raises them.

Conversational and generative AI, powered by advanced analytics and machine learning, provides a seamless customer support experience. This dynamic interaction model efficiently manages routine inquiries while generative AI addresses complex needs. Consumer groups support this approach, improving service quality and customer satisfaction.

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Homegrown Solution vs. Third-party Generative AI Agent

When integrating generative AI into customer service and support frameworks, businesses often weigh two options: developing a Homegrown Solution or adopting a Third-party Generative AI Agent. 

Here's a brief comparison:

Homegrown Solution

  • Customization and Control: Explicitly tailored to meet the unique needs of the business, offering unparalleled control over functionalities, integration with existing systems, and adaptation to specific customer service scenarios.
  • Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning: Allows for incorporating proprietary data and analytics, ensuring the AI system evolves with the company's specific customer interaction data and insights.
  • Consumer Group Expectations: Potentially more closely aligned with specific consumer group demands, as it can be fine-tuned to address the nuanced needs and preferences identified through direct customer feedback and interaction analysis.
  • Challenges: Requires substantial investment in time, resources, and expertise in AI, machine learning, and data science. It also entails ongoing maintenance and updates to keep pace with technological advancements.

Third-party Generative AI Agent

  • Speed and Ease of Implementation: Typically faster and more cost-effective to deploy, as the foundational technology and infrastructure are already developed, allowing businesses to leverage generative AI capabilities more rapidly.
  • Proven Solutions: Often comes with proven frameworks and models that have been tested across various industries and use cases, potentially offering a quicker path to achieving high-quality customer service and support interactions.
  • Scalability: Easily scalable, allowing businesses to adjust their usage based on demand without significant additional investment in infrastructure or development.
  • Limitations: It may offer a different level of customization than a homegrown solution, and businesses may need more control over data privacy and the specific AI models used.

Key Considerations

Both options leverage generative AI to enhance customer service and support by providing personalized, efficient, and intelligent interactions. Choosing between a homegrown solution and a third-party generative AI agent often hinges on a company's priorities regarding customization, control, cost, and speed to market. 

Advanced analytics and machine learning are critical components in both approaches, enabling the AI to learn from interactions and improve over time. Whether enhancing the capabilities of a contact center or enriching the overall customer experience, the decision must align with the company's strategic goals, technical capabilities, and consumer expectations.

 Customer service procedures
Customer service procedures

Is ChatGPT Conversational AI or Generative AI? 

ChatGPT represents a sophisticated amalgamation of conversational AI and generative AI, positioning it at the forefront of AI-driven customer service and support. 

Here's how it embodies aspects of both technologies:

  • Generative AI for Customer Service: ChatGPT leverages advanced generative AI capabilities to produce coherent, contextually relevant responses. This makes it particularly adept at handling various customer service inquiries, from routine questions to more complex problems requiring nuanced solutions.
  • Conversational AI Generative AI: At its core, ChatGPT is designed to simulate human-like conversations, a hallmark of conversational AI. However, it transcends traditional conversational AI limits by generating real-time responses and adapting to each interaction's nuances, a vital feature of generative AI.
  • Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning: ChatGPT is built upon advanced machine learning models, including OpenAI's GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), which allows it to understand and generate human-like text. This foundation enables it to continuously learn from interactions, improving its ability to serve customers more effectively.
  • Generative AI in the Contact Center: Incorporating ChatGPT as a generative AI agent within contact centers can significantly enhance customer support operations. It provides an innovative solution that can autonomously handle inquiries, offer personalized customer service, and support human agents by providing information and suggested responses.
  • Consumer Group Generative AI Calls On: ChatGPT can cater to diverse consumer groups by offering tailored support that understands and adapts to specific needs and preferences. Its generative AI capabilities enable it to handle many inquiries, making it an invaluable asset for businesses seeking to improve their customer experience.

ChatGPT, a combination of conversational and generative AI, enhances customer service by generating human-like responses, learning from interactions, and providing round-the-clock support, making it a powerful solution for businesses leveraging AI in contact centers.

Convin: Transforming Customer Service with Generative AI and Conversation Intelligence

Convin is pivotal in leveraging generative AI to enhance conversation intelligence, particularly in customer service and support. By harnessing the power of generative AI, advanced analytics, and machine learning, Convin offers a comprehensive solution that transforms how businesses interact with their customers. 

Here’s a brief overview of its impact:

  • Generative AI for Customer Service: Convin utilizes generative AI to automate and improve customer service operations. Generating human-like responses to customer inquiries ensures that customer support is efficient and effective, capable of precisely handling a wide range of queries.
  • Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning: At its core, Convin leverages sophisticated analytics and machine learning algorithms to analyze customer conversations. This analysis provides valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors, enabling businesses to tailor their services for an enhanced customer experience.
  • Generative AI in the Contact Center: By integrating generative AI agents into contact center operations, Convin significantly boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of customer support. It allows for the automation of routine tasks, freeing human agents to focus on more complex issues and ensuring that customer interactions are handled swiftly and accurately.
  • Personalization and Customer Experience: Convin’s application of generative AI for customer service goes beyond mere automation. It enables a level of personalization that significantly enhances the customer experience. By understanding and adapting to individual customer profiles and past interactions, Convin ensures that every customer feels valued and understood.
  • Scalable, Homegrown Solution: For businesses looking to implement a scalable yet customizable, generative AI solution for their contact centers, Convin offers a robust platform. It provides the tools necessary for companies to deploy advanced generative AI capabilities tailored to their specific operational needs and customer service goals.

Convin’s role in leveraging generative AI for conversation intelligence is transformative, offering businesses a sophisticated tool to enhance customer service, support efficiency, and, ultimately, improve the overall customer experience. 

Convin stands at the forefront of innovating customer interaction in the digital age by integrating advanced machine learning, analytics, and generative AI technologies. The debate between building a homegrown solution or buying a third-party generative AI for conversation intelligence is nuanced and dependent on a company's specific needs, capabilities, and strategic goals. 

Generative AI will revolutionize customer service, enhancing personalization, efficiency, and satisfaction. As technology advances, the combination of conversational and generative AI will shape the future of the customer experience.

Discover how Convin can transform your customer service experience—request a demo today and see the power of generative AI and conversation intelligence in action.


1. Should you build or buy generative AI?

Whether to build or buy generative AI depends on your specific needs, resources, and expertise. Buying can be quicker and less resource-intensive, while building allows for customization.

2. Can I develop my own generative AI model?

You can develop your generative AI model if you have the necessary technical skills, resources, and data.

3. What is the difference between conversational AI and generative AI?

Conversational AI focuses on understanding and generating responses in human-like conversations, while generative AI can create new content or data beyond text responses.

4. Which industry is likely to benefit the most from generative AI?

The customer service and support industries will benefit the most from generative AI, due to its ability to automate responses and personalize interactions at scale.

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