Conversational bots are taking the tech world by the storm. Chatbots enable humans to converse with computers in their native language through a computer interface. The explosion of the app ecosystem, advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), cognitive technologies, fascination with conversational UI, and wider reach of automation are all driving the chatbot trend.
AI-powered messaging solutions or conversational bots are indeed a first stepping stone to enable enterprises to make faster, more informed decisions, become more efficient, and craft more relevant and personalized experiences for both customers and employees.
Given the fact that we are already interacting with intelligent virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, etc. in our daily lives — it’s important to understand what a conversational bot is, its various types, why conversational bots are needed, and what the future holds.
What Is a Conversational Bot?
It’s a computer program that works automatically and is skilled in communicating via various digital media that includes intelligent virtual agents, company websites, messenger platforms, and social media channels.
Users can interact with these bots using text or voice to complete tasks, access information, or execute transactions. These bots are powered by technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.
What Do the Numbers Say?
C-suite executives around the world believe that AI bots will play a critical role in the enterprise architecture of the future and will make a huge impact on the company’s operations. Statistics too seem to swing in the favor of bots.
According to a study, over 40% of large businesses have already implemented the AI Chatbots in some form or will have done so by the end of 2019.
A Gartner report also predicted that by 2020, 85% of customers will interact with businesses without any customer service agents. And Oracle reported that at least 80% of businesses have already implemented or are planning to implement AI as a customer service solution by 2020.
These numbers definitely reflect an upward rise in the use of Chabot’s, as more mainstream businesses recognize their potential.
Why Conversational Bots?
Bots are great for repetitive jobs that involve simple queries and tasks. Chatbots facilitate intelligent dialogue between people as well as systems, so getting tasks done is as simple and fast as sending a text. With conversational AI, businesses can:
- Lower the customer service cost, enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Increase sales across digital commerce channels with personalized human-like bots, available 24×7.
- Enhance employee satisfaction as well as productivity by automating routine and high-frequency customer interactions.
What Are the Different Types on Bots You Can Deploy?
The conversational bots commonly deployed by organizations include:
These bots can be used to resolve customer as well as employee queries. They provide customer and context-specific results that can be accessed through voice or text to reduce the effort required to get accurate results. These bots can be used to boost employee and customer engagement by pushing tailored product knowledge.
These bots serve as powerful interfaces for mobile apps via which customers can order food, book tickets, or manage bank accounts. These bots can also be trained to provide customer service. Retailers and remittance firms are also amongst the early adopters of these bots.
These bots can be customized as per the company’s needs and can be used to streamline enterprise work activities, connect enterprise data resources, and improve efficiencies. These bots can be used to schedule meetings, improve decision making, and foster greater collaboration.
These bots support conversational interfaces which allow connected devices like wearables, consumer electronics, and vehicles to interact with each other — thus enriching user experience. For instance, devices with virtual assistants can work with smart home devices like lights, thermostats, and fridge and prove out to be a boon for home automation. Several automobile manufacturers are also introducing their own Alexa-based capabilities in vehicles. These will enable the owners to check the fuel or charge levels of the vehicle or start their vehicles with just a few spoken commands.
The future of bots is bright with its possible benefits too difficult to ignore. Fueled by the advances in deep learning and big data collection, NLP and computer vision algorithms are getting better in deciphering the world around us and understanding coded human communication.
Indeed, Organizations across industries are discovering the potential of conversations bots to help streamline and automate activities, boost employee and customer engagement and improve productivity.
What do you think about chatbots? We would love to know your views, experiences, and thoughts. Comment and let us know!