In a time when we all need to do more with less the chatbot is becoming increasingly popular
In its simplest form, a chatbot is a program that simulates human conversation, either via voice or text communication. Chatbots offer cost-effective help to customers at scale and they deliver service and support requests quickly and efficiently.
Their growth in popularity is driven by the promise of delivering intelligent, easily consumable and 24/7 digital support. Proponents of the Chatbot see them as a low-cost, efficient tool that augments existing customer engagement channels including face-to-face, phone, email, and social media interactions.A Salesforce study conducted at the end of 2018 found that 53% of service organisations were expecting to deploy chatbots within 18 months. Fast forward to 2020 – where recent global events have vastly accelerated the demand for remote services – and the rise of the chatbot continues apace.
With artificial intelligence and machine-learning now mainstream, the chatbot is now equipped to go even further in improving understanding and decision-making. An AI-powered chatbot can be trained to actively learn from interactions with customers – meaning it can improve performance during future interactions. A chatbot can, for example, be trained to recognise customer frustration and learn when to switch more complex interactions to a human where emotional intelligence and tailored support can be applied.
Business impacts include reducing costs by enabling self-service in simple scenarios, delivering relevant information faster, and improving the customer experience. Juniper Research predict that Chatbots will generate over $8 billion in global savings by 2022, while Gartner also predict that in 2020 some 85% of customer support interactions will be performed by a chatbot.