Advanced Technologies & Embedded
In March 2017, the top four mobile messaging apps equaled social media for the first time ever.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber had 2.125 billion monthly users, mostly on mobile. The same as the top four social media platforms combined – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
It’s fair to say that messaging is taking over social media as the platform of choice for digital communication. This is great news for brands, as they strive to get personal with their customers.
Unsurprisingly, chatbots are the emerging tool of choice for customer relations.
As of April 2017, there were over 100,000 bots on Facebook Messenger and counting. Not to mention the other texting platforms. Twitter, Telegram, Kik, Skype, Slack, custom apps, and the good, old SMS too are all places where chatbots emerge.
What can chatbots do?
Are they just a cool new way to engage customers? A marketing gimmick? Or something that can really improve sales and customer experience?
For the time being, chatbots are a bit of everything. As a digital novelty, they can help brands stand out. But when done right, they can turn into powerful tools for both customers and businesses.
By now, messaging bots can easily:
- act as guides in finding a product
- suggest related recipes
- promote new movies and games
- help clients choose the right bra for the night out
- get styling advice
- check their account balances,
- make payments
- get stock updates
- and order a beer.
All without leaving the couch. Most of those examples fall within the category of automation. Bots are smart enough to automate tasks and save time for value-added operations. But they can also improve the interaction by mixing information from several sources: client history, client base statistics, ongoing sales campaigns, product trends, and more.
That allows for chatbot implementation in a wide range of scenarios.
Chatbot use cases
Chatbots can help the sales process by supporting cross-selling. For instance, a bank could offer complementary services to customers based on their user profile and recent history.
Chatbots can reach out to customers to ask for various kinds of information. That includes changes in a customer’s address or any other data needed for particular services. It can be less intrusive than phone calls.
Take scheduling for a test drive for example. With the help of a chatbot, users can receive instant data on available time slots throughout the entire network of dealers, in real-time.
Automated travel assistance
A chatbot can act as a booking assistant, also using the customer’s history when available, to help users book flights and accommodation.
Quite often, a large number of customers encounter similar problems with a service. An AI-backed chatbot can easily find patterns and identify the right answers to client requests. It can also escalate the discussion to a human operator if needed. By following decision trees, the accuracy of the solutions provided by a chatbot can be in some cases, superior.
Speaking of customer support – that brings us to another important category of chatbots: human enhancement tools.
Chatbots empowering human agents
This is the case of bots that are used for helping human operators in rather complex usage scenarios.
Think of a technology hosting company and its online support chat. There are countless situations and problems that can trigger a user to ask for help. In turn, the operator needs to have technical and User Experience background. As a human, she or he is (supposedly) good at empathizing with the customer. But also the operator needs to collect and process a lot of information before identifying the cause of the problem.
A computer can deal with data much faster.
It can access the user profile and client history. It can match data against previous product issues and similar cases. It can even spot trends and predict future issues.
So, while the operator chats with the customer, a bot can analyze the discussion and suggest solutions within milliseconds. The operator then provides a highly documented answer to the client. That can dramatically shorten waiting time and improve the overall service quality.
Further reasons for using chatbots
Bots are becoming smarter by the day. Added linguistic expertise is one of the development areas.
AI specialists at Tremend are involved in developing chatbot applications for telecom and banking customers. Our team is teaching machines to comprehend online chat. Among other resources, we use large amounts of real-life copy and one of the available machine-learning platforms. It’s been done for the English language before, but the novelty is that our engineers are developing the skill-sets and procedures to quickly teach machines “understand” other languages. To start with, we are doing it in the Romanian language.
So, chatbots also learning new languages. They are backed by powerful AI. They provide valuable task automation. They can enhance human capabilities and still are a new, cool trend. And they are on the rise, carried by the new wave of messaging apps.
All of these are good reasons why you should consider chatbots for your business, as well.
Feel free to contact us anytime at email@example.com for support in developing your own software projects.