The first hints of the chatbot revolution surfaced decades ago, but chatbots only just started to become popular within the last few years. Today, they’re everywhere. Retail companies, healthcare organizations, banks, restaurants and news outlets use them to connect with customers and users.
Consumers can use them to order pizza, get the latest weather updates, schedule meetings and check their bank account balances. They appear on websites, in messenger apps and on social media.
Although chatbots have only become common within the last several years, they’ve already had a substantial influence on how we communicate — especially with brands. Here are some of their biggest impacts.
It Got Us Comfortable With Talking to Bots
Before chatbots, the closest thing we had to speak with robots was the automated operators you get when you call customer support lines. These bots have gotten better in recent years, but for the most part, people don’t enjoy talking to them.
When chatbots came along, for the first time ever, we could have conversations with computer programs that felt natural. These interactions can be useful and even pleasant. It’s only an inkling of what’s to come as technology progresses, but chatbots laid an important foundation in getting us comfortable with talking to bots.
It Made Communication More Immediate
Unlike a human customer service agent, a chatbot can be available 24/7. This capability enables any business to offer round-the-clock customer support. The immediacy proved to be one of the most valuable aspects for companies that adopted a chatbot. In a recent survey of around 2,000 customers conducted by Ubisend, 69 percent of respondents said getting an instant answer was the main reason they used chatbots.
It Enabled Us to Eliminate Repetition
A significant portion of our communication, especially when it’s part of our jobs, is repetitive. Customer service representatives often end up answering the same question numerous times a day. It’s estimated that human resources personnel spend over 70 percent of their time answering repetitive requests. Now, companies can use chatbots to take over these monotonous communications.
These conversations are the kind chatbots are best at since they can be programmed to respond to common questions but may struggle to understand unfamiliar ones. Assigning repetitive work to chatbots makes workers’ days more engaging and frees them up for more nuanced, high-value work. Integrating a hybrid solution with human agent and Chatbot has proven to reduce the usually high turnover in call centers and increase employee satisfaction.
It Increased the Reach of Brands Everywhere
Communicating with customers helps brands build relationships with them, which is good for business. A company’s employees can only talk to so many people in one day, limiting that business’s reach.
With chatbots, however, brands can now reach practically unlimited numbers of people at the same time. While chatting to a modern bot often isn’t the same as talking to a human, it can still help brands build lasting relationships with their customers.
The Chatbots of the Future
While it’s difficult to say exactly what chatbots will be like in the future, we can expect them to continue to become more common and more advanced. Some 80 percent of businesses are expected to start using them by 2020. As their artificial intelligence-enabled capabilities continue to improve, conversing with chatbots will continue to feel more natural and they’ll be able to answer more detailed queries and provide more valuable services.
Also, new Artificial Intelligence and Chatbot solutions from companies as e-bot7 for example, offer a hybrid Agent+AI® technology. It is possible to increase efficiencies up to 80% and, furthermore automate the majority of all incoming queries. On one hand, the Chatbot responds to the repetitive messages, so the agent has time for the customer requests that add value. On the other hand, the solution ensures that no wrong answer is sent out because the agent trains the AI during the operational process and the chatbot becomes smarter by every completed interaction.
In addition to text-based chatbots, voice-based assistants will also become more accurate and useful and may overtake text bots in popularity. In the future, talking to bots will become an even more natural part of our everyday lives, and we’ll use chatbots to accomplish a broader range of daily tasks.
Since their recent rise in popularity, chatbots have had a major impact on communication. They’ve gotten us used to the concept of talking to artificial personalities and have changed our expectations regarding connecting with businesses. They’re sure to have an even more significant impact in the future as the relevant technologies continue to improve.
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