Could AI Chatbots Be the Future of Business-to-Customer Communications?by Analytics Insight September 17, 2020
Artificial intelligence is one of the most talked-about technologies of the 21st century. Helping to automate and simplify time-intensive or complicated tasks that have traditionally been taken care of by workers, it’s often considered to still be in its infancy.
What the average layman doesn’t realise, however, is how widespread this type of technology already is. While many envisage it as futuristic and expensive, it’s actually used by a huge number of businesses across an array of industries.
These include not only multibillion-dollar enterprises like Amazon and Google, but a number of smaller concerns too, from fitness apps through to marketing agencies and retail outlets. One of the ways these companies are utilizing AI is through the medium of chatbots.
Used to simulate human conversation, chatbots are frequently adopted as the first line of defense in customer communications. Able to handle many different questions and queries, as well as providing support and updates, they offer an innovative, efficient, and effective way to improve the overall client experience.
The changing nature of business
While chatbots utilize incredibly advanced technology in order to perform their role, there are many who view them as unnecessary and extravagant. However, their potential becomes much clearer when one stops to consider the ever-evolving nature of modern commerce.
As a society, our lives are increasingly lived online, with many everyday activities now conducted via the internet or our smartphones. Take, for example, shopping, which is rapidly moving off the high street and onto the world wide web.
According to the statistics, 32.8 percent of retail sales now take place online, which accounts for roughly one-third of purchases made. One of the most commonly cited reasons for shopping on the internet is the convenience and flexibility this affords, and there’s an inherent belief that this improved accessibility should extend not just to purchases, but customer service too.
Should a consumer make a mistake when ordering in the early hours of the morning, they expect for this to be quickly rectified; but how can smaller businesses possibly man their telephones and email inboxes around the clock?
The simple answer is that they cannot, and must therefore find some way to adapt to this new way of doing business.
The importance of customer service
This is where chatbots come in handy. With around-the-clock support expected from their modern-day customer base, companies must find ways to meet such a demand, and artificial intelligence is the tool they’ve long been searching for.
Working from a script, chatbots are able to answer most basic questions and queries, to provide customers with an immediate and informed response. They’re as easily able to perform this role at 3am on a Saturday morning as they are within standard business hours, giving them a major advantage over call centers and more traditional alternatives.
In using them, companies are thereby able to improve their overall customer service and satisfaction ratings, which is a major plus point in their favor. Their investment is thus justified by the increased incidence of repeat sales that derives from such positive interactions with their clients.
Continual innovations and competitive markets
While AI chatbots can markedly improve the overall customer experience, there are certain industries where they are not only seen as desirable, but are increasingly necessary in order for businesses to stay abreast of their competitors.
We’ll take the online casino sector as an example. Peopled by providers from around the globe, internet gaming is very much an international market, with players from countries as diverse as India, for example, often frequenting casinos that operate on an entirely different continent.
These individuals have a multitude of online gaming options to choose from, all of them offering attractive promotions and bonus schemes. However, those located in different countries will almost inevitably provide poorer communication should they use a traditional call center model, due to operating within conflicting time zones.
Not so when AI chatbots are adopted. Allowing around-the-clock interactions between business and client, these are the latest innovation to take the sector by storm, but already and understandably, they have been widely embraced throughout.
Indeed, so great is their popularity that companies who have not utilized them are at a distinct disadvantage, becoming less competitive as a direct result of their failure to adopt this arguably beneficial technology.
Could AI chatbots represent the future for your industry too?