According to Forbes magazine, chatbots are among the top ten in the digital marketing trends of the year. In fact, it is expected that by 2020 over 9 out of 10 companies will have installed a chatbot to facilitate customers in using their services. Worldwide growth of 42% is expected, partly driven by the global health crisis, especially in the public and healthcare sectors. The indications for the following years are also positive, when the global chatbot market should reach a turnover of 1.25 billion dollars by 2025.
This growth, almost exponential in numbers, has a great reason: customers are becoming more demanding every day. Not only in the way they choose to purchase products or services but also in the way they want to communicate with companies and the times they want to receive answers to their needs (or complaints).
And this is where chatbots come into play, a technology equipped with artificial intelligence capable of increasing the marketing, sales and customer care performance of every company, creating loyal and lasting relationships with customers. 45% of users prefer them as a communication tool for customer service related questions.
The term chatbot is actually limiting: today we should simply talk about bots, which can be engaged in a different way (even proactively) by a very large number of channels ranging from voice to social networks.
Ray Kurzweil, US inventor, author of several books on artificial intelligence and pioneer in the field of text-to-speech and speech recognition technologies, says that “Chatbots will be indistinguishable from humans by 2029”, a bit like it was HAL 9000 of “2001 A Space Odyssey”, equipped with an advanced artificial intelligence that allowed him to reproduce all the activities of the human mind quickly and safely, to feel emotions, to speak with a totally human voice and to dialogue with astronauts. To date, we are still a bit far from this goal.
A bot can decrease but it cannot completely replace human relationships: it can simulate empathy but not learn it, it can understand our language but not irony, it can be nice but not spontaneous.
It is, therefore, still necessary, in some moments or in certain situations, the intervention of an operator who regains control of a conversation or a process, simply with an increasingly specialized and artistic human work, in contrast with the always less need for “low” labor, a bit like it was at the beginning of the last century with the industrial revolution and which continues to happen every day in many other sectors. There will be more and more engineers and programmers in factories than small unskilled workers and more and more social media managers, copywriters and writers in the field of communication.
The bots are therefore intended to support human work and in cases where they cannot manage a situation on their own, they are certainly a valuable aid to the operator in flesh and blood. We therefore speak of “Agent Bot” or “Whisper Bot”, a virtual assistant ready to give his valuable contribution when he is a human agent who is in charge of managing a process or a conversation. In 2017 alone, the technologies related to the use of an Agent Bot are estimated to have lightened the workload in the contact centers where it is used by 30%, increasing the quality of the service offered and producing an increase in user satisfaction. the final. In fact, we think of the more practical aspects: a call to a contact center, managed more quickly and with better precision thanks to the contribution of a bot, has the triple advantage of being an added value for the end customer, for the agent who ‘he managed (which can free up time for more satisfying activities for him) and for the company, which saves considerable management costs.
That of the Agent Bot is currently considered one of the technologies with the widest spectrum of development, it can be implemented in fact, not only in the traditional channels of communication towards the end customer, but in all business processes where human intervention remains unavailable. completely replaceable but, more appropriately, driveable. Let’s think, for example, of corporate on-boarding or remote training: an Agent Bot integrated in the right way with corporate systems can guide the agent to the right answer or to the right execution of the correct process, not only towards end customers but also towards internal customers, i.e. their colleagues.
But it can also be proactive, intercepting a customer’s need or problem and performing an action such as scheduling an appointment or diagnosing a system remotely. The applications in this sense seem truly endless, and it is really likely that in the coming years we will learn to get used to increasingly advanced Agent Bot, inserted with ever greater effectiveness in every business environment and in every process, with which we could communicate in different ways and that will always be at our disposal.
Today at Eudata, we concretely measure the results of our Agent Bot solutions operating in our customers’ systems with a significant impact in terms of customer satisfaction and human agents workload reduction.
The speed with which a bot manages to contextualize a contact and retrieve the information about it, making it immediately available to a human operator, makes the management of a task simpler and faster, guaranteeing a very low error rate, both in terms of understanding the need of the customer and application of the correct procedure for the specific case. In this way, customer satisfaction and loyalty is increased and the achievement of the company’s objectives is guaranteed.
Having all this information available also allows the operator to quickly make the operator aware of the customer’s condition, offering customer journeys that are tailored and independent from the access channel, fully respecting a philosophy in which the customer is at the center regardless of the channel ( online, offline, in store) that it uses.
Graduated in IT, with an academic career between Italy and Germany, Giorgio has more than 15 years of experience on customer care, service assurance and banking projects. At Eudata he deals with business development for TOP Enterprise customers, combining a passion for digital trends with an approach that is always based on the importance of business results.