The Age of Chatbots

Nehmé Lebbos

Expert in Digital Transformation, CEO of NELCOM Group.

It’s a new age. More and more every day, science fiction and common sense are looking like one and the same. This fast paced technological ascent is taking no prisoners; those who had the trendiest newspaper in town have now found themselves exposed and lacking to news websites and blogs, and those who had a popular section on a morning TV program have lost viewership to a well-made mobile application. It’s a new age, and in it, you’re either up to date or you’re lacking.

Today, the epitome of human advancement is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (yes that horror film you saw yesterday is no longer too far off), but instead of being fed to robots so they would embark on their ruthless journey to take over the world, AI and ML are being utilized for the good of humankind in the form of Chatbots and self-driving cars.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the company’s Build developers conference that “Bots are the new apps.” But they’re more than that, they’re the new websites. No matter what type of company you’re running, what type of business, chatbots will make it run more efficiently. Everyone loves to text, in the USA alone, over 6 billion texts are sent every day, so instead of having the customer come to you, what chatbots do is have you go to your customers.

The most straightforward manner in which a Chatbot can improve your business is in the customer service department. In a report released by Juniper, on an average, a Chatbot inquiry saves more than 4 minutes in comparison to traditional call centers. Ever since they integrated a Chatbot to add ease to its back office operations, JP Morgan Chase has managed to save more than 360,000 hours of their workforce. The Swedbank says of the 40,000 conversations a month that Nina handles the Chatbot resolves 81% of the issues.

Customers need to be able to contact a company any time of the day or night for assistance. A Chatbot can be that point of contact that can assist with general questions or direct parties to the appropriate method of handling a more serious issue. Anytime availability markets the company as being easily accessible for consumers. Here, also, chatbots won’t only be answering your customers’ inquiries, but also compiling a complete database of their activities, one that you can analyze later to amend your business strategy and have that cutting edge advantage over your competitors.

The future of technology lies in human language. In this new wave of technology, the conversation is the new interface. With a Chatbot packed with a friendly character, all your customers’ walls stay down making what is essentially your suggestions come off as word of mouth communication. Businesses should consider chatbots as options for increasing their customer engagement. They will also increase convenience for both customers and businesses, and reduce labor cost as well as human errors.