How Can Chatbots Improve Traditional Customer Service: How Far Are We from Reality?
It is a legal certification that the future of consumer-facing business is connecting with advance messaging apps and associated, individually, chatbots.
Customers form the backbone of any business. No matter which industry you look at, the end customers are the ones to drive the changes in the industry owing to rapidly changing demands and trends. Customers in today’s generation want everything to be done fastidiously. They no longer want to be kept waiting- neither for customer service nor for the delivery of their products.
Customers are redefining businesses in various aspects. While slow and traditional methods are no longer an option, organisations constantly need to keep on utilising the latest cutting edge technology to stay on top of things. Especially when it comes to customer service, organisations must not ignore it at any cost, if they want to sustain themselves in the market for a longer period.
And the changes are already taking place within organisations. While the titans of business have readily adopted different technologies and are sailing along with the technological wave, it is the small and medium enterprises that are resistant towards it. They are fighting these new technologies as if it’s threatening their business or the jobs of their employees.
However, what they fail to understand is that new technology is created to aid organisations in doing business along with simplifying their tasks. Instead of being a threat it is the new force helping organisations reach their goals in the least amount of time.
Take chatbots as an example. Chatbots have brought about a radical transformation in the way businesses perform their customer service. Known as chatbots, bots or chatterbots at times, they are computer software that stimulates interaction between humans and machines.
But they are largely misunderstood and face ignorance. Statistics suggest that the current global market size for chatbots is $3.5 billion and is expected to grow to an astonishing $5.6 billion in the coming years. The prediction by Gartner opens hundreds of new possibilities for businesses who want to excel in their customer service with ease.
Organizations like Amazon cater to the customer’s needs with a variety of tools and technologically advanced options. For starters, their customer service is a great example of planning and management. First, they have multiple touch points for the customer, which means, customers can contact them via chat, email, call or a call back facility. Next, they have a chat support that has the quintessential balance of automation and human touch.
With such unparalleled examples, customers get accustomed to this level of service. They tend to expect it from every other organisation out there on the internet. That’s what puts pressure on small and medium enterprises, who can’t stop but scratch their heads on what to do. While traditional customer service has wonderfully worked for organisations, the wave of digitization and new technologies have taken it to the next level.
The Co-Founder and CEO of the conversational AI platform, Aakrit Vaish highlights the fact that the biggest challenge that the chatbots industry is facing is ignorance. People have to be constantly made aware of the technology along with its benefits for enterprises. In the time when companies like Amazon are using the technology so aggressively, there are a whole bunch of companies that are not even closely aware of it.
What organisations fail to understand is the fact that chatbots as a technology can help organisations streamline operations, aid in cost optimization, data collection, and management to inventory along with supply chain management. Bots like Alexa, Google Assistant or automated banking bots are some of the examples that are automating processes and saving human time by its Java software services.
For those who aren’t familiar with the kinds, there are also two main versions of the bots known as rule-based bots and AI bots. Rule-based bots are those that follow a specific set of commands and are not dynamic in their interactions. For example, customer service calls where you’re supposed to choose a specific number or command to follow instruction is an example of rule-based bots.
On the other hand, the bots harnessing artificial intelligence are not just more dynamic but also much advanced. These bots utilise neurolinguistic programming, popularly known as NLP to enable a machine to be capable of having a distinguished and emotionally intelligent conversation with humans. Alexa is one of the biggest examples of this category.
Chatbots Taking Over
With time, the adoption rate of chatbots is significantly increasing. They are being used in more than a few companies across the world. Be it e-commerce, banking, travel or any other sectors, we can witness chatbots being used excessively in more than a few operations. If you take a look at the statistics you will find that the global market for chatbots by the year 2023 will reach a surprising $ 5.6 billion. The co-founder and CEO at Suzami Tech, Himanshu Saxena points out that the chatbots are used for three main reasons- customer self-service, operations assistance, and enterprise functions.
But the wave of Retail 2.0 where most retail giants have been swept by the wave of digitization, brings a new era of the business called conversational commerce. Amazon, Flipkart, and many other such titans have played huge catalysts to this process and completely changed the way we buy and sell things. This is leading the customers to make even big purchases like home appliances and smartphones online. However, with this extraordinary transaction point, customers would like someone to guide them through the process, just like a brick and mortar store.
Conversational commerce is the perfect answer to these emerging consumer requirements and chatbots can be excellent when it comes to catering to them.
While traditional customer service in the form of calls will continue to exist for as long as we can imagine, chatbots will take over much of the manual form of work. We will witness bots in different languages, audio bots along with those who can interact with humans at an emotional level like a real person. As these trends emerge stronger, it will provide a great platform for SMEs to excel and cater to the customer’s demands more effectively.