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2020 chatbot trends that will transform customer experience

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Montri Nipitvittaya)

The past decade saw extraordinary advancements in technology and increasing expectations from consumers. Technology was a key competition differentiator as businesses showcased a variety of different implementations of emerging technologies in a bid to match consumer demand. One of the most talked about emerging technologies of the 2010s was Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sixty-four years after Alan Turing published his idea of a test that would prove machine intelligence during the Second World War, a 13-year-old AI boy called Eugene Goostman finally became the first artificial intelligence to pass the Turing Test in 2014.

Headlines continued to be dominated by stories of AI’s potential impact on our day to day lives, and warnings about a robotic revolution to take over the workforce. Much talk around the technology was speculation and discussions about its potential uses rather than its current capabilities. Away from the scaremongering, one use case of the technology that is already successful, is chatbots and the impact that AI is having on customer experience.

As per Global Market Insights, the overall market size for chatbots worldwide will be over $1.3 billion by 2024. As we look ahead to the new decade, Gartner says AI will be a mainstream customer experience investment in the next couple of years. 47 per cent of organisations will use chatbots for customer care and 40 per cent will deploy virtual assistants. In 2020, AI will continue to transform customer experience.

Chatbots already play crucial role when it comes to fast, convenient resolution of common customer queries. From speeding up response times to enhancing conversion rates and adding personality to products, chatbots can positively impact every department of a business. Indeed, brands everywhere are catching on and beginning to use them in new and creative ways, such as Lidl’s Winebot Margot which empowers customers through education on the products they are buying. Users can get guidance on which wine to buy, tips on food pairing, and even learn about how wine is made. It can recommend over 220 food pairings and answer questions based on 640 different types of grapes.

In 2020, chatbots will move from simple customer-based queries to more advanced real-time interactions based on computational modelling. Chatbots have been growing dynamically in the past few years and have managed to take over many sectors and internal roles in the organisation.

Here are 3 key reasons why chatbots will help businesses scale faster and improve customer experience in 2020:

Chatbot customer service will become more human

Some of the challenges that consumers have found with chatbots to date have included the technology misunderstanding their requests, struggling to respond to nuances of human language and executing incorrect actions. To be seen as a serious alternative to speaking to a human customer adviser, consumers expect interactions with a chatbot to be more human. Developments in machine learning, AI and natural language processing (NLP) will ensure that chatbots become more conversational. They are designed to be self-learning and will therefore develop better relationships with customers, as they understand them better and will provide a more personalised and tailored customer experience. The adoption of conversational AI will boost the customer experience and enhance customer loyalty.

Chatbots reduce costs and boost customer service agent efficiency

Chatbots transform operations and efficiency in a call centre. They provide both cost and significant time savings for call centre workers. According to Chatbots Magazine, businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30 per cent by implementing conversational chatbots. Bots without human involvement can handle simple requests such as changing a password, requesting a balance, scheduling an appointment. All of these tasks can be completed 24/7, reducing call centre costs and improving any-time customer experience.

Customer service agents are now free to be able to take on more complex questions and complaints that lie outside of the abilities of AI – ensuring that customers always get the resolution they’re looking for and agents are able to develop more skills, increasing their job satisfaction.

Chatbots will transform core business processes

It isn’t only the most straightforward questions that chatbots now have the capability to answer. Technological advancements have enabled chatbots to handle much more difficult enquiries. If a customer is experiencing an issue with a product, he or she can connect with a chatbot – which can then provide troubleshooting information as well as a recommendation of how to fix it.

In 2020, chatbots are poised to go through transformational changes to implement AI across core business processes. As chatbots increasingly use AI to automate customer engagement, they will learn more about the customer without human involvement. Chatbots will be able to share products with customers based on their personal preferences, even becoming a personal shopper – helping a customer find the perfect gift, for example, with just a few basic questions.

Chatbots will provide an organisation with large quantities of data, which with the help of AI, can be used to predict customer behaviour so businesses can offer a more proactive customer experience. With AI, information can be collected to gain the context of interaction so as to offer faster resolution by identifying the call’s purpose, providing a streamlined customer experience.

In 2020, chatbots have the potential to help businesses become more efficient – while enhancing the customer experience. It doesn’t matter whether a business is just starting up or already at enterprise level – or whether it’s in retail, logistics, finance or another industry. To gain a competitive advantage and future-proof an organisation, investment in chatbot technology is vital. Moving forward, automation will make it roots extra stronger and overcome all the chatbot challenges faced by the businesses.

Lisa Rose, Business Development Manager, Engage Hub