The first generation of chatbots launched in 1996.
Back then, they could only do a simple variety of things and answer select questions. Beyond that, they would get repetitive.
Then came artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Years later, chatbots are now so useful that you might not even know you are talking to one.
While development is still ongoing, many businesses have started adopting it. If you haven’t, we believe that this is the time to get in too.
Oh, that is not based on some sentiments, either. How about we show you the data to support this?
Before all that, though…
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is best described as a system for simulating conversations between a machine and a human user, leveraging artificial intelligence to develop appropriate responses to queries and requests thrown its way.
Given the ‘chat’ in the name, it needs no telling that such software is deployed through messaging apps, on websites, and on the telephone to hold sensible conversations with little to no human intervention.
Even though all chatbots are expected to do the same thing, they are not always the same.
The difference between one chatbot system and the other will usually lie in how much the owner of such a system has put into its development. This will translate to the effectiveness of the AI behind the Question Answering System model on which the chatbot has been built.
The best chatbots in the business are those that are optimized to identify and understand the core of the user request correctly. This is the single most crucial step for the system as it could make or mar it in the end.
It is only when the user request has been logged adequately that the chatbot system can come up with an ideal answer for the user.
Speaking of answers, chatbots also make this happen in a variety of ways.
During the development system, the chatbot is fed with responses to specific questions that users ask frequently. Should the string of the user query match that, the chatbot knows where to look to bring up a template answer for them.
However, this does not always work – and that is where artificial intelligence comes into the mix.
Now, the chatbot can reach into a knowledge base of data that it has gathered from other interactions to better understand and reply to the user. It could also contextualize the answer that the user is looking for based on the information which they have provided.
In other instances, the chatbot will pose a question to the user so that it can adequately differentiate what it ‘thinks’ the user needs and what they do need.
Over time, chatbot systems have only gotten better.
The research in the betterment of artificial intelligence isn’t slowing down either, and this will keep spilling into the world of chatbots too. If anything, what we have today is just a tip of the iceberg of what is to come in the future.
1 Others are in on it
Peer pressure is not always a good reason to get into anything, but it can show you that something does work.
That is why we are happy to be the one to tell you that 50% of businesses have plans to spend more on chatbots than even their mobile apps. If they did not see anything good in them, best believe they won’t be putting such money behind the chatbots.
The number of businesses that are going to adopt this number is only going to grow, so the only question is when you are going to join the mix too.
2 Savings costs
A good business aims to deliver exceptional products and/ or services. Behind that aim is the challenge to cut operational costs to the barest minimum while maximizing profits too.
Fortunately, chatbots key into this ideology too. That is why they have been able to help the businesses that use them cut service operational costs by as much as 30%.
Depending on how much you usually spend on support, that is a considerable cost saving that could be used to better the business in other ways.
Depending on where your business is located, you will have dedicated working hours and offline hours. Your offline hours, though, could be the working time for another client from halfway around the world.
You could also have a customer want to make an inquiry/ complaint from right within your base region, but at an offline hour.
In this age of higher expectations in consumer satisfaction, you have to be available to reply to these customers as fast as possible.
Already, 64% of customers have identified how 24-hour service is the best feature of having chatbots on. It would be poor of you to deny them something that important.
4 Best Emergency Responses
Following the above, chatbots have established quite a growing reputation as the go-to channels in the case of an emergency. Here, we have a decent 37% of those who have used a chatbot claiming that they went to one in the case of an emergency.
This is because they are aware of how fast they could get a response here rather than having to wait for a human customer care rep to pick up the conversation.
5 Better Resources Management
There are a lot of questions that your consumer base would have asked over and over again. There are also some routine requests that a more significant percentage of them will need taken care of, depending on your product/ service.
These can get so routine that the customer support staff is not feeling challenged at all.
The way to beat that is by introducing chatbots to do the job.
This time, the chatbots are trained to reply to the routine, everyday questions while escalating more severe issues to the right departments. This will help you to ensure your human resource is well utilized and kept challenged – not just engaged with mundane tasks.
To bolster the latter position, there are some 86% of customers who believe every business should give them the chance to escalate chats with a bot to an agent.
6 It works
One of the market demographics that might be very difficult to please is the millennials.
They ushered in the new age, so much that marketers and brands had to reinvent themselves to meet the needs of these advanced consumers. This is why we are even more pleased to mention how 70% of millennials who have used a chatbot reported a positive experience.
That is way above half. The impressive thing is that chatbots will only get better, so a good part of the remainder 30% will also come on board soon.
Taking the numbers away from millennials alone, 80% of all consumers who have ever used a chatbot said that they enjoyed the experience.
7 Complaint Resolution
It is one thing to be there to attend to the consumers as soon as they come in. It is yet another thing to meet them at the very point of their needs.
The latter alone can weaken the entire argument that we have been making for chatbots.
Well, that is not the case. With 90% of businesses reporting that they enjoyed faster complaint resolution with their bots, this new piece of tech is not just the new shiny toy for companies to play with.
8 Industry Adoption
Are you a B2B seller? Or, maybe a B2C brand?
This might weigh into your decision on whether the whole chatbot movement is for you or not.
You should know that 58% of companies in the B2B scene are already using a chatbot on their website. This is more than 42% for B2C sites, but both kinds of brands are well represented on the chatbot usage charts.
Get Started Today
If all these data tell you anything, it is that the best time to have had your chatbot was yesterday. If you missed that window, today is another day to try.