The early years of this decade have mostly revolved around businesses adopting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to increase revenue and drive a smoother customer experience. But, this has not necessarily eradicated human error from the equation.
On top of that, setting up a new channel to adapt to the acoustics of a specific customer segment has proved to be expensive – financially and time wise. However, in the last five years, with the boom of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there has been a significant shift within the industry.
Earlier, CRMs depended on human agents to populate data for lead generation; they were the alphabet for managing a human agent and customers depended on the sole availability of the support wing of businesses. However, today chatbots seem to have disrupted the entire paradigm, and rendered the need for a human agent to a bare minimum.
Let’s take an example. In early 2013, a certain Fortune 10 company had around 2,400 human customer service agents managing a customer base of over 25 million. However, with the adoption of chatbots to funnel customers, this number of human agents had gone down to a mere 325 by late 2018.
As we progress to 2020, we see more and more enterprises – from different industries – adopting the concept of chatbots.
Here are some of the top reasons why:
AI in customer support
According to a study conducted at a contact centre, 70% of the incoming customer requests were either account enquiries, scheduling, account change requests or frequently asked questions. With smart, system integrated chatbots, these processes are being streamlined, thus reducing the pressure on human customer service agents. Adding to that, it provides a 24×7 support channel.
Chatbots are more human than ever
The central emphasis on advancements in natural language processing (NLP) has been around simulating human behaviour in chatbots. And, with AI-assisted NLP systems, this is being achieved faster than we had previously foreseen.
Voice bots are becoming mainstream
The only limitation, until recently, was penetrating into industries where the preferred customer experience was over voice conversations. But this limitation has been largely relaxed with the advancements of AI in Interactive Voice Responses (IVR). As the support for more and more languages and dialects comes into existence, chatbots are able to penetrate an ever-increasing market.
Even with human support agents, segmenting customer interests, primarily in e-commerce, has always been a challenge. But, with statistical analytics tool in chatbots we are noticing over 97% accuracy.
Lead generation and banking
Dynamic and personalised interest rates are another huddle in instant reach-outs to potential leads in the banking segment. But, with process automation in AI chatbots, this has turned into an accurate and instantaneous behaviour, leading to fast, and in some cases, immediate customer acquisitions.
Chatbots are taking over as the operational backbone
Operations businesses, such as ports and container shipping, rely on the reaction time of intermediate processes between the time of requests and delivery. With process automation in chatbots, a simple text message can have a 500-ton derrick load a shipping container in just a short lapse of time.
From the above reasons, it is evident that projections of chatbots turning into a multi-billion dollar industry by 2020 are no speculation, but instead, a modest estimate.
If you are not adapting, someone else is. It’s no news that AI is base technology of the near-future and chatbots is the step for businesses in this direction.