Why It's Necessary for Today's Business to Use Chatbots
Due to successful chatbot experience of last years, small business owners are now using AI technologies to improve their daily operations, interact with customers and increase income. Integration and union of apps from different areas with the help of bots allow companies to introduce their software to a new level. Prosperous experience of Slack, Telegram, Messenger, etc. shows us that AI-based bots will remain in demand even further. Nevertheless, not everything is so smooth, and certain aspects of their use still slow introduction of chatbots into today's business.
In relation to AI future in general and chatbots perspectives in particular, the results of the studies diverge. For instance, according to the Oracle research, 80 percent of surveyed said they are going to implement chatbots for customers support during the next years. At the same time, Forrester published completely different results for AI adoption among interviewed companies: only about 20 percent of them are ready to use AI in general, not just chatbots, for business needs in the coming years. Peak of blind popularity and inflated expectations seems to be left behind, as well as existing obstacles and shortcomings have already arisen in front of developers. And now it's good time for rise of enlightenment, constructive solutions and productive work.
Advantages and Prospects
The reasons for the increased interest to chatbots are quite obvious. Customer expectations are increasing every day, and along with appearance of new technologies they expect more up-to-date customer service which includes fast and reliable payment operations, rapid processing of orders, easy shopping experience, personal approach to each client and much more. And chatbots can provide this. Here're only some of their capabilities:
- Chatbots allow to resolve problems more quickly. Working 24/7, they not only let the company save money on round the clock support, but also are always ready to answer customer questions or perform another necessary task. With these many integrations, customers don't need to wait in line, chatbots are always available to them from anywhere and anytime. According to the Business Insider Intelligence research, use of chatbots for customer service can reduce up to 30% of the company's costs for communication with customers. In the project management process chatbots can be used to reduce the number of distracting conversations, answers to endless questions, discussions with colleagues, while allowing all members of the team to always keep abreast of developments.
- Chatbots provide personal approach to every customer. The fact is that many employees are not attentive enough to each individual client due to the general load and tiredness, lack of important information and knowledge, or irresponsibility. Chatbots have no such problems. Moreover, they allow to attract clients in a more personalized way. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to generate a complete portrait of the customer, explore his habits and needs, gather purchasing history, form personalized experiences to improve the quality of customer service. If customers have a positive interaction with a company, they are more likely to return. No matter how cool your goods or services are, clients primarily care about how well you treat them. What about project management, chatbots can use collected information about users to automate a lot of tasks related to estimating and tracking time spent on tasks, provide interested project data according to the developer's current activity and so on.
- Chatbots are also very convenient to use. Due to global integration, they can be always available in any desired application. Chatbots let customers save time and get required help without distracting from their smartphones. For example, if we say about project management tool like Riter, developers can use Slack or Telegram chatbots to create and assign tasks just during their discussion with team members without need to open the Riter application itself.
- Chatbots are easy to create and run. As a rule, you can use provided API to create your own chatbots on a necessary platform or just find somebody who can do this for you. For example, Riter has GraphQL API for integration with existing services. This year we are going to release a platform for writing bots and create the first set of bots for integration with the most popular third-party resources. Riter bot system will be able to provide not less opportunities than Jira plugins do, furthermore, our bots may be written in any language and placed on either our servers or on the client side. Later we plan to open a store of bots, where everyone will be able to add their own bots and get interest from their work. In addition, Riter users will get an ability to create private bots for their personal usage.
As we noted in the previous blog post, chatbots are not smart enough now. Researches show the majority of customers still prefer to speak to a living employee rather than a chatbot. To be precise, according to "The Chatbot Consumer Report", 71 percent of respondents said they didn't like using chatbots because they were unable to solve their issues efficiently. Often bots do not understand the clients' questions, make mistakes or are just not trained enough to solve a particular problem. In this case, a customer simply wastes his time, because he still has to wait for communication with a competent person. Moreover, chatbots are not made for all businesses and conditions. There will always be the need and desire for person-to-person interaction for many customers.
How could chatbots replace live agents? The lack of chatbots which could understand and produce natural speech, not just a limited set of commands and templates, must be overcome if we want them to be used widespread. Developers should not limit themselves to the success reached, instead it is worth using the achievements of modern AI to make bots intelligent indeed. Use of semantic parsing, automated planning, natural language generation and so on can be helpful for this purpose.
Thus, despite the recent temporary difficulties, for example, with Facebook's Messenger, and imperfection of the technology itself, chatbots deserve your attention if you want to keep up with the times. The idea of automating a significant part of everyday repetitive work appeals to lots of brands and companies. But in order to take full advantage of chatbots and smooth out their shortcomings, it is necessary to invest in the development of technology. Now when hype over the chatbots has been asleep, we can start using them for their intended purpose, improving their capabilities along with the growing expectations and demands of customers. Regardless of whether this is the field of project management, sales, banking or other business, the contribution of chatbots and AI as a whole has already proved its value, so refusing to use them, the company puts itself at a disadvantage to its competitors and loses profits.
Riter development team