Chatbots Customer Engagement

Chatbots continue to be a topic of much discourse in media outlets and vendor communities. From optimising operations to improving supply chain management, the impact of the technology can be felt across industries. But one industry where chatbots hold the power of total transformation is customer service. A study by Gartner predicts that by 2022, a whopping 85% of enterprise-customer relationships will be carried out with no human interaction.[1] As artificial intelligence (AI) develop to imitate human conversation, chatbot technology will make a headway in offering more sophisticated solutions to customer engagement.

Some of the leading brands in the world are employing chatbots to enhance their customer engagement and get more people to try their products. Take the example of Starbucks. The Starbucks Barista Bot allows customers to order customized beverages, pay for orders and even tip the barista.[2] With constant interaction, the bot also records the type of coffee you like and suggest brews that align with those preferences.

As we move forward, let’s look at the top five reasons why chatbots will be paramount in providing a seamless customer experience.

24/7 availability

The idea of never waiting for your query to be answered is an attractive enough idea in itself. Most companies employ live chats where customers can get their specific queries answered. But you might have to wait at times. With chatbots, customers have a source of always-on, reliable support. You can get your questions answered and get personalised information or data while engaging with the bot.

Bots are where you are

The modern-day customer is everywhere- emails, social media, forums, etc. Marketers need to be present on various platforms to engage with customers and offer immersive experiences. In such a scenario, the potential of chatbot technology can be tapped into for an enhanced business-customer interaction. Designed to interact in a meaningful manner, chatbots can be integrated into a number of platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Pizza Hut has a chatbot for online food delivery. Customers can directly order from their social media platforms.[3] These bots can not only help in generating leads but also assist in improving sales.

Enhanced interactivity

The technology available for chatbots is evolving at an exponential rate. Chatbots are moving away from just answering in a robotic monotone to engaging with users in a more human-like manner, mimicking emotions and human speech. Rather than just understanding the content of the spoken or typed words, chatbots can now analyse the context of the usage. With further development in Natural Language Processing Technology, chatbots will come with more personalised features. These bots can be finetuned to imitate a specific emotion in tandem with the company demand, increasing their appeal to the end users.

Less groundwork

Chatbots take substantially less time to come with the right responses for the queries generated by customers. For businesses who are experiencing sudden spike in the volume of query generation, chatbots can offer a seamless customer engagement in shorter span of time, leading to more satisfied customers. Various enterprises as well as sporting bodies are utilising the power of chatbots during periods of high-level interactions with customers. For instance, FC Barcelona introduced the FC Barcelona Live App Bot where users can check upcoming games, get the latest updates about the team and get to know the match results.[4]

Personalised notifications

Chatbot technology can prove to be a treasure trove for customer information and feedback. Using data analytics, the feedback and relevant information can be studied to position the most relevant notification to the customers. Bombarding users with templatised notifications about products might not be a fruitful exercise in generating sale. Enterprises will benefit more by personalising the entire exercise.

The way ahead

According to a report, the global chatbot market is expected to reach approximately $5000 million by the end of 2026.[5] Business that employ chatbot technology will be at a profitable position and attain a competitive edge. While keeping customers engaged, these chatbots can take up the simpler, repetitive workloads, allowing employees to invest their energies on much complex tasks.As AI and machine learning (ML) develop chatbots to become as lifelike as possible, the technology is no longer just a fun tool.