To Bot or Not to Bot
TO BOT OR NOT TO BOT
As Marketers, it seems there is a shiny new toy (technology) nearly every day. One of the latest is artificial intelligence (A1) and chat/messaging bots. But, just because you can automate something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Should the customer experience not have a human touch? There have already been examples of ‘bots behaving badly’. Have the bugs in these automated systems really been ironed out?
A very interesting recent publication by TeleTech provides some thought provoking insights into where this new technology is heading and what marketers and businesses should be aware of.
What is Automation in relation to Bots?
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities to automate more customer interactions in mobile and social, at scale. Automation’s success in the customer experience arena relies on two distinct attributes – a conversational user interface (UI) and understanding.
Conversational UI – A platform to understand customer questions and give an appropriate answer. The delivery of the answer isn’t the focus, it’s the knowledgebase, data integration, connections, processes, and platforms that enable a conversation (information transfer), complete the task, and provide the right answer.
Understanding – Does the computer understand what question is being asked? Systems are moving from single words to more advanced speech recognition, sentiment analysis, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to deeper understanding of what’s being asked. Alexa and Siri are voice assistant examples of understanding in action.
Types of Customer Interaction Automation
- Virtual Assistants
- Dynamic Knowledgeables
- Predictive Analytics
- Self-Service Tools
- Connected Devices
History of Chatbot Tools
- 2006 – IBM Watson
- 2010 – Apple Siri
- 2012 – Google Now
- 2015 – Amazon Alexa
- 2016 – Messenger Bots
Business Impact Predictions
- By 2020 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human.
- 51% of US business operations have the potential to be automated, accounting for almost $2.7 trillion in wages.
- Automation could raise productivity growth globally by 1.4% annually.
- 64% of consumers expect companies to respond and interact with them in real time.
- 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach alive agent.
- 97% of global consumers say customer service is important in their choice of, and loyalty to, a brand.
Industries Successfully Using Bots
- Financial Services
Will Call Centres Be Replaced by Bots?
Customer interactions are becoming more digitally driven and automated to enable faster, convenient, precise interactions. People want a different way to interact with the companies they do business with, and bots are one way to achieve this.
Customers don’t want call centers anymore. At least not the way they exist today. And companies continue to digitize interactions to reduce costs.
- Nearly half (42%) of global consumers predict that the call center will cease to exist by 2025.
- 36% of call center interactions are a direct result of digital channels failing to provide answers.
- Cost reduction and efficiency are top priorities among contact center leaders.
- 44% of U.S. customers said they’d prefer AI chatbots for customer relationship management.
Source: Conduent, Call Center IQ, Aspect
Will Human Contact Remain?
Automation tools as they exist today are designed to complete specialised tasks. Cognitive computing, or “thinking,” is not ready for enterprise activity. It’s great stuff for science fiction, but there is little science fact.
Humans will always have a place in the customer experience environment, especially because empathy and authentic conversation will always be needed. You can’t have a relationship with a computer.
If you need assistance working out if AI may be useful in your business, contact Hall of Fame Marketing Bendigo.Back to Blog and tagged Artificial Intelligence, BOTS, Hall of Fame Marketing Bendigo