Jul 23 2019
Communication is a vital aspect of everyday life. Regardless if you’re an introvert or extrovert, you’ll have to communicate with someone (or something) in one way or another. Same goes with businesses; customer communication is of utmost importance. It’s a cycle that focuses on giving and receiving benefits for both the client and the customer.
While the provision of customer service still remains the same as of today, chatbots have been implemented for further improvements.
Chatbots are used in the absence of a customer service representative, as they’ll usually respond to the customer’s message if the representative is unable to assist.
They may be a popular business feature but are chatbots really the future of customer service?
What’s a chatbot
A chatbot is an artificially intelligent software used for simulating conversations with users in its most natural form via mobile applications, websites, and many more. It’s considered as one of the most innovative features introduced for businesses.
Having a chatbot for business is definitely useful, but just how “useful” is it?
For starters, there are three definitive forms or levels of chatbots.
- Menu-based – The menu or button-based chatbot is the most basic level of chatbots. It provides the user with options in the form of buttons, similar to automated phone menus. The options provided are like a tree of dialogues that allow the user to dissect the form and reveal the ultimate answer.
- Keyword recognition – This level of chatbot does its best to respond to the user based on the keywords provided. This chatbot is given a list of customisable keywords with limited artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the user with an optimal answer.
- Contextual – This is the most advanced level of chatbots in recent times. Unlike the previously mentioned chatbots, contextual chatbots utilise advanced AI and Machine Learning (ML) to study and analyse conversations over time. They’re smart enough to improve based on the response of the user.
The more advanced a chatbot is, the more features it can provide. If you’re looking for more benefits, you’ll have to invest in a more expensive chatbot. Your brand can certainly benefit from the aid of a chatbot if you know which one’s right for your business.
How exactly can you know which type of chatbot is perfect for your business? For starters, you have to know what your business needs. In most cases, the bigger the enterprise, the more advanced the chatbot should be.
Since customer representatives are common for small to medium-sized enterprises (SME), a chatbot can help by substituting in their absence for a limited time. Still, a combination of the two is the most feasible.
As of today, chatbots are famous because of the benefits they provide. Here are some examples of popular chatbots.
The popular personal gaming assistant was introduced by Ubisoft, a French gaming company, back in 2018. “Sam” is an advanced chatbot that engages with players regarding Ubisoft’s titles such as Far Cry, Rainbow Six, and Assassin’s Creed to name a few.
Sam responds to voice commands or text messages related to the aforementioned titles. It has already acquired more than 1.6 million users with over 10 million questions answered in a year.
This chatbot specialises in conversing with dementia patients. Since dementia patients have a difficult time to engage in conversations, Endurance helps users struggle with short-term memory loss.
Endurance utilises a cloud-based solution to let physicians and relatives review logs and identify potential memory degradation and deterioration.
At its very core, customer service is represented by actual humans. Customer representatives do their best to provide the customer with sufficient help depending on the wants and needs of the latter.
In modern times, customer service representatives are still common. The only difference compared to a decade ago can be found in the tools and techniques used as of today.
The goal of modern customer service is to provide representatives with effective tools to make their job easier, thus offering more productive results. As a result, chatbots were introduced.
The future of customer service is looking bright. While it’s not yet determined whether human representatives will still be common in the future, you can guarantee that chatbots will be very much helpful by then.
With the amount of research poured into AI, it’s safe to say that humans and robots can work hand in hand to help each other achieve a certain goal.
As of now, chatbots are still used as a mere tool for communication. With limited AI, only time will tell if chatbots will soon become smart enough to replace customer service representatives entirely.
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