Chatbots have come a long way since their inception and have grown to become a convenient way for customers and businesses to relay information to one another. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global chatbot market was valued at $3.78 billion in 2021 and had a projected compound annual growth rate of just over 30%. With the right system, businesses and organizations can use this technology to their advantage and refine their workflows to enhance customer service, reduce response times, and increase sales and customer satisfaction.
When chatbots were first launched, they were rudimentary and could be very frustrating to work with. However, they have greatly improved, as many new features have been added over the years. Although most people prefer to talk with a human representative, efficient and well-engineered chatbots can relieve some of the pressure off of your team and provide assistance even when no one is available.
This article will dive into five chatbot trends to help you get the most out of your chatbot and improve the quality of your customer service.
Digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa are well known for their voice recognition software. This technology has now entered the realm of chatbots.
For consumers, this offers another level of accessibility and convenience. Users will no longer have to type out complicated or lengthy replies, and those who have difficulty reading will now have a way to use a chatbot instead of being constrained to business hours to talk to a live representative.
Another trend for chatbots includes artificial intelligence (AI), so these programs can learn from every interaction they have. According to IBM, this is known as machine learning. ML is a process in which the AI will use algorithms and models to pick up on the various patterns it runs into; then, it uses these patterns to adjust its outputs.
IBM notes that some benefits of AI-driven chatbots include conversational marketing, enhanced customer service, and lead generation.
Social media has become a key touch point for businesses and consumers to interact with each other. Now, people will use social media to contact businesses for customer service reasons.
There are several benefits to using social media for this purpose; however, it is another area to manage beyond posts, so a chatbot could alleviate some of that traffic. Businesses/professional accounts can use a third party like ManyChat to create a chatbot for their Instagram account. Other third-party chatbots can integrate with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.
Businesses want to cater to the need for 24/7 customer support. However, it is costly, difficult, and time-consuming to find enough quality representatives and train them to fulfill customer service inquiries at all times of the day. Additionally, customer interactions can be time-consuming, and you will likely have multiple inquiries at the same time. Chatbots can reduce wait times by starting and completing tasks.
Typically, it is easy to spot when you’re communicating with a chatbot, so some programmers are working to adjust chatbot language cadence, tone, and word choice to make interactions seem less scripted and more human. Future chatbots will use natural language processing in their responses and hold conversations that closely mimic human interactions.
Good customer service is more than just providing an effective response to a query; businesses must also focus on providing an excellent customer experience. Another trend emerging in chatbot development is the integration of customer sentiment analysis to guide chatbot behavior.
Sentiment analysis can help chatbots better understand how the conversation is going and respond to customers accordingly. For example, based on analyzing customer interactions, chatbots can be trained to understand whether customers are happy or annoyed, modify their responses to align with those emotions, and direct angry customers to human customer service reps who can deliver personalized support.
The above trends will likely change and alter the current chatbots as we know them; however, it is still important to keep the following in mind as you explore these trends.
Although chatbots have gotten better and can solve a plethora of problems, they lack a human touch. Some questions or concerns cannot be automated, or a problem is too complex for a chatbot to solve. Not to mention how frustrating it can be to be sent in circles when a live representative could solve the problem in a few minutes.
Furthermore, chatbots lack human empathy and the ability to connect with customers. This is especially important in the healthcare industry when services, including customer service, directly impact patients’ health and medical care.
Chatbots can interact with thousands of users and store data from these chats. As you can imagine, this information needs to be protected since it can be exploited by cybercriminals. Moreover, some companies may choose to sell this information to third parties. Both breaches can quickly ruin your rapport and dissolve users’ trust when interacting with you or chatbots.
This is why it is paramount to have a robust cybersecurity system in place. The PCI requirements, like a firewall, up-to-date antivirus software, and data encryption, will help protect you and your client’s financial and personal information. Remember, anything connected to the internet and your servers is a potential vector for an attack - including your chatbots.
Many of the chatbot trends from 2023 come from evolving technology, which will likely improve over the coming years. In particular, artificial intelligence is greatly improving customer satisfaction as it has the ability to learn from each interaction. What’s more, chatbots are entering the space of social media, and new features like voice recognition will expand the number of consumers chatbots can help.
Businesses and organizations can take advantage of these trends to improve their client rapport and productivity among staff, and Zumvu.com has the resources needed to launch a quality chatbot.