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Posted by Dhara on February 25, 2019

Massive paradigm shifts are occurring in how customers interact with businesses. Brands are feeling pressure and going the extra mile to provide the best customer service. Indeed, the future seems to point towards bots all the way. Chatbots seem to be the next big thing in the customer engagement sphere.

Looking at giants like Facebook and Google acquiring AI Start-ups, it seems we might welcome bot overloads sooner than we expected. The chatbot market size is set to exceed USD 1.34 billion by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

Well, how smart could a bot really be?

There’s a lot of unstructured natural language on the internet; sometimes even Google doesn’t know what you’re searching for!

Customer: I need to get my helmet fixed
Bot: What caused damage to your armed suit? Select from the options.

Wear & Tear

Customer: No. Not suit. My helmet
Bot: Please select a suitable option.
Customer: Need an appointment on Saturday to get my helmet repaired
Bot: Our working hours on weekdays are the following
Customer: But I said Saturday!!!
Bot: Sorry, please contact our customer service centre. Thank you.

However, with AI technology becoming more prevalent, chatbots are capable of much more than this. With the introduction of Natural Language Processing (NLP), developers are now able to truly put the “chat” in chatbot.

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

NLP is a sub-field but quite a powerful branch of Artificial Intelligence that is focusing on bridging the gap of understanding and processing language between computers and humans. With the help of NLP, chatbots are becoming capable of semantic understanding and text summarization.

Businesses – What’s In It For Me?

NLP provides a deep understanding of what customers mean to say, whether through dialogue with a chatbot, in posts on social media or in their comments about a product or service in forums, articles, blog posts, etc. This provides a great opportunity for capturing strategic information such as preferences, opinions, buying habits, as well as feelings or sentiment. Furthermore, chatbots can increase response rates and personalize the overall experience for your customers, while even warming up leads to encourage purchasing.

Customers - What’s In It For Me?

The capability of NLP chatbots reinterpreting minor spelling and grammar mistakes helps customers feel better understood. Much like a human assistant, a chatbot uses natural language processing to dialogue back and forth with customers: it can ask questions and understand answers, identifying all the relevant information in the conversation in order to automate and effectively empower the customer assistance process.

So, will bots take over human jobs?

Humans’ greatest advantage is EI (Emotional Intelligence) versus AI. Years of evolution and experiences have given us the ability to understand emotions, tone, and the capacity to 'read between the lines’. Chatbots are getting smarter and are able to mimic human understanding but there is still a long way to go to have that perfect bot which can understand all emotions and layered, complicated communication, and provide a satisfactory answer to customers’ queries like a John Doe could from a remote contact centre.

Having said that, while John is busy entertaining one customer on the phone, a bot on your website could be helping multiple other customers at one time. A great example of chat bots alleviating pressure on an organization, would be with our partners over at Nexera Law Group. BTI helped Nexera put together a strong web presence, coupled with a smart chat bot to live on their website and field client questions in place of a team member. 

Chatbots can be beneficial for a wide range of business types and industries and can provide an extremely efficient solution to handle high volumes of inquiries. You can see how the team at BTI put together a custom chatbot solution for our partners at Nexera Law Group in the case study here.

Interested in leveraging chatbot technology on your website and improving your customer service? Get in touch with our team of Connectors for details.