Chatbots are one of the hottest technologies in the digital world today. A chatbot is a service powered by rules and artificial intelligence that you interact with via a chat interface. The service might be something your business does today, or it could be a process that you want to streamline. Chatbots are not a new concept per se, but we’re at an exciting time for conversational software to become prevailing customer service agents and digital assistants. Apple’s Siri, Facebook’s Messenger, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are all examples of chatbots that we talk to on a frequent basis.
Chatbots have a lot to offer organizations. They’re user-centric and user-friendly. With an app or a tool, users have to familiarize themselves with the interface and functionalities; with a chatbot, they simply have to start a conversation. The experience is built entirely around customers’ existing behaviors, making on-boarding instantaneous.
Chatbots also afford amazing opportunities for data analytics. By allowing customers to engage with and train a chatbot, you can get to know them on a level that is more intimate than what apps and surveys offer. By learning customer behavior and preferences, you’re able to then tailor customer service over time. Consider this use case: a car dealership learned through opinion mining data that the most popular questions were on warranty and mileage. A chatbot could proactively inquire about those things, and not just wait to react to a customer question, thereby providing a higher level of customer service and satisfaction.
Chatbots learn and evolve constantly. They enable businesses to stay lean because they’re always learning, always improving, always in beta. And the more conversations they have, the more responsive they can be to customers’ needs and expectations.
Sirius built a chatbot we call Buddybot that uses deep learning and artificial intelligence. Artificial neural networks acquaint themselves with the world via training models and test data sets, and in turn develop something like human flexibility. And a bot developed with AI is more responsive than one that’s not. Buddybot is trained to identify intent, and key conversational words and pieces to understand the context and act on what the user says, and it can evolve and learn on its own.
We’re at a new inflection point where we’re able to take advantage of an entirely new computational platform. And with data to create actionable insights and the ability to integrate infrastructural and IT systems, the opportunities are endless.