Chatbots are one of the newest and most innovative tools hitting the market. These tools, which allow customers to interact with artificial intelligence (AI) to solve problems and complete tasks, are powerful. Given chatbots’ recent development, many businesses may view chatbots with skepticism and not consider how they can improve and streamline a business.
Yet, the benefits of chatbots can be significant. Understanding more about chatbots and how they fit into different industries is an important step towards potentially integrating one into your own business. This article dives into the topic of chatbots, exploring the various ways a chatbot can positively affect your business.
What is a Chatbot?
First of all, what exactly is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a software that you can speak or “chat” with to accomplish a task or for entertainment purposes. The most obvious examples are the virtual assistants often automatically integrated into devices, like iPhone’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.
These devices learn the cadence of our commands and our likes and dislikes, then customize settings for our specific usage.
Beebom.com describes this growth: “Microsoft says that ‘Cortana continually learns about its user’ and that it will eventually develop the ability to anticipate users’ needs. Virtual personal assistants process a huge amount of data from a variety of sources to learn about users and be more effective in helping them organize and track their information.”
Given that information, it’s clear to see that chatbots are powerful tools for users and industries alike.
The Evolution of Cloud Platforms
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a major force that is currently helping guide the direction of cloud computing. While storage, access, collaboration, and security are still the four cornerstones of cloud services, AI is building this platform onward and upwards towards cutting edge innovation.
One of the primary benefits of the cloud is greater ease of use - users can access data anywhere, at any time.
AI shares this principle of ease of use in the form of its offspring, chatbots. Apple’s chatbot Siri has a tagline that exemplifies this goal: “Siri is always with you — waiting to help when you need it.”
But the theory of evolution is only as good as the evidence behind it. In a recent study entitled the How Businesses Use Cloud Computing: 2017 Survey, B2B research firm Clutch found that nearly 1 in 5 businesses using a cloud computing service are using artificial intelligence features.
Almost 20% of U.S. businesses on the cloud use AI - a remarkable number. However, given AI’s capabilities, the number isn’t entirely surprising.
“AI provides a potent platform for analysis and self-learning, while the cloud offers the opportunity for computing on a larger scale than previously possible. Moving forward, the intersection of these two technological fields could play out in powerful ways,” explains Riley Panko, Content Developer and Marketer at Clutch.
The Growing Chatbot Revolution
If this were a book titled The Evolution of Cloud Platforms, then I would have to initiate 2017 as the Chatbot Revolution. Granted, the revolution is still in its infancy stages, but nevertheless, we’re certainly on the cusp of chatbots being incorporated into the average home and smart device usage. Here are some facts to prove this:
The Rise of Chatbots
In 2015, the global chatbot market was said to be worth $113 million worldwide. In 2024, that number is projected to increase to $994.5 million worldwide.
For messaging-based banking bots, chatbots will save banks an average of 70 cents per interaction in 2022.
In 2022, chatbots will save $8 billion in the banking and healthcare sectors combined.
Twenty percent of chatbot interactions in the banking industry will be successful. In 2022, that number is projected to jump to 93%.
Facebook reported at their F8 Conference 2017 that, in just a year, Messenger has grown to support 100,000 developers who have made 100,000 bots. In April 2016, this number was “just” 30,000.
The Demand for Chatbots from Consumers
Nearly half (49%) of customers said they would rather use a messaging application to communicate with a business than a phone call.
More than 60% of consumers believe businesses should be available and responsive through messaging apps.
Over half (51%) of people believe a business should be available 24/7.
Over 45% of people would rather contact a business through messaging than email. Also read: Chatbots Are Getting Smarter with Emotional Intelligence
Chatbots in Real Life
So how are chatbots helping the average business owner in the real world?
The purpose of chatbots is to improve customer service and elevate the customer experience.
Chatbots can offer the best user experience for many tasks such as booking taxis, making restaurant reservations, ordering movie tickets, arranging airline flights, making online purchases and more. Better yet, these types of things can be done on one single platform, since users don’t need to use separate applications for each task.
A good example is Niki.AI, a powerful AI-based shopping assistant. You can schedule your entire vacation or business trip from just one place.
Here are some other real world examples:
Imagine you’re a clothing store owner. You can gather data on your customer’s size, style, budget and shopping habits. When new stock comes in or you have a sales event, you can send customized messages to each individual based on their history.
As a restaurateur, imagine how you can save time and money if you can better anticipate your customers’ needs. Diners can book a reservation, order and pay using a chatbot or they can schedule reminders for special occasions or menu specials to ensure that they come in regularly.
Or what if you want to create a time scheduling app? You can get reminders for appointments and birthdays or anniversaries, order recommended gifts, input addresses into the app for automatic delivery and access an app like Waze to ensure that you get to the meeting or event on time.
The bottom line, as David Marcus, Facebook’s head of Messenger, so succinctly put it is that chatbots are “simplifying the payment and checkout experience in order to reduce the overall friction between wanting something and getting it.” Isn’t that what all businesses should strive for with their technology strategy?
At Intuz, we have the experience and expertise in creating chatbots and we see amazing opportunities arising in the bot development field. Regardless of your industry, we are confident that together we can develop innovative, exciting technology solutions. We can coordinate your cloud solutions, apps, and online marketing to create a scalable, effective online strategy for your business. You already have an incredible business in place. As a team, we can launch it online where the possibilities are endless.