Artificial Intelligence, Real Rewards: How Brands Are Leveraging Chatbots & Machine Learning To Streamline The Customer Experience

Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder & CEO, HaptikHaptik is one of world's largest Conversational AI platforms specializing in products such as Support bot, Lead bot, Feedback bot, Engage Bot, and many more which helps customers, publishers, and enterprises to build applications.

Conversing with today's intuitive & intelligent chatbots is an awesome and a bit surreal experience. Talking on anything about the latest business products to greek philosophy with a tool that has the listening skills of a human and the processing power of a computer can after all be a bit over whelming. At their simplest, new age chatbots are digital assistants delivering certain expected outcomes through a conversational interface. At their most complex, chatbots are artificial intelligence-powered tool that help brands undertake highly personalised, and scalable, marketing activities in order to complement their always on strategy. And they have already set the wheels of transformation in marketing and customer service in motion.

Chatbots Can Build Stronger Customer Relationships for the Brand

Since 2015, the chatbot market has seen an explosive growth at a CAGR of 35 percent, with over 80 percent businesses expected to develop their own chatbots by 2021. In fact, bots have already brought an estimated $8 billion in annual savings to businesses worldwide. To top it all, even a conservative valuation of the bot industry pegs it to be a $3 billion market within the next three years.

Within a span of five years, AI and machine learning have moved from the domain of academic research to being applied in mainstream business and marketing communication. AI has brought the most dramatic transformation to businesses, as chatbots have proven themselves as effective channels through which they can serve their customers. Some chatbots that are live today are so ingeniously built that customers can't tell whether they are interacting with a human or a computer. So penetrative and impactful have been the kind of customer experience delivered by chatbots that they have become a benchmark for consumers to evaluate how efficient other brands are in their communication. They have combined nononsense, utility focused conversation and gently combined it with an ideal level of personality and spunk to create a software that can keep the art of conversations alive.

Instant information dissemination, highly personalized manner of communication, round the clock accessibility and a bit of humour have made chatbots the preferred medium of contact for new age consumers. However, the current form in which chatbots exist is just the tip of the iceberg. Newage technological processes, such as Natural Language Processing (NLP)
and Machine Learning (ML)capabilities, in chatbots ensure that they constantly and quickly learn from the humans they interact with, and deliver better results in a seamless manner over time.

Technologies like data analytics and machine learning have the potential to eliminate the blind spots that have existed, inefficiently identifying customer requirement and fulfilling them

From doling out tone deaf, robotic responses to customers' questions, to being intelligent conversational programs that can identify the content and context of what the customer is saying and act on their request. This balance between AI and human interaction is what makes a well oiled customer relationship management machine.

No More Assuming What the Customer Needs

What chatbots driven by AI &ML do best is collect customer data from previous interactions and multiple applications they are linked to. They combine all of this information, process it and reply in a manner that makes their responses more authentic much like a human agent. From the entrepreneur's perspective, access to large amounts of customer data means that businesses are no longer left fumbling in the dark trying to uncover what it is that customers want. Since, AI allows conversational data to be accessed from various sources to match the outcome with the user's intent, the more advanced ML driven chatbots canquickly navigate between listening, understanding, and action, with each customer query that they encounter. Data analysis, predictive analytics, and pattern recognition these are three pillars on which the success of AI and chatbots hinges. One of the biggest benefits of AI is that it learns through experience, which effectively means that continuous interaction enhances its capacity of processing data at a considerable pace. While earlier, computers needed programming to react to certain situations, with machine learning, it just needs data feeding, and that is the essential difference.

Furthermore, messaging applications help bots find solutions to customers' queries irrespective of their location, or the device they are using. With a chatbot, you don't have to waste your time filling never ending forms, or have your inbox bombarded with e-mails every time you search for something online or access content. Hence, you could say that a chatbot application harmonises the three key elements of marketing communication, service, and transaction onto a single convenient interface that actually provides customers what they want instead of frustrating them with counter questions. If you've ever talked to a customer service representative from your home internet service provider, you'll know what I'm talking about.

For instance, Dell, one of the largest technology companies in the world, successfully enhanced its business performance and customer satisfaction by recently introducing an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) on to complement its live chat channel to help with customer self service. In only three months, conversations on both live chat and the IVA increased by 61 percent. Simultaneously, the company's live chat costs decreased by 27 percent, with the IVA effectively assisting more customers and closing queries at a much greater rate than it did with just live agents. Considering the efficiency displayed by chatbots at optimizing the business ecosphere, even government agencies across the world, including India are implementing them to further strengthen their social initiatives. From healthcare to ticket booking, security for the elderly or even psychological counseling, chatbots are being utilized in areas hitherto unthought of.

Technologies like data analytics and machine learning have the potential to eliminate the blind spots that have existed, inefficiently identifying customer requirement and fulfilling them. By using these technologies effectively, more & more brands and businesses are transitioning from a reactive to a proactive approach to delivering superior customer service and driving positive customer experiences. If they can do this strategically, brands and businesses can benefit from conversational AI tools like chatbots not just to automate marketing and business processes, but ultimately do what every business in today's day and age seeks to do: offer an unparalleled experience to the end user.