Talking about consumer application of AI, chatbots are expected to lead in the next 5 years. Or maybe even less than that. Companies like IBM, Gartner, Microsoft, etc., are actively discussing chatbots. IBM is focusing on features like Conversation Service, which is built on a neural network and it understands the language as well as the intent of the conversation. Basically, making chatbot conversations more meaningful and the lives of customers easy. In the end, businesses are increasingly making profits over this, aren’t they?
There has been a tremendous amount of debate over the usefulness and success of chatbots but Oracle suggests that by 2020, more than 80% businesses would want a chatbot and they are going to help cut business costs by $8 billion by the year 2022.
Here in this blog I want to discuss the 3 interesting chatbot features that have been there around us for a long time but only in theory. Advances in artificial intelligence has given the necessary push to begin implementing these features in 2019-
Intelligent conversational chatbots that are meant to talk. Not just solve problems.
The other day my friend was trying to convince Siri to send me a text message asking what I am up to over the weekend. I’ll give myself a pseudonym. Jane. The conversation went something like this.
Friend: Hey Siri. Ask Jane, what is she up to over the weekend?
Siri: Sure, do you want me to send her a message?
F: Yeah, WhatsApp her
S: Okay, preparing your message to be sent.
Message ready to be sent: Jane, what is she up to over the weekend?
Definitely there is a grammatical error in the message and that’s completely alright. Correcting grammar is not our main focus every time. But in this case, the entire context of the message is twisted, hence, defeating the intent as well as the purpose of reaching out to someone.
And guess what. 71% smart-speaker owners have suggested that they use the device at least once daily, while 44% said that they used them multiple times in a day. So, in 2019, we are going to witness an exponential increase in AI-based interactions, be it with smart-speaker devices like Alexa and Siri or with interactive chatbots.
Now imagine how frustrating it would be for a customer
Or a new user, if they want to simply have a conversation with the chatbot but all it does is take each and every literally? Chatbots can be much smarter than that. They have, in fact, been designed to be much smarter than that. They must be built to have a conversation with humans and not merely be there on-call for problem solving. If the preliminary talk is handled with efficiency then there are very minimum chances that a problem will arise at all.
We have advanced in the field of NLU and NLP. Now it’s time to tap the potential of NLG. Deep learning, contextual and intent understanding, summarisation, translation, sentiment analysis, etc., have contributed a lot to making the customer-chatbot interaction better. Chatbots are going to be our guides, our concierge, 24X7 assistants. They are going to be booking our flights, scheduling our meetings and appointments, sending us tips and reminders. For businesses, they are going to be generating and managing leads and timely following up with them.
For this kind of a continuous support to be fully functional at all times, there must be no language barriers. A more advanced feature would be to add a multilingual platform along with contextual, RTL and more, which Engati readily provides to users who upgrade their plan. It is easy to instal and convenient to use. Users can explore the features as much as they want to bring more impact to their business in terms of ROI.
Gamified chatbots that are engaging and fun. Chatbots you want to socialise with.
Whether you organise a gaming event for school students or for the employees of an organisation, it takes equal amount of effort because everyone gets naturally excited about games, irrespective how old they are.
Not to forget, the very reason why we enjoyed our time staying out of classrooms and running around on the ground as children is because sports give us freedom to think and act. While we are focusing on the game, the team, our individual performance, we constantly have a sense of liberty. As a result, there are no short strings or constraints.
Therefore, gamified chatbots are great to interact with and they give ample opportunity to the customers to explore the platform. Businesses can create multiple levels for the users as a source of motivation and give them credits as a sign of accomplishment.
With this in mind..
The planning of gamification must be such that the purpose of creating it is clear. For example, I was reading this article on Medium that talks about 3 types of chatbots. The article compares them to 3 different types of games and asks the user.
“Do you want to create a Plinkobot or a 3rdPlaceBot?”
If you want users to jump from one piece of information to the other as fast as possible so that they can leave the platform early, then you are looking for a Plinkobot. But if you are willing to wait and let the user take as much time as they want to look around and pick their top choices, then you are definitely looking for a 3rdPlaceBot.
And don’t worry if your chatbot platform has been designed to work as a Plinkobot but your competitor is focusing on 3rdPlaceBot. Both the businesses may be targeting the same audience by offering similar products but do enough research beforehand to take the final call. Data is key and can give surprising results when you least expect it. It’s one of the most significant features of data.
A chatbot with a personality that can revolutionise the human-machine interaction
Studies have shown that millennials are open to and more comfortable interacting with chatbots that can give them quick, real-time and sustainable solutions. So, there’s no doubt that chatbots are going to be THE future. What we need now is a personality for the chatbot.
It gives an identity to your chatbot
How would you like your chatbot to delight your customers? Would you like to create a light, humorous environment or keep it strictly professional? That’s entirely your decision to make. And that’s exactly how your customers will remember you because they will have an identity in their mind. They will be able to anticipate the discourse of the conversation and still be humoured with surprises and newness.
This identity becomes your brand
We are familiar with that customer loyalty is. If a customer likes a brand then they prefer to stick to the brand rather than trust another one. If the brand becomes more expensive but continuously improves the experience, then there is no way a customer would think about switching brands. Brands ensure customer loyalty through personalisation and therefore, brand identity is key.
You can choose a suitable personality for your chatbot as long as you train it to be helpful.
That’s the one and only job that a chatbot actually has. In fact, the technology can cater to someone as young as a 14 year old. A school kid in the US built a bot for himself because he kept forgetting to complete his homework. No amount of paper-based reminders were helping him so he built a bot on Messenger (for free). He trained it in a way that sent him reminders with such intelligence that caught his attention just at the right time. (Guess ‘the perfect timing’ is so important after all?)
There was a need and then there was a solution. There was a solution and there were ways to optimise it further. That’s basically how technology works and all we have to do is integrate it with personalisation.
Something as important as these features will demand time and effort.
And why not? We are talking about a complete shift of interface and support from human intervention to machine-based. Indeed, chatbots are doing a great job and will continue to do so in the future with better features.
And it’s December now. You know what’s working and what’s not. The things you have achieved and things you need to get better at, the vision that your business rivals are focusing on and the latest AI and tech breakthroughs that you must immediately employ to make your product better. More like, to make the CX better with a better product for which, business chatbots have been rated as the hottest and most popular. Moreover, the priority is to keep improving it and its features.
How are things at Engati?
Even at Engati, our main focus is to make the chatbot platform better and more friendly for the customers so that businesses can benefit from it. The DIY platform ensures creative freedom. While the in-house team of expert developers provide further customisations as per business requirements.