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Chatbots are changing the way brands communicate with their customers

Not that long ago, almost all of the work being done in artificial intelligence was strictly academic. Fast forward to 2017 and AI has moved out of the lab and into our everyday lives. One practical application of artificial intelligence that’s making a real-world impact is the use of chatbots. The chatbot marketplace has grown by 35% in the last two years. Hundreds of thousands of chatbots have already been deployed and more than 80% of businesses say they plan to develop a chatbot in the near future. It’s projected that chatbots will save businesses more than $8 billion.

Unless you’ve been completely avoiding all customer service interactions the past couple of years, it’s likely that you’ve already had a conversation with a chatbot. With such rapid growth, chatbots may be handling the vast majority of customer service inquiries in the near future. Here are just four of the ways chatbots are going to change brand-customer communications moving forward.

Prompter service

On a list of the most frustrating experiences humans have to endure, listening to elevator music with the occasional interjection letting your know that all customer service representatives are currently busy assisting other customers is right up there with fighting LA traffic or getting a papercut on your tongue. Most of the time customers reach out to customer support, they’re already frustrated because they don’t understand something or are dissatisfied with their product or service. That anger is compounded when they have to wait minutes (or even hours) on hold.

Chatbots, unlike humans, are never “too busy helping other customers” because they can simultaneously help as many customers as needed. In many cases, chatbots can satisfactorily resolve customer issues unaided and when a human customer service representative is required, chatbots can transfer customers to the right people, who are free and ready to help thanks to chatbots reducing their workload.

24/7 support for even the smallest companies

Before chatbots, only the larger brands could afford to have a customer support team working through the nights and weekends. Customers with an after-hours concern would have to wait until the following morning and some will have to suffer through the weekend to make it until Monday to get help. Chatbots can at the very least acknowledge the customer’s issue, create a support ticket, and set up a time for a live representative to assist them and may even be able to resolve the customer’s issue completely regardless of what time of the day or night and regardless of what day it is.

Built-in data analytics and pattern recognition

Imagine if your customer support staff could recall perfectly every word of every conversation they ever had. Imagine if they could draw from that vast amount of data on every new customer service interaction to provide better service. Chatbots can do this. Thanks to machine learning, chatbots don’t need to constantly be reprogrammed to improve. They simply need to have access to the relevant data that will help them learn and become better. The more times a chatbot fails, the more it learns to avoid making those same mistakes in the future. It can also pick up on patterns far better than any human and use that pattern recognition to be more accurate at determining the needs of customers.

Customer support optimized for every customer

Since, as was already established, a chatbot can “remember” every interaction perfectly, there’s no reason a chatbot wouldn’t be able to use that information to tailor each experience for each individual customer. Every time the same customer reaches out for support, the chatbot would be able to remember that person and provide an optimized customer service experience which makes that customer feel more appreciated and important.

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Source: inc42. com/resources/chatbots-ai-changing-way-enterprises-communicate-audience/

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