Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Focusing on the Value of Chatbots at ITEXPO

February 14, 2018

Chatbots are rapidly expanding across the business communications landscape, as consumer demand grows for fast and efficient customer service interactions. According to Hubspot, 55 percent of consumers are now interested in interacting with business messaging apps when solving problems.

Many business leaders, however, are still in the dark about this game-changing technology that enables self-service and reduces wait times. So today at ITEXPO, industry analyst Jon Arnold led an informative panel titled “Making Chatbots Your Most Valuable Assets” to help spread awareness about why businesses should be using them.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from this panel — which featured Chiirp Co-Founder Mallesh Murugesan, RingCentral VP of Platform David Lee and neXt Curve Principal Analyst and Consultant Akshay Sharma — is that there is a great deal of value in chatbots apart from their role in facilitating efficient self-service. They also provide a wealth of data about the customer experience, which most businesses are failing to extract from their voice services. Most calls, in other words, are stored and analyzed for training purposes only. But using chatbots, businesses can easily sort through interactions and use the data to create better experiences.

Many organizations are also using chatbots to sort through large pools of information quickly and easily. A process that used to require setting filters and digging through information can now be expedited using this technology. For instance, you can use a chatbot to rapidly procure information about sales during a specific time period.

Another point that came up during the panel involved consumer perception of chatbots. Do customers actually like using them? We’ve all pounded the 0 button to bypass an IVR system, for instance, to bypass an automated attendant and skip to a human operator. Sometimes, you just want to speak to a human. Right now, chatbots still aren’t sophisticated enough to carry on highly advanced conversations that require empathy and creativity. The thing is, it may not matter all that much. Hubspot found, for instance, that 48 percent of consumers prefer a chatbot that solves issues versus one that has a personality. In most use cases, functionality is more important.

To that point, the panel  also explored the role that artificial intelligence (AI) is playing in the chatbot space. Businesses should take note that not all chatbots require AI. At the end of the day, the goal when using chatbots is to enable automation and reduce complex tasks. Some use cases call for AI, while others can be much simpler.

Businesses are encouraged to focus on their core needs, and to think about what it is they want to improve before getting started with chatbots. Then, look for a solution that can help you achieve your specific goal. For some businesses, it may be simply cost reduction in the contact center. For others, it may be a way to increase   internal productivity.

One thing is clear: Chatbots are here to stay, and over the next few years you will see more and more organizations use them to improve their operations.

The great part is that it’s only Wednesday, and discussions like this are just starting to kick into gear. So if you’re in South Florida, head to Ft. Lauderdale and learn what your business needs to do to remain on the cutting edge of digital transformation.

To register, click here

Edited by Mandi Nowitz