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Chatbot – flash in the pan or great investment for...

Chatbot – flash in the pan or great investment for your company?

Chatbot – flash in the pan or great investment for your company?

Chatbots are meeting the current trends – does it make sense to create one for your company or is it just a short-dated movement?

Eminence will provide you with some in-depth information and reveal some precious insight. 

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence software that can simulate a conversation (or a chat) with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile apps or through the telephone in real time. You are sending a message to the chatbot and immediately you are receiving the answer. No download is required before.

A chatbot is often described as one of the most advanced and promising expressions of interaction between humans and machines. Although, from a technological point of view, a chatbot only represents the natural evolution of a question answering system leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Several Chatbots are compiling user profiles, such as known from the web domain Analytics, to personalize the answers. In addition good Chatbots are adaptive and are presenting an Artificial Intelligence (AI). Thanks to Machine Learning (ML), the answers are getting better and better and it is more and more difficult to recognize, if the communication partner is human or a machine. Chatbots are becoming virtual Assistants and Consultants.

Some examples for Chatbots are;

How a Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are interacting together?

Modern Chatbots are planed and evaluated on the basis of AI, interacting during the whole customer talk, to screen the behaviour of the Chatbot. At the same time complex interface functions are created in the back office application, to identify the caller/client or to identify the status of the order. This component, which is on a basis of AI, is identified as Dialog Management.

Furthermore, projections with Machine Learning such as Deep Learning are applied, as well. The voice-output results either as a playback of the registered announcement or via speech synthesis (Test-To-Speech), which normally can be used for variable contents. According to this, specifics, such as pronunciation and phrasing, can be operated across special commands.

Creating an individual customer experience

With Chatbots you can create a personal user experience. Depending on the question the user is asking, the answer of the Chatbot will turn out differently. In particular Chatbots, which are not working with pre-stipulated rules, but on a basis of artificial Intelligence (AI) are learning something new with each user interaction. This is giving your company the possibility to create for each user an individual experience and at the same time establishing a user-friendly brand image.

An other advantage of a chatbot is the permanent availability. Client focussed companies, such as Swisscom are generating high client expectations. Swisscom is working on a Service bot that should be launched by end of 2018. This Service bot is handling administrative client requests regarding PIN- and PUK-Codes or technical concerns and is also able to execute basic product consulting. As part of an App, the bot is directed to clients who prefer to handle their requests online and at any time.

Can a Chatbot do more than just answering questions?

A Chatbot is not only an interactive alternative for a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). Chatbots can be also used for other communication and organisational tasks.

If Chatbots are used for actions such as booking or reserving a travel for the user, we call it an Action bot. Other examples where an Action bot can be helpful are;

  • As an Assistant for your personal agenda planning
  • To reserve or buy tickets for the cinema or the theatre
  • As a research tool for online-shopping to help to find a specific product
  • As a tool in the client services to treat requests regarding orders and complaints
  • To call up the day to day events, such as weather, news, traffic volume or stock exchange values
  • As a tool for delivery service, for example to order food or flowers by voice command

Interesting areas where Chatbots are used today

Chatbots can be applied in every field when it comes to communication.

They are useful on the website of an online-shop but also as a support page in the Internet. Mobile Apps are using Chatbots for personal services. Chatbots can be also found in social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, where they are called Social Bots. The popular Messenger and Chat Services of Facebook, Messenger and Whatsup are also areas of application.

Some interesting examples of Chatbots are;

  • The Chatbot of Twitter is overtaking the services « Quick Replies » und « Welcome Messages ». When you are sending a direct message to a Twitter Account of a company a Chatbot can send a first quick answer and greeting. This could be a good reference for a fast and personalised client service.
  • Mobile Apps such as Quartzand Resi and services like Novi are examples of News Services that are using Chatbots to send their users automatically personalized messages. In addition they are reacting interactively to questions of their users.
  • For Facebook users a Social Bot called JOBmehappy, is helping them to find a suitable job.
  • Last year Swissquote has launched a Chatbot that is able to treat client requests in English, French and German. For the future other languages, in particular Chinese, will be added.
  • Since beginning of 2018 Helvetia Insurances is offering a Chatbot service for their customers. Currently this Chatbot can be reached by using Facebook or Facebook Messenger. Helvetia is checking whether in the future the Chatbot can be also used for other services as well, or for the Helvetia customer portal.
  • Since end of last year Credit Suisse has launched Chatbot Amelia for internal purposes, at the global service desk. Amelia helps employees with day-to-day tech problems.
  • In May 2018, Bank of America had officially introduced Erica an AI-powered virtual assistant for its 25 million mobile customers.
  • Chatbot Edward is available for several Radisson Blu Hotels of the Edwardian Group and helps its guests to order via SMS various hotel services, such as ordering additional towels, information on restaurants or address complaints.

Astonishing Chatbot key figures

The Market for Chatbots is on a constant rise:

  • In 2016, the chatbot market was valued at $703 million. (Marketsandmarkets, 2017)
  • Between 2016 and 2021, we expect the chatbot marketing to grow at a compound rate of 35.2%. (Marketsandmarkets, 2017)
  • $4.5 Billion is expected to be invested in enterprise intelligent assistants by 2021. (Opus Research, 2017)
  • By 2020, over 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbot automation implemented (Business Insider, 2016)
  • By 2022, banks could automate up to 90% of their interactions with Chatbots. (Foye, 2017)
  • 96% of businesses believe Chatbots are here to stay. (Mindbrowser, 2017)

How do I get my own Chatbot?

There are different providers on the market who offers a Chatbot.

For instance Google, Facebook and Microsoft are offering their support for creating a Chatbot. Some other providers or solutions for an own Chatbot are:

An important factor for the installation of a Chatbot is to take in account that it has to fit in the Core Online Strategy of you company. It requires also an effective methodology, organisation and expertise. That’s why, above all the benchmark, Our agency can conduct you to find the best partners, create a favourable method and define the relevant objectives which are required to install successfully your Chatbot.