The easy availability of on-demand messaging has led to a paradigm shift in customers’ preference for communication. But maintaining the expected communication with them is not a trivial task. While they expect unforgettable interactions with brands or businesses, responding to them via their preferred channel can be quite challenging. This is where conversational AI plays a vital role by delivering efficient customer interactions and fast responses to their queries.
With the increasing significance of Artificial Intelligence in customer engagement, more businesses are adopting conversational AI. On the one hand, 69% of consumers prefer using chatbots to get instant responses (Source). On the other, the Conversational AI market is expected to reach the mark of US$18.4 billion by 2026. But that’s not all of it.
With AI-based conversational tools providing cost-effective solutions to businesses, a lot more is going on in this industry. Here, we will cover some of the key statistics around conversational AI and trends in the advanced chatbot ecosystem.
What Do the Numbers Say About Conversation AI’s Present and Future?
The contact volumes over different customer communication channels are increasing with time. But, on the other hand, many businesses like yours want to implement cost-cutting measures irrespective of the resulting quality of customer support. Conversational AI, as a leading contact center automation technology, stands at the convergence of these two business sides.
Given below are some research-based statistics providing valuable insights related to the trends in the chatbot industry:
- Adoption of advanced chatbots across banking, retail, and healthcare sectors is expected to result in cost savings of $11 billion in a year by 2023, with over 70% of chatbots being retail-based. It will also drive chatbot eCommerce transactions to $112 billion by 2023 (Juniper Research).
- More than 50% of enterprises spend more amount per annum on chatbots than on traditional mobile apps. Also, chatbots will become the harbinger of AI in different industries. (Gartner)
- Chatbots are expected to trim annual business costs by more than $8 billion by 2022. Also, 75-90% of the queries will be handled by chatbots, resulting in cost savings of $0.70 per interaction (CNBC).
- Conversational chatbots will help businesses in reducing their customer service costs by around 30% (Chatbots Magazine).
Chatbots Trends and Future Outlook
1. Human-like Chatbots
The AI-based chatbot industry is expected to become the driving force for business communications. The Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology used in these bots uses predictive analytics to understand user intent from their conversation or queries raised. However, the rapid rise of chatbots adoption does come with its fair share of challenges, such as:
- Misinterpretation of requests by chatbots as they fail to understand the customer’s intent.
- Failure to answer or solve technical issues .
- Inability of chatbots to understand different accents and cultural dialects in order to pick the user intent from a conversation.
Keeping these challenges and customer expectations in mind, businesses will be more focused on creating and utilizing chatbots that are quite indistinguishable from humans. These efforts are based on a combination of AI, NLP and Machine Learning (ML).
Unlike traditional bots with pre-coded responses, conversational AI bots are designed with the ability to:
- Deliver personalized customer experience
- Boost customer loyalty with your brand
- Influence customers’ perception positively
2. Sentiment Analysis for Chatbot Behavior
With chatbots becoming more advanced and conversational, the next big thing would be to improve the user experience in parallel. This is where sentiment analysis is crucial to train chatbots with human-like capabilities. The core purpose of utilizing a chatbot is not just about quick and instant response delivery but ensuring a delightful customer experience.
Using sentiment analysis, chatbots can be trained to respond to the customer’s emotions while leading the conversation. Here, the collection of customer feedback data can be used for further analysis to obtain deeper customer insights.
With sentiment analysis, chatbots are expected to enhance user experience by:
- Figuring out happy or annoyed customers by reviewing their recorded conversations.
- Modifying the responses to be delivered based on the customer’s view about the business.
- Routing dissatisfied customers to the right team to deliver a personalized, more effective customer support.
3. Increased Use of AI in Contact Centers
Conversation AI chatbots aim at saving costs significantly when organizations upgrade from an existing inefficient IVR system. These advanced bots can handle simple requests, such as balance checks, appointment scheduling, and password change, to name a few without human involvement. Particularly in relation to contact centers, there are several benefits of AI bots, including:
- Reduction of the number of live agents required.
- Improvement in the employee attrition ratio which can be quite high because of the nature of routine calls.
- Cost savings resulting from not requiring 24×7 calling staff.
Beyond the current functionalities supported by AI-based chatbots, they are poised to undergo transformational changes to cater to various core business processes, such as:
- Automated customer support for prompt resolution of simple queries.
- Predicting customer’s intent to adjust the agents.
- Customer information collection to gather points about the context of interactions and offer faster resolution.
4. Rise of Voice bots
With the easy availability of voice-based assistants, it is no surprise that the searches and customer interactions with businesses will be voice-driven. Voice-driven chatbots are gaining popularity amongst the leading organizations because:
- They can engage with customers using automated, intelligence-based communication in place of monotonous text lines.
- They can provide reliable data insights to the customers in real time.
- They allow personalized communication to reduce common problems faced in dealing with the customers.
The best part is – conversational bots are capable of assisting over both text and voice. The current trend of automated customer engagement will continue to rise further in 2022 and encompass different sectors like travel, insurance, and financial services.
Read More: How can Conversational Bots Improve CX?
5. Higher Chatbot Adoption Based on Customer Experience (CX)
A study found that customer experience has overtaken price and product to become the key brand differentiator.
Increased investment in customer experience improvement can help businesses generate higher annual revenues. This is where the best AI chatbot platforms come into the picture to automate different business functions. Whether it is lead generation or capturing customer feedback, these bots can boost the overall experience and are best suited for the target audience that expects an instant response within a few seconds.
Besides this, Conversational AI bots, being in an active state round-the-clock, can engage with customers and handle information-centric queries. This will ultimately reduce support tickets generated. Also, their scalable features ensure that your business continues to grow beyond bounds.
6. Conversation Commerce Driven Messaging Platforms
Conversational commerce, which lies at the intersection of shopping and messaging, is expected to become the next big trend this year and beyond. Currently, this amalgamation allows the customers to get customer support, ask questions, chat with live agents, and make purchase decisions all from within the messaging app. Here, the delivery of customer interaction can be with a human representative, a bot, or a mix of both.
Going ahead, more brands are expected to adopt messaging apps to further boost customer engagement and build a loyal consumer base. By integrating chatbots with messaging apps, businesses can resolve various types of customer service issues, provide product recommendations, and interact with buyers in real time.
7. Payment Automation Using Chatbots
Other than managing campaigns and generating leads, AI chatbots can also be used to automate simple payments, allowing customers to pay directly via live chat. This instant payment process will not only make the customers happy but also improve customer satisfaction. It can be considered the next level of capabilities of bots beyond checking account balances or setting payment alerts.
Keeping in mind the data security aspect, payment automation via bots is in the nascent stage and will catch up soon to build more use cases. Here are some of the benefits of automating payments via AI bots:
- Direct buying from messaging apps integrated with bots without leaving the app for final payment.
- Easy to scale bot-based purchases inside the messaging sequences.
- Cost savings through the addition of another sales channel.
Also Read: Automate Customer Service with Conversational AI
8. Internal Bots for Enterprise Use Cases
Other than handling external customer requests, conversational AI bots can also deliver exceptional business value by streamlining internal workflows for enterprises. Given below are a few use cases of AI bots for different enterprise functions:
– Human Resource
Bots can be used to check the pulse of your employees, complete transactional HR services, and answer basic HR-related questions.
– Internal Helpdesk
With chatbots handling common queries, the IT team can focus more on complex queries raised by the workforce. The bot will also learn how to answer repetitive queries to further improve the response time.
– Employee Onboarding
To onboard employees, chatbots can be used to initiate the interview process by presenting screening questions and capturing the answers. They can also help in sharing company policies with the new hires.
The Way Ahead on Chatbot Trends
Chatbot technology is one of the most innovative solutions for businesses to handle customer interactions and a lot more. The implementation of AI bots in various fields will further increase the benefits for businesses in diverse sectors and make new trends for the time to come.
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