Possibly one of the few technological milestones that happened quietly and swiftly, bots have swarmed the customer care landscape, injecting innovation. ‘Smart Agents’ are predicted to handle four out of ten mobile interactions by 20201, and a Gartner study predicts that 85% of interactions will happen without a human at the other end2. Surprisingly, this quiet revolution of sorts has been happening on the sidelines of the popularity of apps and is all set to dwarf the success of apps. Three out of ten customers prefer a social media channel to interact with brands3, rather than a voice call. It is this comfort level that has added to the popularity of apps, and bots have gone a step further, bringing in interaction.
No more the Planet of the Apps
Smartphones now increasingly look like a digital library of apps, with overcrowded and overlapping functions in some cases. Apps certainly do make life easier, doing away with complex processes. However, finding the appropriate app from among the collection of apps on a smartphone robs users of the very advantages it is meant to offer. And the best part with bots is the interaction. Chatbots bring interaction to life, mimicking humans with increasingly greater finesse in text exchanges, and the day is not far off when it will be difficult to tell the difference. Customer interaction with customer care through non-voice channels offers customers the advantage of receiving information protected by a digital cloak of privacy.
Communication Platform – the Perfect sidekick to a Smartphone
According to a recent Canalys Report, India has shipped over 40 million smartphones in just the third quarter of 2017 and between July and September 2017 alone, over 39 million smartphones were sold in India. This statistic speaks for itself, on the proliferating use of smartphones in India. And bots are moving in to occupy a position as the perfect foil to the smartphone, the sidekick that handles interactions with speed, in an uncluttered manner with human-like feel. The high speed with which bots retrieve a whole host of information to guide a traveler, help customers onboard a service, assist during insurance claims, or alert an individual with an interest in stocks, makes interaction a lot more interesting and expedited.
Outsmart the Apps in Smartphones
IVRs did make a change in helping organisations to handle incredible volumes of queries at the same time. Chatbots go beyond the ability to handle bandwidths, offering relief from endless waits and the need to move through a maze before accessing/receiving the exact or desired nugget of information. Straight and to the point, bots redefine interactions, and this is precisely the reason for the growing popularity. AI-powered bots possess the computational ability to hold vast amounts of information ready, at the time of interaction. This lends greater value to customers who benefit from the superfast responses that bank on deeply mined and relevant data.
A Bot Ecosystem that rides on the Popularity of messaging Platforms
Messaging platforms have become as important the product itself, as can be seen from the Chinese example. The popularity of WeChat is immense to the extent that businesses reportedly opt for a public account bot on WeChat even before a website is developed4. This is indeed the shape of the future. The strides in the development of bots will only make them a lot smarter in the future, and organizations that grab the opportunity to shift to bots, hold the advantage of getting off the blocks faster and building a strong system for better integration and interaction.