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The future of chatbots and customer service

Have you ever questioned how certain websites can provide a 24/7 live chat or what ‘Brian’ or ‘Stacey’ look like when you connect with them on a live chat service through your favourite clothing website?

The answer is a very clever Artificial Intelligence (AI) system which learns and adapts after every conversation it has, to give the best possible experience and answers as if it were coming from a human. 

A chatbot is far more than a simple messaging service, a chatbot is an artificial intelligence software used by many different industries. It can interact with a user in natural language through several platforms such as websites, messaging applications, apps and also over the phone. The chatbot is one of the most advanced methods of interaction between humans and machines. 

The chatbot works in 2 stages

1. The first task that the chatbot performs is analysing the users request to identify the intent of the user and to extract any other relevant information. Identifying the user's intent is the most important step at the core of the chatbot. If the chatbot is unable to understand what the user wants then it won't be able to provide them with a correct answer. 

2. Its second task is to return a response. Once the chatbot has identified and understood the users request it can then work to give the user the best possible answer. 

With chatbots being an essential service on most websites nowadays and with covid-19 taking people away from brick and mortar retail stores and bringing them online to make their purchases, chatbots allow the businesses to provide that in-person customer experience through a chatbot. Not just through a greeting when they enter the website like you would receive when you are in person but also to provide returning and new customers with special deals or offers.

Chatbots can be easily adapted to different businesses and are perfect because they can interact with customers during the busiest times, cutting customer support costs by up to 30%. The top industries profiting from chatbots are real estate, travel, education, healthcare, and finance. and given its practicality around 80% of businesses will have a form of chat bot by 2020. Social media is also known for its masses of chatbots with facebook having over 300,000 of them on their website. The chatbot market is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 (McKinsey, 2020). 

The future of the chatbots.

As each conversation is had the chatbots will become more human-like. Chatbots will not just be about providing the correct response but also to create a pleasurable customer experience. This will be done with the help of sentiment analysis, it will allow chatbots to understand whether the conversation is going well and respond to the customers emotions accordingly.

Chatbots record all conversation which is how they can become so human-like.

Then through sentiment analysis the bot can distinguish the annoyed and happy customers, with sentient analysis it allows chatbots to modify their responses depending on the user, but of course there are always customers that are not quite satisfied and become angry. These specific customers are often routed to a specialized team to provide personalized customer service. 

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