Chatbots in 2019 – 5 trends!
New year, new opportunities, a fresh start. In the field of technology we have made major steps in the past year. Where we said last year that 2018 was going to be the year of the chatbots, we see that more and more organizations have started with new applications this past year. According to Gartner’s forecast, by 2020 organizations will succeed in capturing 85% of customer contact with technology. So there is work to be done! What trends can we expect in 2019 in the field of chatbots and Artificial Intelligence?
Higher and broader adoption of chatbots
The application of bots will become much broader in 2019. Smart technology ensures that a chatbot can do more and more and therefore better recognize the question and intention of the customer. In addition, the adoption of chatbots will increase.
“Technology is easily accessible to everyone, including SMEs. If we have to believe Gartner’s figures, we will see many more successful chatbot applications in practice in the coming years,” says Alexander de Ruiter, CEO of OBI4wan.
Customer service the largest domain for chatbots
Customer Service is an area where chatbots are able to make a difference. In recent years we have seen successful applications that show that chatbots are capable of getting a customer started or even handling complete cases. According to Gartner, the service domain will continue to dominate in the coming years. In 34% of the cases chatbots will be used in the Customer Engagement domain.
Technology comes into the hands of organizations
In the coming year technology for developing bots will be more in the hands of organizations themselves. Within organizations, departments or employees are responsible for the bots. Organizations often have multiple bots that function side by side. The technology to develop bots is no longer just for developers, but also for the people who work with the chatbots.
“Within an organization there are people who have a lot of knowledge of processes. These people often train other people to become service agents. But why not use these trainers to also train the chatbots?”, says Chief Innovation Officer, Frank Smit.
In addition, large platforms make it increasingly accessible to develop and implement bot applications themselves. Hubspot, for example, makes it possible to implement a bot that offers a whitepaper on certain pages on your website. This bot also supports other departments, such as marketing and sales.
The role of service changes
Organizations have to deal with many different channels, which are important at different points within the customer journey. Websites and reviews are consulted in the consideration for a purchase and social media channels, e-mail and telephone are used to ask questions.
Ideally, you want your AI chatbot to offer a uniform solution across all these channels. That they have an answer to as many questions and situations as possible. But when there is no answer, the chatbot seamlessly switches to an employee. As a result, it happens that the deployment of service employees will also take place during the orientation phase. This makes service much more proactive and gives it a place within the organisation that can also generate money.
Bots talking to bots
Bots will not only provide more service through direct contact with the consumer, but also through contact with other bots or systems. Where we used to have an explosion of contact channels, we are now going to provide service via one channel: via a bot. How useful is it if we can not only make a purchase via a bot, but also receive the confirmation of the purchase via the same bot and can consult the delivery time of the purchase with the delivery driver?
“Instead of multiple channels, in the future we will offer consumers multiple bots that work together seamlessly,” says Frank Smit.
Ultimately, in the future, we are going to ensure that a bot knows what activity should take place, without the intervention of a human being. Think of requesting information about a non-delivered order. Systems will communicate much more with each other.
Voice in attendance
With the arrival of voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa, it will become increasingly common in the coming year to also use voice for service. For example, we are already seeing the first applications within the supermarket sector, where voice assistants help answer questions about delivery times and offers. Or in the energy sector, where the voice assistant communicates with the smart thermostat or answers questions about solar panels.
The rise of voice is already having an effect on organisations. Are you aware of the latest developments in the field of Voice Search and what this means for your content strategy, for example?
2019 brings enough trends to get started. Which trends are you already working on? Let us know!