As technology advances so does its effect on the business world. Amazon is now testing out drones for delivery, while others have looked into staffless shops. These improvements have the potential to increase the productivity of the business and the customer satisfaction. One area that is generating a range of positive responses is the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots.

The word ‘chatbot’ is probably a term you’ve heard thrown around a lot, and usually from science fiction media. Essentially, AI chatbots are programs that are created to emulate human interactions and speech. They can carry out basic tasks in order to facilitate a person’s needs and requests in a cost-saving way.

By also implementing machine learning, a chatbot is able to learn from interactions with people and create more sophisticated responses and dialogues. These systems are the future for a range of industries, but they will never replace humans in the workplace. In fact, chatbots and employees can go hand in hand to improve a business for the better.

Related: Increasing customer engagement through chatbots

The increase of contact volume

Companies that deal with high levels of customer interaction, such as call centers and sales departments, are often bogged down by needless queries. These questions can range from a customer wanting to check their bank balance to enquiring as to what time a store closes for the day. For human operators, this leads to a lot of time that can be better spent elsewhere and improve customer satisfaction.

By implementing AI chatbots, businesses are able to reduce the number of simplistic queries that consultants need to attend to. The chatbot will first try to help the customer by looking at the most common queries and problems. If it is unable to facilitate the client, it will then allocate them to a human representative to handle the more complex tasks. This ‘first line of defense’ allows the company to handle far more queries than it would without an AI chatbot, which is a cost-saving measure.

Related: Chatbots are cutting call center costs

Reach more digital channels using chatbots

There are a large number of social and contact channels that companies can utilize, including Twitter and Facebook. Gone are the days of calling up a business to ask a question. Unfortunately, these lines of communication can take a significant amount of employee time to monitor and can lead to a drop in customer satisfaction.

Chatbots can be implemented to speak to clients through all of these platforms and systems. Not only does that remove the strain on agents, but allows the company to offer contact support through a wide range of channels.

As a cost-saving feature, companies will not need to build their own platform to use the chatbot’s functionality. A good example of this is Dominos Pizza, which allows customers to order through Facebook chat.

Humans and chatbots work hand-in-hand

The utilization of chatbots creates an easier working environment for human employees. Before an agent needs to speak to a customer, the chatbot has already tried to assist and collected all of the necessary information on the problem. By the time it passes the customer to the agent, the agent will have all of the information they require. This creates an ideal solution as the agent can then concentrate on assisting the customer to the best of their ability.

The information collected by the chatbot can further be used for analytical purposes to give the agents and company insights into customer behavior. For example, if the business launches a new campaign in a series with a coupon code, the AI will be able to state how long it took for a customer to ask about the code and where they are having difficulties. This can then be used to augment or improve on the next campaign affordably.

Using AI chatbots in your business isn’t just about attending to your employees and soaking up query handling times. These systems can be used to save money. Have a look at our article on how artificial intelligence applications increase profits, which touches on virtual workforces and downtime.

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