Chatbots are being built! What does this mean for your business?
Communication is an essential part of any business, in any industry, however, it does require a lot of resources to maintain a high level of communication. This is where chatbots could play a role in your business. Of course, I am not saying you should replace human interaction completely. Chatbots can be very useful in many circumstances in which a direct human to human relation is not necessarily needed. Current technology and the improvements which are also expected to come will allow us to develop chatbots which are increasingly intelligent and intuitive. It will be harder and harder to tell the difference between a real person and a computer program which mimics the communication behavior of a person.
Chatbots and their usefulness
Despite the controversy surrounding giving machines properties which make them human-like, there are a lot of businesses out there which have a lot to gain from new and improved chatbots being released. For big companies, dealing with millions of customers has become a real struggle. I have seen this first hand in a previous role. They invest more and more in recruitment only to see them leave after just a couple of months in the job. Operating call centers, managing online shops and other activities in that requires large quantities of communication on a daily basis, are quite stressful. Judging from the fact that people are very different and that their approach to communication is equally varied, maintaining the same level of focus and the same commitment is both difficult and challenging. Fortunately, machines have no emotions and they will never develop anger or impatience while interacting with someone new.
For smaller businesses, chatbots give you the opportunity to free up some already scarce time and resources. It also allows you to provide more value to your customers by sustainably increasing your communication touch points. Imagine giving your customer a human-like interaction where they can ask about your product or service without you personally having to be involved. Chatbots are not only ways to minimize or eliminate jobs which offer limited satisfaction for the employee, but ways to increase the efficiency of a business, and give it a competitive edge.
Getting close to human-like interaction
Chatbots are still far from what our imagination is able to produce. Nevertheless, the technology exists to make significant improvements. The aim for developers at the moment is to decipher the profound layers of complexity which are found inside the genuine human language which they are making progress with. The responses some chatbots currently give range from being completely human to being extremely funny. Although they are improving, most chatbots tend to be at the level of a foreign student that grasps English well, but misinterprets some of the context. Basically, the message is there, but the lack of fluency and flexibility is impossible to hide.
Chatbots will be part of everyday life
There is a large number of ways in which chatbots can improve our lives. Not only businesses take advantage from these new speaking companions which are making their entrance into our reality. They can be seen as an obvious evolution of the online environment, which takes more and more tasks from our shoulders and gives them to intelligent machines. The use of chatbots ranges from the practical to the entertainment side. Applications which offer casual conversations with automated speakers are very popular inside the generation which grew together with technology.
From a business perspective, chatbots and other automated equivalents of or human capabilities act as the perfect employees. They operate on minimum resources, don’t require free time or holidays, are completely docile, and limit the degree of human emotions invested. When the technology of chatbots will mature well enough, there will be no doubt that there will be no room for turning back. People will continue to keep the jobs which involve decision making, which is still far from being broke down into computer code.