A new study by Juniper Research reveals that within two years chatbots can bring about $8 billion worth of savings per annum, up from $20 million in 2017. It is unsurprising therefore, that increasing numbers of brands; from financial services through to the hospitality sector are looking to this form of automation to assist with their customer service. And why not? As it is estimated that call centre queries conform to Pareto’s Principle – in other words 80 per cent of questions cover 20 key themes, ones which once identified can easily be answered by chatbots. Moreover, an added benefit is that chatbots don’t need to eat, sleep or have comfort breaks! And consumers respond well to them. Half of respondents to CGS’s annual Global Consumer Customer Service Report, said they would turn to a chatbot for a quick customer service need. Whilst that still leaves nearly 50 per cent of people that prefer the human touch, considering chatbots have only become mainstream in the last five years (although they have actually been around for over 50 years – the first, called Elizza, being developed by MIT in 1966) shows that the process of diffusion is pretty quick. Already we are seeing the Late Majority join the party, leaving just the Laggards to adopt – probably within another decade.
It is clear from this that real-time customer service is going to increasingly be driven by AI and machine learning, so what does this mean? Ultimately data becomes even more of a priority for a business because the key to a successful chatbot is the data behind it. Imagine, for instance, the power of a restaurant chatbot advising customers on the best time to book a table or for an airline chatbot to predict the likely weather conditions at the destination for the duration of the trip or even a financial services chatbot able to counsel customers on credit responsibility. This becomes a reality only if the foundations are correctly laid. For this it is necessary to bring together multiple datasets; whether internal or external, structured or unstructured, batch or streamed, and stitch them together for the application of AI. American Singer, David Allan Coe was right when he said “It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time”.
If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org