The decade gone by has seen the modern service desk evolve rapidly. Among other technologies, the chatbot has contributed significantly to enhance customer experience. It goes without saying that with the onset of the pandemic, enterprises have accelerated their digital transformation journeys. Versatile technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), sentiment tracking and chatbots have helped them sail the tide. The pandemic posed unique challenges before the world and a majority of the businesses made the transition to the digital. This led to an unprecedented increase in demand for contact centre calls, and customers wanted more personalized experiences, contextual understanding and predicting behaviors.

The pandemic created an urgency for organizations to make AI chatbots a key strategic priority to service both customers and employees, save on costs and ease the load off support agents to make customer interactions more real. A good customer experience has become a crucial element that can boost revenue because a happy customer is one who will become a loyal customer. Be it businesses, small and big, startups, MNCs or entrepreneurs everyone is making chatbots an important part of their business plan.

According to Gartner, AI will be one of the mainstream customer experience investments in the coming years while transiting from customer-based interactions to more real-time engagements. Also, Gartner predicts that about 47% of organizations will be using chatbots for consumer care, and 40% will take the help of virtual assistants.

Let’s uncover a few chatbot trends to keep on your radar this year.

Chatbot trends impacting businesses

1. Chatbots turning into payment option

There may come a time when chatbots for customer service will include payment alternatives. To cite an example, if purchasing an item on an e-commerce website, chatbots may guide through the selection process until the final payment is done. As soon as a user initiates a request, the bot will send an API request and return the payment link to proceed. By connecting the payment infrastructure with a chat or live app, businesses can minimize operational costs and scale operations, too. Such benefits leading to technology integration automating payments will see greater momentum in 2022.

2. Chatbots turning into voice bots

Voice is gradually turning into a mainstream technology, allowing chatbots to overcome the limitations of text commands. With businesses witnessing growth into smaller towns and cities, voice chatbots will help provide seamless and streamlined conversations with customers. Chatbots will facilitate real-time response to queries, thus reducing smartphone dependency, etc.

With greater reliance on text chatbots, voice chatbots will be a game-changer. Technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI have proved to deliver improvements in customer experience. This trend will likely continue and even get enhanced in coming times. Siri, Alexa, and Google are live examples of how voice bots have turned out to be of more help to humans over the years.

The technology used by virtual assistants that use voice capability differs from the technology used for chatbots. Voice bots call for the need to recognize speech and synthesize speech. They also need to understand the speaker’s intent, convert it into text for processing, and then deliver a vocal response back – all in a matter of seconds.

3. Chatbots sound more like a human

With companies rapidly increasing their customer base, the need has arisen to increase the pool of assistants who can provide service to them. The rise of AI-powered chatbots has proved to be a cost-effective system that delivers exceptional customer service as they can be integrated with all the platforms, including SMS, email, and apps. They can also cater to a large volume of queries in real-time.

Implementing technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI have delivered successful results in providing a good chatbot experience for businesses. NLP chatbots have the power to gauge user intent, generate responses, and identify user language. It can learn from past conversations and enhance the ability to provide the right answers.

This trend will continue this year and get more enhanced to behave more human-like. This is a major reason why chatbots will gain more attention in the coming years and behave more like humans. Businesses will develop chatbots that respond to consumer demands or questions based on their emotion as identified by sentiment-reading software.

4. Chatbots with multilingual capability

While conversing with a chatbot, a customer feels delighted if he/she is given a choice to choose the language they are comfortable with to address your query. Implementing such chatbots will get instant positive reaction for businesses that implement them.

Businesses are slowly but gradually understanding the importance of multilingual chatbots to improve their localization efforts and broaden their reach. It plays a major role in eradicating language barriers. With NLP chatbots, businesses can automatically identify the user’s language or even use the IP addresses to identify the geographic locations. This is why it’s expected that businesses will start adopting multilingual AI chatbot capabilities.

5. Services through omnichannel bots

Organizations make use of various platforms to advertise their businesses. If one is using them for customer support, too, expectations are high. Customers generally expect to get in touch with the same customer service representative on any channel. Omnichannel chatbot support can help combine conversations one is having across each messaging app. With ManyChat, conversations can be pooled into a single platform. The built-in CRM shows customer data for each person, including which platforms they’ve communicated through. You can even label the agent who handled a previous request using tags or custom fields.

6. Chatbot for insights and analytics

It has become essential for businesses to monitor data in real-time. With data being collected and analyzed, there’s further scope for it to offer personalization. Here, chatbots will get more conversational with sentiment tracking. Chatbots can help track customer queries, the responses provided, and the requests forwarded to agents. Using this data, businesses can enhance offerings on a real-time basis. With data and learnings, chatbots will be able to identify customer sentiments when they are happy, annoyed or neutral. They can also help businesses strategize their communication accordingly. It would also make the transition from chatbot to live agent seamless, especially in the case of a dissatisfied customer.

Bottom line

Businesses are gradually looking forward to chatbots as providing a seamless customer service experience. A further shift to chatbots is evident with the apps’ market saturating. More than 50% of the enterprises plan to spend more per annum on bots and chatbot implementation instead of traditional mobile app development. The overall market size of the chatbots is expected to go beyond USD1.3 billion by 2024.

Essentially, the future is full of innovative services where businesses aim to create an intranet of chatbots to enhance services and improve customer engagement. Chatbots will grow further and faster with technological advancements and soon present more viable and sustainable business solutions.

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