Tag: AI chatbots

Five ways chatbots can save businesses and customers time and money

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In all likelihood, you’ve used a chatbot before even if you didn’t know it. Chatbots are the new hype in the tech world just as mobile apps were in 2008 and just like mobile apps, it seems chatbots are here to stay. Hundreds of thousands of chatbots have already been developed and deployed across various messaging apps and websites. Chatbots are helping businesses by driving increased sales and reducing the strain and customer support staffs. They’re helping customers by automating customer service and offering a customized online shopping experience. Here’s a more detailed look at how chatbots are helping businesses and customers alike to save time and money.

Chatbots as personal assistants

The average small business doesn’t have room in the budget for personal assistants and many don’t even have office assistants or secretaries. Thanks to chatbots you don’t need to worry about finding more office space or room in the budget for personal assistants. Chatbots can be programmed to work at every employee’s workstation. They can assist in setting up, modifying, or cancelling appointments, they can manage employee’s calendars as well as remind them of upcoming appointments, they can send and receive emails on employees’ behalf and they can connect employees with the appropriate IT or HR staff when needed.

Gathering feedback

Chatbots are excellent tools when it comes to gathering feedback. Helpful feedback is essential for every business and chatbots can aid in gathering feedback both formally and informally. The advantage chatbots have over automated surveys via text is that they can ask follow up questions to better understand customer responses and customer responses don’t have to be limited to numbers on a number scale. Another advantage that chatbots have is they have access to every prior interaction it’s ever had and can access that vast database of information to provide better assistance.

Personalized newsfeeds and reminders

Chatbots that scour the news sites for only the information that’s relevant for the user are hugely popular and are great time savers. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, having a chatbot that can sort through all the news and handpick only stories that you want to see are a huge help.

Automated business processes

Chatbots are great for automating tasks including many business processes. For example, a chatbot can be setup to alert relevant team members when a given task is complete. It could be set up to ask frequently asked questions posed by either employees or customers. Chatbots can facilitate better communication between departments and can even automate a lot of customer service by asking for identifying information, pulling up accounts, determining the nature of the customer’s problem, and routing them to the support staff member that’s best equipped to provide assistance for that customer.

Knowing what customers think

Thanks to machine learning and natural language processing, chatbots are better than any employee can ever be at offering a customized experienced for every customer. With each successive interaction with the same customer, it can get better and better and knowing what the customer is thinking and it can make suggestions and upsell to customers when they think they’ll be receptive to it.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur.com/article/303554#

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Six things your customer service chatbot must be able to do

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Chatbots are in the midst of a huge growth phase. Chatbot programmers and AI researchers are still discovering new ways to use them as well as things they can’t do. Chatbots are already a lot more useful and practical for the average small business than they were even just a year ago. One of the most popular uses is in customer service. If you’re considering developing a chatbot for your business’s customer service needs, here are six things you’ll want your bot to be able to do.

Use natural language processing to understand what people are saying to them

Early chatbots operated very similar to automated phone answering systems–the kind you encounter when you are forced to call a customer service line and listen to a series of options before giving responses. Deviate in any way from the exact wording and the automated system will have no clue what you’re saying. You don’t want your chatbot to operate in this way. Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of artificial intelligence research geared towards creating machines that can understand language so that it isn’t limited to responding to several predetermined questions or requests. Your bot needs NLP if you want customers to be able to speak freely with it.

Respond empathetically

One of the things people don’t like about interacting with chatbots is that they can be cold and impersonal. A live customer service agent can defuse a bad interaction by showing empathy and relating to customers on a personal and emotional level. While chatbots may not be capable of feeling emotions like humans, they can be programmed to use empathetic language which can still have the same calming effect on customers.

Offer a personalized customer service experience

Your chatbot will need to be able to remember second- and third-time users. If your chatbot has access to previous conversations it can recall a person’s preferences and personal information. It can address the customer by name without having to ask for it and can make the customer feel important and appreciated.

Stay consistent in tone and personality

Chatbots are unsettling for many people. A way to reduce the unsettled feeling customers might get is to make sure your bot is consistent in tone and personality. If it fluctuates between friendly and conversational to being very straight-the-point and robotic, people will have trouble getting into the experience of chatting with your chatbot and may prefer to get on the phone instead.

Learn

Your chatbot will make mistakes daily. Don’t worry about creating a perfect chatbot because it’s impossible. The best you can hope for though is a chatbot that grows more accurate with each mistake. Through machine learning, you can feed your chatbot hundreds or thousands of customer service interactions so it can pick up on patterns to better understand what leads to failed and successful interactions.

Ask for help

If people invest several minutes into conversing with your bot only for your bot to get stuck and not be able to help, they then have to get on the phone which is probably what they were trying to avoid in the first place. It defeats the purpose of using a message-based platform in the first place. So if you’re going to invest in a chatbot, make sure your customer service team is equipped with the tools to be able to take over a failed chat session. Make sure your chatbot is able to recognize and admit failure early enough in the process that customers don’t grow frustrated and give up before a live agent can assist them.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: venturebeat. com/2017/09/16/5-small-changes-that-drastically-improve-chatbot-conversations/

Ten uses for chatbots you’re about to see a whole lot more often

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When the idea of chatbots was first envisioned, chatbot programmers and tech bloggers claimed it was going to revolutionize the way brands and customers interacted with each other. Actual growth of the chatbot industry wasn’t able to keep up with the hype leading many to believe that chatbots were just a fad that would soon disappear completely but 2018 is beginning to look like the year that chatbots will really start to live up to the hype. Here’s a look at ten industries that will see a shake-up as a result of chatbots in the coming year.

Customer service

An industry that’s already starting to see an impact as a result of chatbots is going to be further impacted in 2018 as more companies deploy customer service chatbots. These chatbots will handle answering frequently asked questions as well as getting preliminary questions out of the way to get an understanding of the nature of the problem, pulling customer information, and routing them to a chat with a live agent.

Data gathering/analytics

Because short text messages sent over SMS or other messaging platforms are less invasive than phone calls, expect chatbots to be used by companies for the purpose of data gathering whether that’s short cusotmer satisfaction surveys, or requests for information that they need like contact info or demographic info.

Healthcare

Anyone who has ever visited an urgent care clinic or emergency room can attest that wait times are a huge problem in the healthcare industry and treatment is often subpar as doctors and nurses rush from one patient to the next to make sure everyone gets seen. We already know that artificially intelligent computers are more accurate and more efficient when it comes to analyzing scans and detecting diseases. Chatbots will soon be used in the healthcare industry so that people can contact a bot, enter into some back and forth question and answering, and get recommendations on what to do next whether that’s over-the-counter medications/treatments or scheduling an appointment with a specialist.

Personal coach

Personal coaches, whether for health/fitness, finance, or any other area are a prime industry for chatbots since they’re adept at asking questions, recognizing patterns, and forming an understanding of who you are as a person and what your interests and tendencies are. Chatbots can pull from all of this info to customize a plan to help you reach your goals, whatever they are.

Concierge

In the hotel industry, there are many tasks that a chatbot concierge could assist with to free up human concierges to focus on more complex tasks. A chatbot concierge could assist people in booking hotel rooms, finding nearby food options based on people’s preferences, and requesting additional amenities such as extra blankets or pillows.

Sales

Companies are already using chatbots to assist online shoppers by offering product recommendations and assisting with online checkouts. Chatbots will soon be used to follow up with customers who made in-store visits and can provide in-store customers with additional info about products not printed on the label.

Personalized news

Chatbots are already being used by people to get personalized news stories delivered right to them. They can tell the chatbot what topics they’re interested in. But soon personalized news chatbots can be even more helpful. They can deliver local news stories that might be relevant based on your location and can even time the delivery of the news according to your schedule, for instance, waiting until your lunch break or after dinner to deliver the news of the day according to your preference.

Personal assistant

Personal assistant chatbots will be great for internal use within companies to facilitate better collaboration between departments or employees within departments. They can coordinate calendars and set up meetings or reach out to HR or IT for employees when the need arises.

User engagement

Website-specific chatbots are already being used by many companies to help their customers navigate their websites. They initiate a chat session when visitors seem stuck. Expect more companies to utilize these kinds of chatbots. In 2018, the majority of the websites you visit may have a chatbot that is there in the background to help you find what you’re looking for.

Banking

A handful of banks have already deployed chatbots but expect the rest to catch up in 2018. Banking chatbots can tell you your current balance, help you transfer funds between accounts, make bill payments, or set up recurring payments, transfers, or direct deposits without having to visit the bank’s website or open up the bank’s mobile app.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: knowstartup.   com/2017/08/10-amazing-chatbot-applications/

No, chatbots aren’t stealing jobs, but they are making those jobs more enjoyable

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Perhaps the most successful area in AI research currently is chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate a conversation with a human. Through machine learning and natural language processing, these computer programs can understand to a degree what people are saying to them and they can formulate responses that are intelligible and appropriate within the context of the conversation. What makes chatbots such an exciting area of study within artificial intelligence research is that it is a practical area of study and one that already has real-world applications and implications. Businesses are already using chatbots in a number of important ways and one of the biggest uses of chatbots currently is in customer support.

Not everyone is excited at the prospect of chatbots being used in the customer service industry and some are claiming that chatbots will take the jobs of customer service agents. Ironically, these complaints are mostly coming from people who don’t work in the customer service industry. And the majority of those who do (80%) say that they’d welcome chatbots into their customer support team and that chatbots would improve their job satisfaction. For a better understanding of why that’s the case, consider the following points.

Chatbots reduce the mundane

Imagine you work in a customer service on a live chat team. Would you prefer that 90% of the questions you’re asked consist of the same five or six questions or would you prefer to tackle more challenging questions that require you to really exercise your brain to help resolve them? And here’s a follow-up question, would your work day seem faster in the first scenario or the second? If you’re like most people who work in the customer service industry, you’d prefer the second scenario. Assisting in answering the same handful of boring, easy questions day in and day out is mundane. It leads to decreased job satisfaction. Chatbots eliminate this by fielding the easy questions for customer support agents so only the more challenging and unique situations make it through to the human customer support staff.

Chatbots make customers happier

When customers encounter a problem or question, they expect a quick resolution when they turn to the brand’s customer service team for assistance. You can probably imagine quite easily (because it’s happened to you more than once) a situation where you initiate a live chat session with a customer support team and have to wait for several minutes to get beyond the automatically generated message telling your your question has been received. When a live agent does come on to assist you, there are still long gaps between communications because he/she is trying to balance several interactions simultaneously. Your customer service interaction with that agent starts of on the wrong foot and only gets more strained from there. Chatbots eliminate this problem by reducing wait times and freeing up live agents to give more attention to the more difficult situations that chatbots can’t resolve. Customers are happier right at the start because of prompt service and the chances of a successful resolution increase substantially.

Happier customers means happier customer service agents.

We’ve come full circle. Chatbots make employees happier and more productive because they make their jobs less mundane. This in turn makes customers happier because they don’t have to wait as long and they’re dealing with friendlier support staff. And happier customers in turn makes customer service representatives even more effective because they aren’t facing an uphill battle in dealing with an upset customer right from the start.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur.  com/article/299237

Customer service automation through chatbot development

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The recent surge in popularity of chatbots has led to more automation of various fields. One prime target for chatbots is customer service automation. Chatbots are already being deployed that can help consumers shop, book flights, make dinner reservations, and schedule their day, so why not resolve customer service issues? If you’re interested in automating some of your customer service efforts, the following information may be of use.

Chat log history is a must

To be effective, chatbots need to be accurate at recognizing what a customer is asking or trying to do when they initiate a conversation with the bot. They also need to accurately choose the best approach to go about answering the customer’s question, correcting their problem, or directing them to the appropriate live agent who can help them from there. Many companies who are developing chatbots are doing so without the benefit of access to chat log history. Chatbots utilize machine learning to teach themselves to be more accurate over time. Chatbot developers can input dozens of probable scenarios and hundreds of different ways that frequently asked questions might be worded but actual chat log history–real transcripts of actual conversations between customers and live agents or chatbots are going to be the most useful of all. By adding this to a chatbot’s memory bank, it will be more accurate.

There’s no such thing as a perfect algorithm, yet

There are all sorts of different algorithms out there to help chatbots more accurately assist customers. They all have different strengths and weaknesses but none of them are one-size-fits-all. The most advanced chatbots will still make plenty of mistakes because the technology to perfectly replicate live customer service agents simply isn’t there yet. The best you can do is carefully research the various chatbot algorithms that are out there and test them for accuracy according to what kind of chatbot you’re trying to develop. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you in a chatbot when developing it because you can’t have it all.

Recognize the shortcomings

One of the the things that makes chatbot development so difficult is the complexity of writing a program that understands semantic relationships between words. Computers are good at recognizing patterns, word order, and keywords that might clue them in to what a human is asking of them. But they don’t have the common sense knowledge about how the world works that humans do. Even the simplest sentences can be difficult for chatbots because while it can easily access the definition of each word, it can’t take all of them together to understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole. AI researchers are gaining ground on this task but in the meantime, businesses who wish to use chatbots for customer service should have realistic expectations for what chatbots can and can’t do for them.

Chatbots aren’t a replacement for live customer service agents

It goes without saying that a need for live agents still exists and will for some time. Chatbots are best used in conjunction with these live agents. Let chatbots automate answering the simple questions and resolving simpler issues and direct the more difficult ones to the appropriate live agent.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: venturebeat.   com/2017/07/01/the-reality-of-automating-customer-service-chat-with-ai-today

 

SMS Messaging Proving Worthwhile for Daily Life

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Still SMS messaging is one of the most popular means by which people communicate. Billions of text messages are sent on a daily basis. But SMS messages, or text messages, have never gone beyond much more than a means to communicate. When it comes to assisting in other daily activities, most people look beyond text messaging for help. There are apps for people to track how much money they spend, to meal plan and create a grocery list to add items to, and to schedule and track reminders through calendar apps. Text messaging has never been used for those purposes until now.

Yahoo Pushes SMS Messaging Beyond Just Messaging

Yahoo has launched a new SMS-based tool named “Captain.” Captain is an AI chatbot, but rather than used through an app as many AI chatbots are, Captain runs through SMS messages. Captain can handle a variety of tasks, including scheduling, shopping list creation, and more. Send a text to Captain to put a reminder on your calendar. You can even add people to that reminder if it is a group event or activity.

“Yahoo believes the real value of Captain lies with families,” states Venture Beat. Captain allows families to easily and effectively communicate and manage daily activities. Text Captain to add eggs and sugar to the shopping list. Captain will respond that your spouse also added apples to the list. Signing up is simple: text “Hi” to 773-786. By utilizing Captain, you can save space on your phone because you do not have to download five apps to manage your daily tasks. Captain streamlines all of that for you.

A Positive Outlook for SMS Messaging

Yahoo’s new project shows the versatility of SMS-based tools. Whether it is communicating, managing daily tasks, or something yet unforeseen, SMS messaging is proving useful.

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Language Problems? No Problem for AI Chatbots

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Customer service is essential for any business or organization. If a business sells a product, then customers need to be able to contact someone if they have a problem. If a company offers a service, then clients need to be able to contact someone within the company if they have a complaint. Customer service is extremely important; customers need to be able to contact a company when they need help or have concerns, and so companies need to have customer service representatives available to answer the needs of the customer.

The difficult part of customer service is actually communicating to a customer or client. And if you are a company that offers a product or service globally, then your customer service has to be able to handle communicating with people in a variety of languages. Educating existing customer service representatives so they can speak more than one language would be an expensive and time-consuming adventure. Hiring people that speak more than one language can be difficult when your hiring pool does not offer a plethora of bi-lingual candidates.

So is there any way to meet the communication demands of an expanding marketplace with consumers and customers that speak more than one language? AI chatbots are the solution.

AI Chatbots are the Solution for Everything

Chatbots are versatile and flexible enough to meet the demands of most people who use them. In a recent blog post, we discussed how chatbots are, in concept, able to meet every human need. Chatbots are effective tools to help people when it comes to medical needs and advice, therapy and self-awareness development, and even insomnia and loneliness. AI Chatbots are used for all of those needs and more. And while AI chatbots are currently being used to help companies better their customer service reach, recent AI developments are showing that AI customer service is about to get a whole lot better.

AI Chatbots to Solve the Language Barrier

Last year Google announced their new system for machine-assisted language translations. Basically, the system will work to look at a whole sentence, rather than just a phrase, to better the translation. The new system in itself will greatly expand current AI translation abilities and better communication across people who speak different languages.

Not only are AI translations improving, but they are expanding to cover more languages. MSN news reported that Google Translate’s new services take effect for Russian, Hindi, and Vietnamese. Those languages are in addition to the already in place languages: English and French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. According to Google, in the United States, 1,292,448 people speak Vietnamese; 836,171 speak Russian; and 586,173 speak Hindi. That means that millions of more people can be reached through AI translation services.

While this is definitely good news for Google and the people they reach through their various translation services, these changes are good for all AI services. As AI chatbots improve through better programming and better language translation, everyone benefits. More AI chatbots and AI programs will be able to utilize these improved programs.

If your business or organization is still struggling with customer service because of language barriers, take hope in that improvements are happening and those changes will improve your ability to communicate with your customers, whether they speak English or Vietnamese.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: msn.com/en-us/news/technology/google%E2%80%99s-smarter-ai-powered-translation-system-expands-to-more-languages/ar-AAnXEzu?li=AA4Zoy&ocid=spartanntp