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Are Chatbots the Next Big Thing?

Are Chatbots the Next Big Thing?

Whilst “Chatbot” may be thought by many to be just a new buzzword within the digital technology arena, they are also a very useful business tool that if deployed effectively can make a big difference to your business.

And the term might be fashionable, but these things are not really that new either – the concepts were at least envisaged by Alan Turing in 1950!

We are in an era of contextual keyword recognition. Voice and text systems call upon the same knowledge bases. Alexa, Amazon Echo, Siri and Google Home all use AI and are, in effect, Chatbots.

Whenever new technology is integrated it is of paramount importance to ensure businesses deliver the right customer experience to ensure financial success and long-term brand loyalty and shareholder value.

The world is awash with new technology. Many enterprises are integrating new systems, plan to integrate or have already integrated their data, knowledge base and automated communications into their business strategy. Technology ecosystems are geared up to answer enquiries en-masse using AI (artificial intelligence) and NLP (natural language processing).

Some less advanced businesses are utilising very simple “info-bots”. Usually these are not using true AI; but running simple computer programs which account for misspellings and subsequently draw upon pre-programmed phrases and match answers from knowledge bases.

Once rampant business inefficiencies are discovered there will be a rapid transformation of systems and processes to integrate these bots within ALL business and system processes, from HR systems all the way through internal and external knowledge bases and of course customer enquiries and marketing.

Chatbots come in all shapes and sizes and many leading businesses have begun to dip their toes into the water, some even deeper. Understanding the different shapes and sizes that Chatbots come in – and the ability to fit almost any budget and performance of tasks is becoming a financial necessity.

Communications are transforming fast and this stuff isn’t just a case of us moving into answering simple customer enquiries. Data and Knowledge bases have more and more information and can provide contextual answers instantly via messaging or on a telephone.

Chatbots are now being integrated into the digital ecosystem, they are increasingly empowered with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, ensuring that they can answer questions in the context of the person who asked the question and in the context of the topic and of the receiver of the information.

It is possible to implement Chatbot technology within most businesses to some degree. If you have customers who ask questions and you have data and knowledge bases then in all cases you would benefit from this Chatbot technology.

We are currently looking into the full spectrum of options to implement these disruptive technologies and we are looking into the strengths and weaknesses of the current systems being deployed.

The research that Schooler and Briercliffe Associates are doing into this matter will not only inform the market as to the potential cost savings, rapid business development and customer service improvements by using Chatbots; it will also inform and encourage people to pick the right solutions to suit their business processes and in reaching their future business goals.

Many businesses and I.T. departments don’t know where to start with this – they are lost! “In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king!” a phrase from Erasmus that springs to mind; so currently there are many one-eyed men, but in fact very few have researched all the options and know very little about the way to implement this new technology.

We are currently doing market research in this area, looking at use cases and software providers. It important to embrace these nascent technologies to avoid the negative effects of disruption; it is rapidly becoming an imperative as finances become more and more stretched due to leaner and more agile competitors embracing the Chatbot arms race first.

Correct planning and implementation is imperative for the success of any new technology and with this in mind please feel free to comment or reach out to us to discuss your technology or service if you’re a product or service provider. If you are a user organisation looking to introduce Chatbots into your business we would love to understand what business processes you are looking to improve.

Contact nat@natschooler.com

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