Since the fast development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the 4.0 digital age, a lot of innovations are invented based on this and have actively supported the customer service of many business enterprises. This trend is surprisingly increasing because most people believe there’s no way that they could talk to inanimate objects in a serious manner. But now with the help of AI technology, that “sci-fi cautionary tale” has become the truth when people can communicate and get advice directly from the automatic software, such as chatbots, on their electronic devices. Today, let’s find out about chatbots and their best practices in boosting sales revenue, which are used mostly by ecommerce companies on their online platforms.
Chatbot is defined as “a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet”. This AI-based technology will retrieve the appropriate answer from its database and provide to the customers, based on the keywords it received in the questions. Interestingly, many people find difficulties in distinguishing AI technology and robotics; they believe that robotics is a subset of artificial intelligence. This misunderstanding may come from the overlap between them: Artificially Intelligent Robots. In fact, if we use Venn diagram to illustrate these two concepts, Artificially Intelligent Robots will be the intersection of the two diagrams (picture 1). According to Alex Owen-Hill, robotics are “programmable machines which carry out a series of actions autonomously or semi-autonomously”, while AI looks more human-being when completing tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence.
Picture 1. The Venn diagram illustrating Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
Chatbots have no longer been outsiders but officially joined the business game as supportive players for ecommerce companies. The software has helped the companies in terms of saving time and improving customer service, hence will automatically increase customer’s loyalty and advocacy. Firstly, the companies can definitely avoid “routine tasks and simultaneous processing of multiple requests from users”. Instead of repeatedly answering the same type of questions throughout eight hours per day, companies now can let chatbots take over that job and let your employees do other tasks that require more professional skills and high flexibility. This will not only help the enterprises save time but also human resources to use them more profitably and efficiently. It is estimated that by 2022, “chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum, especially in the banking and healthcare industries”.
Secondly, not only companies but also customers receive benefits and are interested more in this technology. Many famous companies from different working fields such as Uber, Spotify, The Wall Street Journal and Pizza Hut have implemented chatbots to maximize their customer service performance. With the help of chatbot, customers can easily catch up with the latest trends that aren’t even published on the news, select the personalized options that best fit in with their demands on that day and get the most detail and exact response that retrieved from large databases with only a few taps. Petter Bae Brandtzaeg and his partner have presented at the 4th International Conference on Internet Science in November 2017 about three main reasons that people prefer using chatbots during their customer journeys:
With the help of artificial intelligence, chatbots provide accurate and full answers for the customers instantly, regardless of day and night time. By this way, the companies can quickly response to their customers’ concern on social media, which is exactly what they expect at an ecommerce company. In addition, chatbots will give advices based on the customer data, which have been saved from previous conversations, so that the customers don’t have to repeat their personal information and interests whenever starting a new query with the companies.
This reason is quite interesting as chatbots are used to amuse the audience by giving them funny tips and help them killing time when users have nothing to do. Apart from seeking answers, most people also want to test the “intelligent level”, which is an understandable attitude when the world used to believe that human brains are too complicated to be imitated by any machines, to see if chatbots are intelligent enough to response to easy questions and even complex sentences like human. Companies can use chatbots to increase the interaction and level of interest of the customers with their online platform, hence can enhance the customer loyalty and engagement.
3.Social and relational factors:
Chatbots can fuel conversions and enhance social experience. Talking with a software seems funny (people used to consider someone talking to a machine or software himself is “nonsense”), but now it is more familiar with people as chatbots are acting similarly as human and they may become more intelligent than us in the near future. This technology can also help the customers to feel less lonely during their spare time by being their invisible friends. Invisible friends will bring comfort for the customers to freely express their opinions and feelings without the fear of being judged.
I hope my article will partly help you have a deeper understanding about chatbots as well as how to use this technology to maximize the business performance of ecommerce companies. If you have other ideas or opinions, feel free to leave your comments and we can talk more about this. Wish you have a good day!