1. Breaking point
In the recent history of computer science, humans have had to develop technical skills and learn new languages in order to communicate with machines. In the coming years, technological evolution will give us the opportunity to interact with computers in an increasingly natural way and similar to human communication.
One of the first evidence of this new trend is the conversational interfaces that are becoming increasingly popular on smartphones and smart objects; we entered the post-UI/pre-Voice era. Human language is the new user interface and chatbots are new applications in the form of virtual assistants. The intelligence behind the conversation is distributed across all interactions.
2. Market scenario
On average, users use 88% of their time on only 5 apps and messaging apps have more users than social networks. 38% of Millennials prefer to use a msg app to contact a brand. We spend an average of 4 hours and 28 minutes every day on the internet, and 2 hours and 30 minutes are dedicated to the use of social platforms. Within a couple of years there will be 3.6 billion people with at least one messaging application installed.
Today companies have the opportunity to interact where users are already active. The two largest messaging platforms worldwide, Messenger and WhatsApp have more than one billion active users each.
3. A new touchpoint
Chatbots and virtual assistants can be considered a new touchpoint with few barriers to entry that allows push/pull communication; a third generation platform, after the web and apps.
Instead of interacting with hundreds of applications or sites, you can access a chat that will act as a catalyst for more actions. Invisible applications will become the norm, just start up your favorite messaging system, connect with the brand chatbot and…. start a conversation.
4. Multimodal interface
The mobile phone is increasingly being used while engaged in other activities and micro-interactions are increasingly fast and frequent. In this context, chatbots are an extremely flexible tool because they are able to use hybrid interaction, type + touch + voice in one channel.
5. Rapidity of development
Developing a chatbot is an average faster and cheaper process than other channels. When delivered through the most popular messaging applications, the chatbot can work on different devices and operating systems.
6. Brand personality
The main focus on chatbots so far has been on how they are able to answer users’ questions, but the great opportunity is also to start or continue a conversation with the customer.
Build the personality of the chatbot, amplifies the level of experience with the brand. Using friendly language helps to develop a familiar environment, but the specific tone of voice must be studied consistently with brand values.
7. Natural Language Processing
NLP algorithms are able to analyze and represent texts in natural language in order to obtain processing of human-like language. Statistical and ontological models are able to identify information according to its meaning. Processing can detect sentiment and prioritize customers who are frustrated or angry.
8. Super personalisation
Chatbots have the ability to learn and improve the quality of conversation and through machine learning algorithms are able to anticipate users’ requests. Through simple questions we can obtain specific information directly from users to generate dynamic segments on which to deliver content and customized services.
9. Conversational commerce
Chatbots are about to change the online shopping experience, making it even simpler and more intuitive for the customer, who can communicate directly with the brand or the point of sale. Engagement, customer service and social commerce services finally merge into a single channel, opening up new marketing opportunities for companies.
10. The next step
Conversational interfaces will continue to evolve in the coming years and will almost certainly play a role in our future lives. Bidirectional, artificial intelligence-driven conversations will increase the possibilities of providing highly accurate and personalized customer service.
In a few years’ time, all personal and professional communication devices will be connected to several fully synchronized AI Learning Agents running in the background all the time. Virtual assistants will be able to make many decisions on behalf of their users. AI and IoT will bring to life the artificial intelligence of everything (AoE).
I think that chatbots have all the requirements to quickly become mainstream, but in order to make the best use of this tool you need a change of perspective during the design phase. Designers and companies will not only have to duplicate the services offered by other channels, but will have to rethink their logic in a one-to-one way. The real challenge is to build a customer friendly relationship.
Finally, we have a simple tool able to intercept the needs of users and consistently with business objectives to generate personalized services up to the point of dynamically modulating the very basis of the offer tailored to the customer.
Massimo Falvo | CEO Impossible Minds