A report published this month by Juniper Research has revealed that operational cost savings from using chatbots in banking will reach $7.3 billion globally by 2023, representing a saving of 862 million hours, around half a million working years. It’s the latest in a long line of findings reinforcing the commercial virtues of the “bot”.
Business across the globe, large and small, are increasingly turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support their Customer Relationship Management. automate functions and improve services for the customer.
AI in its many forms enables customer services teams to do more by assisting with automated functions, classifying cases, resolving issues of confidentiality, routing enquiries to relevant teams, delivering knowledge, supporting elevated CRM data, collecting marketing data and supporting scheduling and routing.
In our mobile first world, we have come to expect ongoing and instant access to information and all manner of services, on demand and around the clock. And while research suggests that most of us prefer to speak with a real person, simple and speedy delivery of a solution is the most important criteria for customer satisfaction.
That has resulted in increased engagement with customers, through bots or beings and changing the face of customer relationships. Businesses which are behind the curve will be at a massive disadvantage unless they embrace this technology - and quickly.
The “rise of the bots” is heralded by some as a positive revolution and by others as an invasive threat. Nowhere is this more evident that the love-hate relationship we have with Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. But whether we like them or not, the bots are here to stay.
The bot revolution is underway. We need to embrace it and quickly. We shouldn’t view it as a threat – instead harness it for your teams and to benefit your business. Improve productivity and efficiency, make cost savings and use your non-bot teams for the vast array of things technology just can’t deliver on.
Research by PwC showed 34% of business executives believed that using chatbots eased their workload and time invested in resolving client issues, leaving them to focus on other areas of their business. Ironically, 90% of employees don’t trust artificial intelligence to be able to respond to change in the workplace - but what about their own openness to the introduction of AI?
It’s not only customer service which can benefit from AI technology. The bottom line sales function can be impacted positively as well. HubSpot recently undertook a research initiative using Facebook Messenger to drive and convert leads to an event. The result was nearly 500% reduction in lead cost, and 242% increase in opens, followed by a 619 per cent increase to their click through rate.
Like most new technology, it will take a while for AI to be widely embraced. But it will work best when it complements our human traits. If we were to look at Artificial Intelligence as a person, we’d need to play to its strengths and weaknesses in order for it to work in existing team dynamics.
If utilised effectively, AI could enhance great teamwork – and in the same way it could jeopardise an already dysfunctional team, just like any person could. In other words, your ability to master teamwork will reveal whether you’re able to make AI work for your business or not.
Written by Simon Wood from Clearvision