Complex Made Simple

Chatbots: Are they now on the comeback trail?

Chatbots were the talk of the town, in every town and city. Then they turned silent. Now they have a new story to tell

Many chatbots couldn’t understand enough human language or process enough data to complete complex requests companies promised they could handle Business Insider stated that nearly 80% of the businesses in the world would make use of AI chatbots by 2020 50% of businesses plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps

“Hello (your name), can I help you? Ask me anything!” It’s that friendly chatbot that used to pop up every time we open a new location on the ether.

Still there, less frequent now, and that’s because it failed miserably despite proclaiming it to be the next disruptive technology and further cemented the idea that robots and AI will be permanent staples of our future.

But chatbots are making a comeback, bigly. Fintech, healthcare, and retail more than ever need to free up busy professionals’ time while still offering personalized experiences to their audiences. Bot why?

The emergence of Chatbots

Not many people know that the first chatbot, ELIZA, was created in 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum, a failure but paving the road ahead for the future technology.  

In 2016, chatbots headlined media releases as companies made plans to launch their own chatbots in anticipation of the tsunami demand.

Microsoft had Tay, an AI bot for Twitter. CEO Satya Nadella proclaimed that “bots are the new apps” in March 2016. Amazon made Polly, its text-to-speech service, and Facebook promised developers the ability to harness all aspects of the Messenger platform, including “Bot Engine,” its new natural language tool that developers could use to train their bots. 

VC funding to chatbot startups accelerated, with firms investing approximately $85 million across 30 deals from 2015 to mid-2016.  

This flurry of activity generated a lot of excitement about the technology’s potential. Gartner predicted 80% of all new enterprise applications would be using chatbots by the year 2020, and that by 2021 chatbots would be the “most important platform paradigm” for the enterprise.

Read: Mashreq Bank partners with Avaya and Koopid to create region’s first banking bot

The fall of Chatbots 

But the Tsunami wave subsided rather quickly.

Consumers found that many of the tasks the first chatbots were built to perform — like relaying the news or finding a recipe — took more time when a bot was involved, according to CBinsights.

Also bots regularly needed human assistance to understand commands.  

Building a real “virtual assistant” capable of understanding context and responding to unclear queries proved to be much more challenging than building a simple chatbot.

Many chatbots couldn’t understand enough human language or process enough data to complete the kinds of complex requests companies promised they could handle.

Read: Bots, A.I, VR to create billion-dollar savings in tourism

The re-emergence of chatbots

Business Insider stated that nearly 80% of the businesses in the world would make use of AI chatbots by 2020. This is because, having an AI-based chatbot around, you will help to save your business 30% of the cost.

The latest trends for AI Chatbots for Business show they are turning to be more human-like.

The chatbots using machine learning and Artificial intelligence is growing changing how consumer technology is evolving.

Google is in on the act having already begun the progress of the chatbots for business in the field of consumer technology. 

Smartphone users are now downloading apps that can work as their virtual assistants (VA). These chatbots are now integrating with better technology such as Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa to get people some immediate answers to their problems. 

The chatbot startups 2019 used are not only for consumer use but also a machine to machine talking (M2M). M2M makes it much simpler for us to work daily.  

Chatbots off late are able to perform accurate analysis of the customer base they are serving and consumer data. 

Read: How chatbots are revolutionising the real estate industry

Chatbot use stats

More than 20% of internet users have used chatbots. But, the future of chatbots shows that they are going to increase to 93% by 2021.  

85% of customer interaction will be handled without human agents by 2021.

50% of businesses plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps. 

64% of internet users say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots.

37% of people use a customer service bot to get a quick answer in an emergency.

There were over 300,000 chatbots on Facebook in 2018.

1.4 billion people now use them on a fairly regular basis.

As many as 64% of internet users see round-the-clock support as the biggest benefit, according to the newest chatbot industry statistics provided by Drift.

The real estate industry is the most profitable field for chatbots with more than 28% of real estate business now using them. 

$5 billion will be invested in chatbots by 2021.

Sector use of Chatbots

Fintech: Contract review & bill negotiation

Personal finance: Using chatbots to help people manage their spending.

Commercial Banking: How JP Morgan’s chatbot saves the company 360,000 hours a year.

Healthcare: Patient engagement & telemedicine

Diagnostics: Using chatbots to triage care and reduce the burden on GPs

Patient engagement: Reducing intervention without sacrificing patient satisfaction

Mental health: How CBT chatbots help patients reframe negative thoughts

Sales & CRM: Qualifying leads & answering questions

Sales: Automatic lead qualification makes reps more efficient

Customer Service: Making complex websites easier to navigate

Retail & e-commerce: Convenient shopping & scheduling

Gifts: Increasing conversions by helping customers find gifts faster

Customer journey: Using chat to get people from online to brick-and-mortar

Personalized shopping: How an on-page concierge helps Levi’s sell more jeans

Law: Automating small claims & powering research

Research: How robot lawyer ROSS reduces research time by 30%

Small Claims: Eliminating headaches and improving citizen access to the law