“Hi! If you have any questions, I’m here to help.”
Sound familiar? Chatbots are a type of computer program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and respond to spoken or written language. They can be programmed to reply to simple keywords or intricate conversations about specific issues. Sophisticated chatbots depend on machine learning, which involves:
- A computer program that continuously improves as it is used, and
- Natural language processing (NLP), which helps address the issues of mocking human-generated text and language.
For years, phone calls and face-to-face meetings dominated how we communicated with each other. The Internet boom gave rise to a multitude of new ways to communicate – from email to social media, mobile apps, and online forms.
Chatbots are used in many service industries to answer customers’ questions and help them navigate through a company’s website. They provide a way for customers to further engage with your company. Consumers want more. Chatbots are projected to be a continuing trend in meeting those expectations.
AI technology is constantly developing and progressing, which suggests that chatbots will also be in a constant state of change. New Year’s is right around the corner. As you prepare to move into the new year, recharge on the trends and forecasts about chatbots.
Key Chatbot Statistics to Know in 2021
The surge in on-demand messaging has shifted consumers’ preferences for communication. More industries are integrating chatbots into their business processes. Bots are a critical resource for enhancing the consumer experience and providing excellent customer service. Chatbots are transforming the ways businesses connect with current and prospective customers.
These are statistics for the current chatbot trends in business:
- The finance, healthcare, education, travel, and real estate industries are profiting the most from chatbots.
- 80% of businesses are projected to integrate some form of chatbot system by 2021. (Outgrow, 2018)
- Chatbots can help businesses save as much as 30% of customer support costs. (Invesp, 2017)
- The market value of chatbots was $703 million in 2016. (Outgrow, 2018)
- More than 50% of customers anticipate that businesses are open 24/7. (Oracle, 2016)
- Chatbots are popular among both millennials and baby boomers. (Chatbots Magazine, 2019)
- There are more than 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook. (Venture Beat, 2018)
Statistics about chatbot users
With the technological advances in communication, consumers expect to find information or contact customer service fast and easy. The lack of a prompt response usually causes customers to become frustrated, which could mean you lose a customer. Chatbots are the solution – they can give real-time help, exactly when customers need it. Check out these statistics about chatbot users.
- 69% of consumers prefer chatbots because of their ability to provide quick replies to simple questions. (Chatbots Magazine, 2018).
- 95% of consumers believe that ‘customer service’ will benefit the most from chatbots. (Drift, 2018)
- 56% of consumers prefer to message a business for help rather than call customer support. (Outgrow, 2016)
- 67% of customers globally reported using a chatbot for customer support in the past year. (Invesp, 2017)
- 37% of consumers expect to receive quick responses during emergencies. (Drift, 2018)
- 33% of consumers would like to use chatbots to make reservations, place online orders, and other functions. (Drift, 2018)
Easy communication is at the forefront of the chatbot trend. Chatbots are the technological bridges between businesses and consumers. This can help you provide faster, improved online experiences to your customers.
According to a survey, almost half of the Internet users in the US prefer to receive online support from a living human. A majority of respondents referred to AI-based chatbots as “creepy,” and over half believed that chatbots were ineffective. Internet users reported several chatbot difficulties, including bad suggestions, unhelpful responses, inability to understand accents, and hindered contact with a live representative.
Chatbot trends in 2021
Experts believe that AI will be a major investment in customer experience for a few years. 47% of organizations are expected to implement chatbots for customer support services, and 40% are expected to adopt virtual assistants. Predictions of consumer-based services suggest that chatbots will be programmed to match human behavior, offer similar services, and improve customer service.
Check out the following trends in chatbots for 2021.
Chatbots are expected to become more human.
With a projected worldwide market size of more than $1.3 billion by 2024, chatbots will be a driving force for business communications. (Intellectyx, 2019)
There are four primary challenges that contribute to the skepticism about the usefulness of chatbots:
- Most simply, chatbots cannot execute technical commands that users input.
- Chatbots are unable to process a customer’s intent, leading to misinterpreted requests and responses.
- Chatbots lack conversational intelligence – that is, they often do not process implied nuances of dialogue, which results in inadequate conversation.
- Chatbots are also unable to understanding different accents or cultural meanings to process an accurate response.
With more conversational AI technology, chat bots will be able to: (1) provide customized experiences unique to each customer to build positive relationships; (2) boost customer loyalty, and; (3) improve perceptions to satisfy consumers and gain positive feedback.
Messaging platforms will be a driver for the growth of chatbots.
Platforms equipped with chatbot functions can boost brand awareness, sales/lead generation, marketing engagement, and customer support. (Adweek, 2019)
Expect voice bots to become mainstream.
Messaging platforms that have both voice and text-based programs are becoming the preferred method to engage with businesses. Voice bots also offer an element of personalization that minimizes problems caused by consumers’ requirements. (Accenture, 2017)
Chatbots are having a significant impact on the way businesses connect with their customers, manage their marketing campaigns for lead generation, and automate payments.
67% of millennials in the US reported that they would likely purchase products and services from brands with chatbots. (Chatbot Magazine, 2018)
Chatbots can streamline internal workflows.
They can be used to answer questions, communicate with employees, and finish HR-related transactional functions. They can also assist in the employee onboarding process. Chatbots can field screening questions, record answers, and guide new employees through company policies and protocols. Lastly, chatbots can address common problems, which gives IT service desk agents the opportunity to fix more complicated issues.
AI chatbot trends are positioned to undergo transformational changes that will be implemented across several core business processes.
These processes include:
- Automating business processes
- Predicting consumer behavior
- Recommending products and services
- Streamlining customer support experiences (QATC, 2015)
Customer preferences and experiences will facilitate chatbot use.
Businesses with at least $1 billion in annual revenues can expect to see an increase in average revenue by $823 million over three years.(Temkin, 2018)
Deep use of customer insights will facilitate chatbot behavior.
Without a deeper integration of AI and chatbots, it is difficult to truly envision user behaviors and their experiences. Chatbots can collect, normalize, and aggregate customer feedback data to help train chatbots to have more human-like features.
More than 2 billion messages are exchanged between customers and brands through automated chatbot systems. User data from social media is collected in an unstructured way, which makes utilizing that data difficult.
Integrating AI technology with social media markets can help you understand and follow different sectors of customer behavior, such as time spent online, the purpose of using social media, and preferred social media platforms. AI will help you streamline processes and analyze ample data sets to gain a deeper understanding of user behavior. (Venture Beat, 2017)
Chatbots will be adapted for more consumer applications.
1 in 5 consumers would potentially buy goods and services from chatbots. (Ubisend, 2017)
Chatbots will be included in more apps.
Bots are an asset to any company – they can collect and analyze data to take appropriate action. Chatbots are easily integrated into mobile apps, and an increasing number of brands are expected to build these applications in the future, especially in North America. (Markets Insider, 2017)
Chatbots will become a larger part of our daily lives.
They are already used to streamline personal tasks and day-to-day activities, such as e-learning, parenting, and fitness. Chatbots have been the most innovative solution for bridging the gap between education and technology.
In conclusion, chatbots will continue to be revolutionary.
They are an innovative solution for several industries – from real estate to healthcare – and have tremendous potential in marketing efforts, quality improvement, cost reduction, and data collection. But the potential bounds of chatbot technology extend beyond these markets.
Businesses will need to create teams in charge of training and collaborating to create interactive interfaces unique to their customers. This is becoming more important, as consumer tastes are trending toward more chatbot integration.
The increased expectation of 24/7 availability means that chatbots will need to be able to analyze speech, text, and facial expressions. Then chatbots will be able to provide truly tailored customer support. Chatbots will have different characteristics and personalities that can be matched with different target markets.
In the end, chatbots are going to be mainstream in a diverse array of consumer applications and internal business functions. Consumers look forward to using chatbots to purchase goods and services. Chatbot agents are adapted into mobile apps so that businesses can provide support when customers need it. Having a deep understanding of your business, your customers, and all of your requirements – and implementing chatbots accordingly – will have a significant impact on not only the customer experience but also the customer journey overall.