Most uptrend customer engagement strategy

24 May, 18

Gartner’s recent report suggests that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with a chatbot than with their spouse. While this may seem like a case for increasing number of counseling sessions for couples, the underlying factor here is the exponential growth of chatbots, penetrating into every fathomable aspect of human interactions, right from customer service to career counseling. Over half a century on since the development of Eliza—the first chatbot that merely mimicked human conversations, providing scripted responses to match user prompts and even passed the Turing artificial intelligence test—chatbots today through integration of AI, machine learning, and natural language understanding (NLU), among others have increased blurred out the line between human-machine interaction. Not surprisingly then, companies across sectors are now focusing on integrating chatbots in their offerings in order to exponentially improve productivity and work efficiency of client-facing services, significantly enhance customer experience, and ultimately increase revenue.

The problem with hiring chatbot vendors


Creating a chatbot from scratch is no easy task and requires a significant amount of resources in terms of hiring a chatbot vendor, time invested, and of course, the major capital investment involved. There is no one size fits all for chatbots, as these need to be tailored to suit your specific needs and also need to be deployable across various platforms that you may use to interact with your existing or potential clients. While most companies may have a dedicated in-house IT team, they mainly handle the operations and maintenance of the basic IT infrastructure of the company, and more often than not may not be adept at operating and monitoring a chatbot. Thus, companies need to rely upon chatbot vendors for most functions related to the chatbot.

The solution in chatbot builder platforms


A chatbot builder platform serves as the perfect solution to this dilemma faced by end users. As the name suggests, this a virtual platform that provides all the tools and support required by the end user to develop and manage a chatbot. Such a platform handles all the backend infrastructure and system architecture setup and provides the end user with the necessary framework and platform to deploy and manage the chatbot. While various types of chatbot builder platforms are available that fit into different parts of the value chain, right from predevelopment, mid-development to post-development, the one integrated solution is a platform that is suitable for the developer as well as the system integrator. Such an integrated platform is the ideal solution for users looking for a speedy and convenient deployment of the chatbot, without necessarily requiring high technical skills related to the process. The platform provides the user with complete access to the chatbot, without needing to depend on any third party. Depending on the user’s level of expertise, they can opt either for a user-friendly graphical user interface or a command-line interface to access the platform and manage the chatbot.

Chatbot builder platforms allow users to scale their chatbots within their existing IT infrastructure, as all backend functions are handled by the platform. Moreover, such a platform allows users to focus on their core areas and use data collected by the chatbots to further improve their services, while the chatbot uses the data to customize its interactions with the clients. Such platforms may also integrate AI, NLP, and cognitive abstraction so as to allow for a more natural and effective conversation with the client. One of the biggest benefits of a chatbot builder platform is its cross-platform functionality, wherein a single code base can be used across various messaging platforms. This significantly reduces time and costs of developing a new code for each platform, thus enhancing consumer reach irrespective of the messaging platform. A chatbot builder platform also has a robust memory that allows the chatbot to maintain coherence even through long conversations. In-built analytical tools allow the user to track user engagement with the services provided and accordingly incorporate changes as may be deemed necessary.

With the big guns such as IBM, Google, and Oracle venturing into this space and advancements in AI and deep learning, chatbots are expected to find their way into all interconnected devices that we use daily and usher in a new era of human-machine communication.