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Speak up: Digital chatbot assistants are set to boom

Businesses take note – with enough positive interactions that achieve the desired result, a genuine trust can be built.

Customers look at iPhones at an Apple store in New York City. — © Digital Journal
Customers look at iPhones at an Apple store in New York City. — © Digital Journal

Gartner research predicts that by 2026, the chatbot industry, which has been expanding for several years, will grow into an $8.8 billion industry. Furthermore, according to research done by Yellow.ai and C-Zentrix, a 320 percent growth of Global Voice Assistant transaction values is expected between 2021-2023.

There are several ways by which Chatbots are being used to engage with the end user, customer and employee and to analyze the data output. These include, with examples drawn from a wider package compiled by Yellow.ai and C-Zentrix:

The rise of mental health chatbots for therapy

Robot therapy is in place, albeit being a somewhat controversial medical intervention. At present, most services are a blended model, when AI can intuitively know when to switch the conversation over to a human interaction for a best of both worlds experience.

Complex omnichannel synthesis via AI

This means complex organizations with distributed or decentralized operations require differentiated responses served across multiple channels. This provides what is intended to be a much more personalized response.

Chatbots are increasingly being used to meet people where they are searching for information – whatsapp, sms, call centers, etc. and there is a possibility that voice and chat data can be rolled up in a seamless, synchronized fashion. This means the abandoned shopping cart on Amazon just might not be abandoned once the potential customer’s phone is picked up again and they get an SMS reminder.

Conversational AI technology

Such technology can speak 100 different languages, and detect human emotions, such as where someone is getting frustrated or depressed. This deep intel allows companies to organically interact, compete, and engage on the global playing field.

Total Experience Automation (TX)

Since the so-termed ‘Great Resignation’ started, both employees and customers have high expectations and demand a great deal from the companies they work or buy from. In order for companies to deliver optimized service from a TX mindset, they need a complex, dynamic system that will optimize operations across the board, serving the company’s entire ecosystem and working seamlessly in conjunction with all the moving parts to fulfill each individual’s specific needs.

Cognitive and Affective Trust

This becomes elevated by naming virtual assistants but not pretending they are human. By putting a name on the chat system (e.g. Siri, Alexa) some people feel an emotional connection (both consciously and subconsciously), like a helpful friend who they can rely on for consistent results, without the pressure of a human relationship.

Moments of truth are built with each successful interaction

The theory runs that with enough positive interactions that achieve the desired result, a genuine trust can be built. Google’s search engine is an example of this functionality. Google tends to deliver results based on people’s current  search engine interests.

Immersive training is becoming increasingly common

 Using virtual reality headset technology in conjunction with Advanced Virtual Assistants is being considered by some companies as a tool for onboarding and welcoming new employees and tailoring training to focus on relevant skills development.

With the above example, each interaction, the learns, to a degree, what the user wants and how to deliver this back to them in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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