According to Gartner, 38% of companies around the world are expected to use 'conversational bots' for customer service and managing corporate applications by employees.
In less than five years, the use of chatbots will spread to all types of companies and their use will not be exclusively limited to customer service. At least that is the claim made by Gartner, which will present this and other trends in the corporate environment at its Digital Workplace 2018, taking place in London at the end of September.
According to the consultant’s data, 38% of organizations around the world are expected to implement “conversational bots,” though only 4% have already deployed these solutions. This latter group at the forefront includes BBVA. In fact, BBVA was the first Spanish financial entity to implement a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and Telegram so that customers can quickly and simply check their account balances, IBAN or closest ATM to their location, among other information. Moreover, other innovative options have been added to these functions, like the possibility to ask questions through Google Assistant about the products available for purchase, and sending money without exiting instant messaging and voice applications with a simple command to Siri, the personal assistant on iOS devices.
BBVA has expressed its desire to continue expanding customer service through chatbots, in light of the warm reception that these services have enjoyed among customers. In addition, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, the services offered will be increasingly functional and customized, given that they learn based on the behavior of each user. In this regard, Gartner points out that the advance of conversational bots is due to their capacity to imitate a personal interaction based on processing natural language and voice recognition.
“When chatbots are used like other business applications, our way of working will change”
More than customer service
According to Van Baker, Vice President and Analyst at Gartner, companies that have not started to implement AI to interact with their customers and employees through chatbots and voice assistants must do so now, because it is something that users are demanding to complete certain tasks. Though customer service is the area where these solutions are mainly used today, they are now starting to spread to other departments within companies. “When chatbots are used like other business applications, our way of working will change, and it will no longer be the user who must learn to use an interface; rather, the chatbot must learn to fulfill the user’s requests,” Baker underscored.
To demonstrate this unstoppable advance, Gartner highlights the daily behavior of consumers and employees, who are both using the keyboard less and less to interact with their personal gadgets and work teams. “Solutions that automatically convert voice into text have spread due to companies adopting chatbots and virtual personal assistants, in addition to users’ welcoming devices enabled for use through voice commands, such as smartphones, video game consoles and home speakers”, according to Matt Cain, Vice President and Analyst at Gartner.
Within this context, the consultant stresses the need for the leading application developers to adapt their future solutions in the business environment to the new behavior of workers and customers, who are already accustomed to this type of digital interaction, with which they obtain immediate responses in a simple manner. “The tools and software that are used today need to simulate this behavioral trend to achieve a faster and more efficient collaboration in the workplace. Thanks to the fact that there is increasing availability of open source frameworks, we will soon witness a proliferation of easily available chatbots for a business owner,” according to Baker.