Aldo Agostinelli

8 businesses out of 10 are planning to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for customer care by 2020. At least according to Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality? The future role for humans in delivering customer experience

This is according to a survey conducted by Oracle in partnership with Coleman Parkes of 800 companies in France, the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK, aiming at understanding how brands are trying to innovate their marketing strategies to become more service and customer oriented and to keep up with a rapidly evolving, ever changing marketing.

According to the survey, 48% of the interviewees are aware of the fact that digital and mobile technologies have been revolutionizing both the market and the way customers interact with brands. 40% of them have clearly understood that, before buying anything, people gather information by themselves by surfing the net and they no longer rely only on advertising. 38% of the companies surveyed claim that customers directly approach brands. This means that consumers have become fully independent throughout the purchasing process and can also solve aftersales issues autonomously without having to interface with the human CRM.

It is no surprise then, that companies are consequently investing in AI to increase their efficiency. And they have been doing so by providing their CRM with AI support software or carrying out CRM with AI-based bots which can interact with customers. These bots are better known as chatbots.

Actually, chatbots can increase the customer care efficiency by 10%, while cutting down on costs. Take China Merchant Bank as an example: one of the most popular banks in China, they use WeChat Messenger to handle up to 2 million conversations with customers per day. And, since questions asked by customers mostly concern their bank accounts balance and credit cards, automation helps thousands of employees avoid wasting time repeating the same answers.

Since last year, the Dutch airline KLM, has been dealing with their passengers through Facebook Messenger. Relying on DigitalGenius, an AI software which evolves and improves while being used, the Airlines staff can offer customized answers reducing waiting time and “queuing”.

Anyway, although chatbots have turned out to be pretty useful, the AI technology they are based on is not developed enough to actually answer the most complex questions asked by consumers. Therefore, in order to prevent frustration, the human element is still needed. Still, chatbots are bound to become key elements for any CRM. We just need to understand when they will become the only tools to be used.

What do you think of chatbot-based customer care services? I would like to get your comments. Send your tweets to @agostinellialdo.

If you liked this post, should read: “FinTech and AI: Kasisto introduces new chatbots”

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Aldo Agostinelli