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Chatbots a major player in business growth according to new research

Chatbots are slowly taking over more business sectors, with the pandemic accelerating an increase in chatbot software solutions to help meet the demands of workplaces.

While indicating a shift from chatbots being an optional tool to an essential one, the new Chatbot Trends Report 2021 has also signaled spending on cognitive and AI systems will reach USD$77.6 billion in 2022, more than three times the $24 billion forecast for 2018.

Chatbots are commonly known to be used primarily in customer and guest service capacities, but the research is showing that due to pandemic restraints on businesses, companies are looking for more innovative and creative ways to utilise chatbot software.

Most bots are said to now have varying degrees of intelligence that allow them to adapt to different situations and challenges within a business. This versatility leads to further integration across all systems, with the bonus of further personalising and gathering customer and company data.

Research found within the report conducted by PSFK also shows that chatbot software is becoming a fundamental choice when it comes to online interaction. 74% of consumers are said to prefer chatbots when they're looking for instant answers. This is particularly prominent in retail, with companies that use chatbots in retail being seen as efficient (47%), innovative (40%) and helpful (36%).

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is also said to be a helpful tool in assisting the increase in AI solutions. The research says more companies in 2022 will introduce multilingual, easily trained, highly intelligent chatbots that have the ability to understand customer enquiries however they are worded. This will create more effective solutions for businesses around the globe in a wider variety of sectors.

Major factors fueling the increased market growth include the demand for AI-powered customer support services and omnichannel deployment and also reduced chatbot development costs. This creates less stress for the business and more time to focus on human-related issues.

The rise in this technology can also lead to complications, namely when IT teams over-promise chatbot capabilities and fail to meet expectations. The research believes that it is imperative in this case for companies to invest and adapt, with Forrester recommending carrying out proof of concepts to evaluate conversational AI chatbot development tools.

Furthermore, the research says that to secure the benefits of AI, businesses need to consider more than just the technological capabilities of the AI tool they want to deploy. They must ensure that technology enhancements go hand-in-hand with developing people and creating new organisational processes to support AI-powered services. Only then it is suggested to be able to improve the overall experience and reap the rewards of greater operational efficiency.

The research also signals the possibility of chatbot hiring, with chatbots now having the emotional and adaptable range to hire staff and schedule.

This is one of the many examples in the research that enforce the fact that as the market matures, only the intelligent and capable conversational AI chatbot platforms will remain.

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