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Wednesday 16th January 2019
by Aidan McEvoy

Aidan McEvoy

Digital Workspace trends – Part 1: Chatbot platforms

Welcome to our new series of blog posts based around digital workspace trends. These will be posted over the next few weeks.

This is the first in our series and is about chatbot platforms.

Chatbot platforms will replace app development

In its Top 10 Predictions for 2018 and Beyond report, Gartner found that by 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program (or AI) designed to simulate conversation with human users over the Internet. They are also known as virtual assistants.

The original purpose of a chatbot was to support customer service teams in dealing with customers. But now they are being used more in other areas. This includes the automation of tedious tasks and delivery of business insights to decision-makers (making this quicker and more convenient).

Chatbots are now also used in booking accommodation, ordering meals, online shopping, reporting bugs and share price alerts. Apps powered by AI are even used in healthcare for diagnosing illnesses.

People simply want direct access between their problem and the solution. And, in the future, that access will be via a bot.

 

So why are chatbots good?

  1. They cost less to develop than apps
  2. Customers don’t need to download them – they’re inbuilt in the webpage
  3. They provide improved customer service and experience
  4. When used internally they can speed up simple tasks such as apply for leave or reporting an IT fault
  5. They deliver increased customer loyalty and sales – customers use companies that provide good service and tell others about it
  6. Chatbots provide higher retention rates than apps – now, partly because of the novelty, but eventually because an AI chatbot improves as it learns and will simply be better.
  7. Chatbots can save money in terms of labour but ultimately will increase sales with product or service recommendations

An interesting titbit in the same Gartner report states that in 2020, AI will become a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3M jobs while only eliminating 1.8M jobs.

Watch out for the other articles in our digital transformation series, Return to productivity and  Cloud shift.

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