If you ask an ordinary user about the meaning of Artificial Intelligence (AI), they are likely to tell you about “something smart”. Most people associate AI with Tesla cars, voice assistants, face recognition systems, smart refrigerators, and robots. Indeed, all those things, one way or another, are created as a result of merging several technologies: natural language programming, deep learning, machine learning, and machine perception, all of which create a concept of artificial intelligence. However, the impact of this game-changing technology goes beyond the building of smart robotic systems for IT giants. Due to its onrush and consequent popularity, lots of vendors and companies of all sizes are trying to jump on the AI bandwagon leveraging the capability of intelligent software and hardware to make their services and products smarter.
The customer service industry is not an exception. Since 40% of consumers make no reckoning of whether a computer or human-being lends them a helping hand, the number of companies using chatbots to answer customers’ questions is growing exponentially. The use of AI in customer service is so noticeable that some experts predict that by the end of this year, 85% of all online interactions will occur without human participation.
In this article, we will get to know whether AI is really intelligent, how chatbots based on artificial intelligence work, and why this tech is appeared to become the new reality of customer service.
What Do We Actually Mean By Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a technology that makes it possible for machines or computer systems to simulate human behavior processes learning from experience and adjusting to new inputs. In other words, the entire concept of AI is founded on mimicking human cognitive abilities. So, software/hardware can be considered as “intelligent” as long as it:
- perceives and understands the current environment/context;
- is able to make decisions based on both previous experience and understanding;
- can learn from training and experience;
- uses a so-called “common sense” in equivocal or vague situations.
There is no denying that AI-based systems are becoming more and more similar to natural human behavior. As such, the inability to identify human emotions, recognize emotional coloring of a message, and react to them respectively has remained an impassable barrier for developers for a long time. However, this challenge has been overcome.
Let’s take Cogito, AI-based software, as an example. This software is earmarked for helping customer service employees to boost their effectiveness by providing opportunities for empathic listening and inviolate communication in every conversation. Cogito perceives and analyzes the tone of voice, word frequency, and pitch to display smart notification on the customer service agent’s PC advising them to lower the voice, speak slowly/faster, sound more amiably, start or stop talking.
You can see on the screenshot how this smart agent works.
As far as finding new customers are a much more baffling task than retaining existing ones, companies do their best to keep clients satisfied with their services or products. So, customer experience should be at the center of attention for businesses of all kinds. The persistent growth of AI allows organizations to get access to a wide array of tools and resources which help them to improve and transform their customer service processes and interactions.
AI-Based Chatbots: A Way To Smart Customer Interactions
The first chatbot, ELIZA, was developed in 1966 and made a path for the evolution of intelligent assistants. Things have changed since then. Indeed, AI-powered chatbots used as virtual agents that can manage a great variety of tasks has revolutionized the relationship between businesses and their customers.
Why do people love chatbots?
First of all, they are fast, charitable, and always there when a client has an issue. Besides, they provide better customer experience and can significantly save the agent’s time by resolving the most common issues.
AI-based chatbots are considered to be the next step of technology evolution. They are powered by two technologies: Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to boost service agents’ productivity by imitating a conversation in a natural, human way.
As for now, there are a variety of platforms that help companies to build their AI-powered chatbots. These virtual assistants can perceive people’s intents without the necessity of keyword matching and steadily learn how to provide relevant and accurate answers to the customers’ questions.
However, some businesses prefer individual solutions rather than applying out-of-the-box ones. As such, Salesforce introduces their own AI-based Einstein Bot that can be tied to a variety of Salesforce processes and objects including historical data, customers’ profiles, workflow. But it may be challenging for the average website owner to deploy the tech to your site, educate the chatbot, and put it onto the stage. As such, to leverage this AI-based technology, solid coding skills, as well as Salesforce knowledge, are required. That is why it is recommended to hire Salesforce developers who are experienced in creating AI solutions.
How Secure Are Artificial Intelligence Chatbots?
As far as the whole concept of artificial intelligence is based on data consumption that is used for learning, as well as for verifying users and providing services, this creates a locus for cyber attacks. For instance, it would need access to personally identifiable information to process an appointment verification or a claim.
AI-bots are vulnerable in terms of security. Without steadily monitoring the chatbot’s interactions both with internal systems and customers, vulnerabilities could remain unaddressed or unnoticed.
AI-powered chatbots basically use three methods to ensure security:
- authenticated tokens, which allow users to verify their identity;
- two-factor authorization;
- end-to-end encryption.
AI-powered Chatbots: What to Expect?
Artificial Intelligence has already made a big step forward from simple queries to advanced perception and predictive analytics for providing human-like interactions.
What can be predicted relating to bots and artificial intelligence collaboration?
As AI and other related technology such as natural language processing continuing proliferate, we can expect bots to improve over the 2020 and subsequent years. As for now, lots of big companies build deep neural networks to make chatbots smarter and be more like humans with speech recognition systems and voice chatbots. Even though the technology is still not perfect and has numerous challenges that should be overcome including the necessity to conquer various pitches of people’s voices, background noise, varied accents and dialects, conversational bots will likely be a dominating trend in technical support and beyond.
This technology will increasingly take root in our daily lives, becoming an integral part of it. As such, some experts suppose that conversational chatbots will replace search bars in our browsers soon.
AI-based conversational bots are also predicted to be recruited into various call-centers where the agents are responsible for providing technical support and cope with customer’s requests. Besides, they can help companies to reduce costs up to 30% because using a well-trained bot allows hiring fewer people to serve customer needs and attend calls.