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Are AI-enabled chatbots your next revenue generator?

July 09, 2018

Are AI-enabled chatbots your next revenue generator?

Google grabbed a lot of headlines last month at its I/O event when it showed how Google Duplex, an AI-based text-to-speech assistant, can book appointments on your behalf. Check out the following demonstration from the event.

Not only does Duplex successfully navigate complex dialog, the rendered text-to-speech adds enough nuance and verbal “ticks” to make it sound like a real person. Google is on the cutting edge of this technology, but it won’t be long before similar functionality is available to any interested enterprise hoping to shift customer service to automated voice bots. In the meantime, there are plenty of powerful ways to leverage chat and AI in your UCC solutions to increase customer satisfaction and allow human workers to focus on more critical tasks.

Chatbots evolve, improve

The first attempt at a text-based chatbot was Jabberwocky back in 1988. Since then, there have been many improvements. Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have all contributed to the progress over the years—particularly in the consumer space. At the same time, other companies focused on B2B solutions have been equally hard at work. The result is that text-based chatbots have “crossed the chasm” today and are being adopted by early, forward-thinking contact centers.

The value and benefit of chatbots are more apparent than ever. While early chatbots could be used to have simple conversations and collect basic information, there was never any doubt that a non-human was at the other end of the discussion. Clunky conversations and limited AI capabilities often led to frustrated people.

Chatbots have compelling ROI

Today, well-designed chatbots blur the lines between human and AI. Not only do they make it difficult to tell if you’re conversing with a real person or computer, but integrations with business applications also allow chatbots to accomplish more than ever before. For example, some companies in the satellite and cable TV industry leverage chatbots that enable customers to access their satellite TV account and add channels without having to speak to a representative.

Of course, leveraging chatbots doesn’t remove the need for humans. A common statistic shared today is that a good chatbot can allow a single human agent to handle six simultaneous conversations. The AI controls most of the conversation and only pulls in the human when necessary. As chatbots continue to improve, it will allow humans to handle even more simultaneous chats or be freed up to focus on more critical tasks. The ROI of such solutions is fantastic.

As a solutions provider, you have an opportunity to bring these powerful solutions to your customers. Currently, both server- and cloud-based versions are available for you to resell. The real sales opportunity is with helping to program the logic of the system, which requires a deep understanding of the customer and its processes.

If you have a customer you think could benefit by implementing chatbots, contact Ingram Micro’s UCC experts, Curt Vurpillat or Chad Simon.