Chatbot usage has exploded during the pandemic as organizations look to bridge emerging gaps in customer service and onboarding. In 2020, the chatbot market was valued at $17.17 billion, and it is projected to reach $102.29 billion by 2026. There was also a 67% increase in chatbot usage between 2018 and 2020.
This uptick correlates with chatbots’ expanding capabilities, as they enable brands to tailor offers and recommendations without humans in the loop. Chatbots leverage customer, product, and interaction data to improve experiences in real time, leading to reduced wait times, service costs, and customer churn.
Salesforce believes the technology presents an opportunity for businesses to express their brands through words and languages, creating a greater degree of intimacy with customers.
According to recent estimates, Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as chatbots, an increase of 15% from 2018. That’s not surprising, considering a significant portion of consumers say they prefer chatbots to other virtual agents. It may not necessarily be that businesses got the idea because of the pandemic, but rather the pandemic accelerated their timeline.
Any institution has the opportunity to use a chatbot to essentially extend itself in a relationship with a customer with prospective students, with job applicants, the list goes on. These are opportunities to create relationships and have a meaningful exchange. There’s a linguistic reason why someone uses a period versus an exclamation mark or emojis versus not. These things convey additional meaning about the state of the relationship at hand, which is the kind of thing that will continue to be really important on the product and engineering side. With chatbots, it’s essential to think through the conversational aspects of the conversation besides everything about the text, whether the bot or the user takes the first turn.
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