Chatbots: the future of customer care

By Andrea Dossi

Phone vector created by upklyak

The amount of time we spend daily with our phones has been increasing steadily for the past decade. Whether this fact comes from a PhD study or a comment from an elderly lady on your daily commute, it’s a change of habits that’s hardly disputable, especially if we take into consideration the younger generations. In fact, the shift from the hours-long calls that teenagers a decade ago made with their friends to the hours-long text messaging sessions they have nowadays is reported by numerous studies (and parents worldwide).

What has remained the same though is the old saying: “where consumers go, companies follow,” and as such, we believe that companies, to fulfill the needs and preferences of this new breed of clientele, must provide consumers with an always-present and easily-accessible customer service that can be integrated into a part of their daily lives. The days of having to wait for a scheduled time of day for a five minute call with an operator is over.

The Mobile app alternative

The obvious alternative to having just a phone number to call is having a proper application on well-known mobile marketplaces, which is a choice companies have been choosing one too many times. A part from the costs of designing and maintaining such applications that a small or medium business would have to incur, let’s not forget that for many of us, our mobile phones are at maximum memory space capacity (at least mine is) and the trouble, time and trust necessary to download another application on our mobiles are increasing day by day. This new barrier to entry is especially noticeable if we consider what trouble world governments had to go through not even a year ago to get people to install a safe and proprietary app to alert them of the probability of the COVID-19 contagion (something that was at the time perceived as necessary and regardless of constant media presence and the endorsement of public figures, achieved an abysmal adoption rate in almost every country around the globe).

How, then, can a company be present on a daily basis without intruding on the customer?

The Chatbot solution

To help our clients resolve this dilemma, we developed an Artificial Intelligence-based Chatbot integrated with the most common messaging app that is capable of instantly understanding consumer queries and answering them 24/7. Our vision is to create a level of familiarity between company and client with the adaptability that a Google Dialogflow-trained AI can provide, thus preventing the time-consuming experience customers have when speaking with a customer service representative.

This solution is way cheaper than you can imagine. In fact, after programming the dialogue flow in accordance with your company policy and method, all our chatbot has to do is train using a common conversation pattern to better understand how to respond to your clients. Once the learning phase has been completed, the program will be uploaded to the cloud where it can interact with any application or social media platform that you link it to (eg, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, a website interface and so on), thus consuming a minimal amount of resources.

The result is a conversation by whatever messaging app you might have on your phone seamlessly whenever you want, consequently eliminating the need of installing a proprietary application. It will be as easy as chatting with your friends: Returning an item becomes akin to inviting a friend to dinner and asking for a product availability becomes like asking your significant other what’s in the fridge.

This is how consumers can develop familiarity and ease of use of your company products and services, and how your company can achieve what’s most important in the new hyper-competitive global market. Happy consumers will know how simple and natural it is to communicate with your company.

If you would like to learn more about how chatbots can help your business, contact me at andrea.dossi@ennova-research.com.

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