By Colin Crowley – CX Advisor for Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ: FRSH),
Chatbots and Their benefits for businesses going forward?
The main benefit will be in the enhanced natural language processing (NLP) of chatbots where chatbots would be able to understand the nuances of customer questions and provide extremely tactical and specific answers. A bot that operates on such a robust level could potentially revolutionize help centers/knowledge bases by removing them all together and reducing all or most knowledge-searching into bot conversations. All of this could lead to an extensive increase in self-service capabilities among customers and the further trend towards only very complex issues being left for increasingly smaller groups of agents.
Key Concerns in Using Automated Tools
Two main concerns…
Downside #1 to ChatGPT is that its advanced AI-based logic could make business leaders overconfident in what chatbots can deliver and result in an over-reliance on chatbots. (Right now, it is easier to understand where chatbots don’t add value because they aren’t as advanced as the ChatGPT version – but ChatGPT could make the limits of chatbots much less obvious.) To counterbalance this, businesses will likely have to get a lot better at understanding. – which is to say metricizing and monetizing – the value of the human component in customer interactions. Currently, most businesses only guess at this or define it anecdotally – but more discipline would be needed in putting data behind it and strategically guiding where to inject human beings into engagements. Simply having a human connection in some cases may be a branding opportunity for business or may be tied to higher long-term lifetime customer value or retention.
Downside #2 to ChatGPT is that, if they become more widespread, one wonders how much they will cost – especially considering that current chatbots, with all their faults, are still very pricey for companies – potentially hurting small business. ChatGPT could create a stark, two-tier system of chatbots, with wealthy companies adopting ChatGPT and smaller companies stuck with more traditional bots. This is still an issue now, but less so, since there are still many common benefits both small and large companies can gain from chatbots, even with current chatbot limitations.
Impact on the broader chatbot/conversational AI industry
I believe this type of technology will help get more companies on board with chatbot adoption, where adoption now can be significantly challenged by ambiguities about how to calculate ROI, concerns about poor chatbot experiences, and a lack of institutional knowledge of how to build chatbots (especially where we still live in a menu-based world where chatbots need to be built). ChatGPT solves many of these issues by clearly being a superior experience, maximizing ROI through deflection, and also involving less building (since the chatbot is NLP-powered, so you’re relying on internal learning rather than building complicated decision trees). Therefore, I feel ChatGPT will help to increase chatbot adoption among skeptics – but again, this has to be taken with the downside of over-obsessing on chatbots.
AI set to permanently change marketing
One major area is that the extremely conversational and intelligent nature of chatbots like ChatGPT – especially when combined with data on customers or prospects – could greatly increase the use cases where chatbots autonomously engage prospects and customers for marketing purposes. You could imagine a world where ChatGPT could manage an entire sales-related conversation with a prospect from start to finish (especially as sales conversations are typically much more pattern-based and regulated than support conversations). Looking at AI more broadly we will likely see the increased personalization of everything and more and more diversified channels for delivering that personalization (like chatbots). This will make companies a lot savvier and more successful in how they position themselves to customers and make it more incumbent on them to tighten in how they form their brand.