What will 2018 bring for businesses looking to ride the technology wave and reach the shores of customer satisfaction? 2018 is expected to be path-breaking with the rapidly evolving technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Chatbots and Natural Language Processing (NLP). We have been witnessing their capabilities and the value they can add to businesses, but this year, they could take business offerings and operations to a whole new level.
Imagine an era,
-where you don't need to ask your customer what they might be interested in
-where customers need not browse through long pages or hunt for a particular product in an eternal inventory
-where the business knows what exactly the customer would like to buy and be more accurate in predicting it than the customer itself
Can there be perfect businesses, where the concepts of tedious processes, time-consuming searches, requirement discrepancies and indecisiveness do not exist?
The future does seem to concur with this idea and the enabler is Machine Learning.
Artificial intelligence is the brain behind smart machines, enabling them to offer more value to their users than ever before. Today, the average consumer relies more on automated technology than human interaction for all his requirements - search, reviews, queries, purchase, support, grievance, etc. Surveys also show that most people prefer to interact and receive information through text or browse through a description or set of instructions rather than talking to a human assistant. The field of artificial intelligence which is enabling such interactions and actions is Machine Learning (ML).
ML, in simple terms, is the ability of a computer system to learn with every human interaction, use past data, understand patterns and preferences and offer solutions and products that accurately fit the user's requirements. There are several applications of ML and the possibilities are endless. Chatbots have been the major beneficiaries of this technology and redefining the next level of customer experience. From B2B, B2C to even B2E engagements, chatbots are deemed to be the business enabler and a major cost and resource optimizer.
The future of customer experience looks delightful. With the advancements in ML and chatbots, we could be looking at a future where every major business will have a smart system which will not only identify your requirements for you, but also offer you tailor-made and best-suited solutions/products basis your preference, past data and insights. For example: It might soon be a reality that all you need to tell your food ordering app is that you need to order dinner and it might tell you the best choice for you. 'Basis recent trends, the meat ultimo pizza from a nearby pizza joint, though the third-best option overall, would be ideal for you because as per your order history pizza is your most ordered food, you always look for quick delivery and since you don't like olives and are allergic to mushrooms. Also, today it's a Saturday and you prefer to eat meat.' How does anyone even compete with such a service? It would be like someone telling you what you would want, without your assistance and actually being correct 99% of time, adding a leeway for mood changes, new year resolution or the company you have for dinner. When a business could offer such an exciting level of customer experience, the customer need not look for alternatives, competitors or even think about planning and decision-making, because all the thinking has already been assigned to the ML-powered food ordering intelligent bot.
The year 2018 looks very promising for businesses with ML taking major strides and multiple tech behemoths launching chatbot development platforms, providing assistance to businesses to augment their customer experience. This could have a greater impact with businesses fueling these systems with ample customer and business data, enabling them to learn better and faster with each interaction and provide a better solution, each time.