The chatbot market is expected to grow from $703.3 million in 2016 to a whopping $3,172.0 million by 2021, according to a research by MarketsandMarkets. Intelligent chatbots are widely being adopted across all types of companies — from the Fortune 500 to upcoming startups, in order to gain pace and efficiency.
With rising chatbot trends, coupled with the growing popularity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), it has become crucial for businesses to adopt newer technologies, thereby opting for solutions that enhance customer engagement.
According to a report by CNBC, using chatbots will help business save costs by more than $8 billion per year by 2022. With a significant innovation potential, here’s a quick rundown at the chatbot industry trends we may witness in 2021.
1. Chatbots will be trusted with payments
Chatbots are going to go beyond customer service experience and impact your revenue directly by incorporating payment options. It could be as simple as a user typing “Pay phone bill” and the chatbot would lead the conversation to the final payment. When a user initiates a request, the bot will send an API request and return the payment link to proceed.
In 2022, you will see more bots integrated with several payment services like Paypal, digital wallets, and other payment gateways, helping make payments without even leaving the messenger platform.
Connecting with the payment infrastructure gives chatbot enough data, that enables you to promote conversation-driven upselling to your users. The same can be used to provide updates about a user’s transaction data, payment confirmation, expense records etc., which leads to high user trust and retention.
2. Voice Bots
Voice is the next big thing!
A Forbes article says that more than 50% of all searches by 2022 will be voice-driven. Research from Accenture states that digital consumers prefer messaging platforms that have voice and text based interfaces. Users are already accustomed to starting their days with “Ok Google, what’s in my calendar today?”. It’s all about facilitating your users with a seamless experience with your business, and you can achieve that by voice-driven chatbots.
Conversational bots utilize artificial intelligence and are capable of assisting over both text or voice. The trend of automating customer engagement will continue to be on the rise in 2022, which will be of great help in sectors such as insurance, travel, and education. The ability of these bots will only increase, with the increase of human dependence on them.
3. Chatbots with Human Touch
Chatbots are improving at an unprecedented rate, and the market share is nowhere near saturation. Today, chatbots can carry out multiple tasks, such as suggesting you options along with answering your questions. In the near future, you can expect chatbots to be more human because a more human chatbot will keep you engaged by driving the conversation forward rather than breaking it.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven chatbots will mimic human conversation and identify the intent behind the text that customers type. Chatbots will then deliver a response that accurately matches the query of a human being.
This year, with AI-integrated with chatbots, chatbots will prepare customer service agents for high impact conversations. Chatbots powered by AI will pick up patterns in the customer’s behavior by learning from their interactions.
4. Chatbots with Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence broadly is the understanding of human emotions from a conversation and responding to them accordingly. An example of technology breaking new ground in terms of EQ is when AI uses facial feature detection techniques to detect how a person is feeling.
Emotional Intelligence in AI identifies speech and text. When a chatbot detects what you have typed, it automatically extracts information and tries to understand your mood to know if you are angry, sad, or happy. Chatbots will also be examining punctuation and capitalization to predict your emotions.
In 2022, chatbots based on emotional intelligence will play a vital role in the AI tech industry that will transform many sectors. As per predictions, companies will build bots with emotional intelligence to bring soft skills to business that will create a profound impact on how consumers reach out and interact with businesses.
5. Chatbots based on Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Processing (NLP) integrated chatbots will be extremely helpful for organizations that have more customer service scenarios. NLP assesses the intent of the user’s input and generates responses.
NLP has the power to learn from past conversations and enhance the ability to provide answers. Reports show that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is already using NLP in their chatbots to improve customer experience through text analysis.
In 2022, you will be seeing more developers working on the methods to train their bots on multiple interactions and conversations that a bot can go through.
6. Analytics and Insights with Chatbot
For any business, analytics are of great help in tracking, extracting, or analyzing the data. They help you in understanding customer’s requirements so that you can measure and improve your strategies continually.
What chatbots make possible is the aggregation of enormous amounts of data as they keep a record of every question asked, every answer delivered, and every query put through to agents. All of this data is a suitable form of analytics that powers businesses to continually improve on their progress and better understand the consumer mindset.
With chatbot analytics and insights, you will be able to accurately track and gauge key search terms, preferences, satisfaction allowing you to build stronger relationships and rapport with your customers.
7. Self-Learning Chatbots
To stay ahead in the race, it is of utmost importance to train bots with new data and keep them up-to-date. In 2022, you can expect companies to make chatbots that are self-learning. That means companies do not have to spend time feeding new data to bots. They will analyze the pattern in every interaction and train themselves to keep the users or customers engaged. In other words, bots will learn to improve their response capabilities based on user feedback.
8. Chatbots on Social Media
Social media is the hub of much social interaction in present times. We have moved on from just making friends on social media, to voicing opinions, ordering products and services, offering reviews, and even getting in touch with businesses. Thus, it becomes a necessity for businesses to use chatbots to facilitate interaction on these platforms.
Many industry leaders in various sectors have already employed chatbots to use this vital resource to better understand the customer needs and even improve ways that the business can help the consumers. Facebook already has a chatbot feature, but it is very limited in its capabilities, perhaps it was only a test to whether chatbots would fare well on the platform. The answer is a resounding yes. Facebook has now become a trendsetter in equipping businesses with the ability to use customized chatbots made by other parties to help in this process. Every social media platform is likely to follow suit.
9. Text Messaging with Chatbot
While every other mode of communication, like email and phone calls, still holds ground, the most personal still remains – a personal message. SMS and WhatsApp are the go-to apps that people regularly check and are comfortable conversing over.
In 2021, chatbots are going to be leaning onto this opportunity to better connect with audiences. Many companies like Yatra and MakeMyTrip are already using certain chatbot features to send flight and stay tickets directly to Whatsapp and the details via SMS. This has made the process convenient for users, and any progress in this regard would only make things easier.
In 2021, you will see SMS and WhatsApp bots will create a personalized experience and facilitate open-ended conversations.
Back when chatbots launched in 2017, there was a lot of hype around them, and although that hype has reduced to an extent, marketers, support teams and innovation teams are still eyeing bots as the next best tool to include in their stack.