Hackernoon logoChatbots in 2021: What You Need To Know by@charu-mitra-dubey

Chatbots in 2021: What You Need To Know

Chatbots, virtual assistants, artificial entities, talk bots or anything else, the names may differ but the core functionality remains the same: to make interactions easier. Chatbots are exceptionally helpful for businesses that are trying to improve their customer support system and build an influential brand name. In 2019, the chatbot market was valued at $17.17 billion which is expected to reach $102.29 by 2025. With chatbots, businesses can save around 30% of customer support costs. And below are the top 5 trends that you need to know about in 2021.
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Charu Mitra Dubey

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Call it chatbots, virtual assistants, artificial entities, talk bots or anything else, the names may differ but the core functionality remains the same: to make interactions easier.

A few years back, the only way to get issues resolved was by calling the customer support and waiting for hours to get a resolution. However, the emergence of chatbots completely revolutionized the method of interaction. How? By swapping the waiting time with instant answers. 

Chatbots are exceptionally helpful for businesses that are trying to improve their customer support system and build an influential brand name. Moreover, 93% of customers are likely to buy again from companies with great customer service which means more business.

According to recent reports, a whopping 80% of businesses are projected to integrate some form of chatbot system by the end of 2020. But what about 2021? That we’ll be discussing in this article.

But before proceeding, what is a chatbot?

Simply put, it's a software that stimulates the interaction between humans and technology with the help of input channels like voice, text, touch or gestures. 

For example, you might have used Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, or Amazon Echo, these are the voice assistants bots that receive information audibly, process the information, layout a solution and provide output to the user. 

The Present State of Chatbots

Let's take a sneak peek at some stats related to chatbots-

  • In 2019, the chatbot market was valued at $17.17 billion which is expected to reach $102.29 by 2025. (MordorIntelligence)
  • With chatbots, businesses can save around 30% of customer support costs. (Invesp)
  • A staggering 69% of customers prefer chatbots over traditional customer service because it provides them with quick replies. (Chatbots Magazine)
  • 37% of customers expect a quick response in the time of emergency. (Drift)
  • 1 in every 5 customers would buy products or services from chatbots. (Ubisend)

As the use of chatbots in businesses is continuing to grow, the advancement in technology is also growing. Chatbots along with the related technologies like AI, ML, and natural language processing are also advancing at a rapid speed. For example, now chatbots can handle convoluted human interactions in a better way than they could a few years back. 

Now with the advancements in the chatbot technology, some trends have emerged out of it. And below are the top 5 trends that you need to know about in 2021.

Top 5 Chatbot Trends For 2021

A Better Understanding For Natural Language

The biggest drawback of a chatbot is the inability to understand the natural language of humans like real humans. However, to step up, several companies are working on Natural Language Processing. These efforts have reported betterment in the way of processing natural languages. 

The basic reason behind these constant efforts is to provide better outputs by leveling up the natural language processing of machines. 

Chatbots For Making Payments

Till now we have been using voice assistants for calling, texting, setting alarms and many such things but what we are unable to do right now is to pay with command. 

Now chatbots are going to take it to the next level by allowing payment options. It will be the easiest payment option because all you will need to say is "pay my electricity bill". Once you say that, the bot will send an API request after which the user will then receive a link to move forward.

Understanding and Learning Customer Behavior

Chatbots and machine learning aren't the same thing but AI-powered chatbots with machine learning are a great thing. AI-powered chatbots are the ones that learn with every customer interaction. This, in turn, doesn't only help chatbots to provide better assistance but also helps the business to understand customer behavior and provide better results.

In 2020 more and more companies were working on AI driven chatbots that can learn more about the customer journey, their queries, and responses, along with their satisfaction rate. However, collecting the data isn't the toughest thing here but to process it for solutions is what needs more innovation. And that should be the main focus of chatbot developers for 2021.

Social Media Chatbots

Social media has taken the business industry to another level. Previously it was just for connecting us with our peers but now, it can do multiple jobs. For instance, you can sell directly through social media, promote your products, build relationships with your customers and much more. All these reasons have made it compulsory for a business to effectively interact with their audience on social media. 

According to stats, more than 300k chatbots are active on Facebook. The biggest reason being, businesses want to develop a better seller-customer relationship.

While a number of businesses are leveraging social media chatbots, a significant number of businesses have still not adopted it. Now since Facebook has already started to provide chatbot facilities, other leading social media platforms are likely to follow the same path.

Analytics and Insights

Happy customers are the key to any successful business and when you analyze their queries and needs, you start to understand their behavior in a better way. Now, what better than an AI-driven bot can understand your customers?

When you use a chatbot, with the help of conversational technologies can analyze the customer history and feedback to create behavioral patterns. These behavioral data helps the chatbot to understand the customer's issue in a better way and provide better assistance. 

Now chatbot developers are feeding chatbots with more data which is helping the chatbots to learn more and provide better results. 

Wrapping Up

As businesses continue to search for growth opportunities, chatbot developers or engineers are trying to equip it with various functionalities as much as possible. 

And with the constant evolution of chatbots, the number of businesses adopting this technology is also growing. Now as 2021 is almost here, the above-mentioned trends are most likely to enter the chatbot industry pretty soon. So keep a bird's eye on the emerging trends and evolve your business accordingly.

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