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Why chatbots are still relevant
January 16, 2020 News


Whenever we have queries, be it over the phone or on websites, chatbots often greet us. Chatbots have been around for some time, with the first chatbot ELIZA created way back in 1966. Back then, chatbots used pattern matching and substitution to simulate conversations. Fast forward to more than half a century later, chatbots are still pretty much doing the same thing. So what makes chatbots different and better today?

According to Matthew Low, co-founder and CMO of AiChat, the common assumption that chatbots are meant to simply auto-reply FAQs or standard business queries is not wrong, but chatbots today can do a lot more by building itself around its utility and learning.

“Development in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made chatbots all the more relevant in this age of big data with the application of machine learning techniques that drive bots to structure, classify and analyse predictions with the ever-growing chat volume. Scalable, fast and omnipresent, chatbots powered by AI have enabled enterprises and brands to keep up with the speed and growth of chat channels.”

Matthew added that applications like RPA were created to automate and streamline business processes. With its growth, it will also open up more opportunities for a unified approach with chatbots to support any level of business and process complexity.

At the same time, while AI allows chatbots to be more relevant, many still feel that chatbots only end up collecting information and are not answering queries. Matthew explained that these chat experiences are often due to limited data points and scope of the bot, resulting in their interactions lacking any value add.

“With our clients, we usually do a deep dive into the pain points and opportunities in the existing channels and extract the implementation phases from there. Each phase will have a pivotal role in ensuring incremental expectations and data are collected and fulfilled to scale the customer journey.”


Securing data on chatbots

Continuing on data collected, Matthew said that AiChat was recently ISO 27001 certified. The certification is the true global security standard and demonstrates that AiChat follow best information security practices, have comprehensive security controls and implement a risk management-based program. Furthermore, he added the management consistently conducts risk assessments, and the teams undergo training and awareness programs to ensure all ISMS (Information Security Management Systems) are implemented on an individual and company-wide level.

“True to this culture of security, instances also separate data stored on cloud for each client and we can ensure deeper encryption or separate penetration tests should the project require.”

Depending on the phase of implementation, Matthew highlighted that chat data is used to capture insights on customers’ pain points, needs and chat objectives to enhance knowledge base. It is also tagged and segmented based on individual user interactions. Some chat data is pre-qualified for sales reps to follow up while some are scored for segregation of hot, warm and cold leads. Chat data can also be packaged for specific segment groups to optimise ad retargeting.

Consequently, Matthew said organisations get to grow their knowledge base through the progressive structuring of their data that allows the customer experience to become more personalised and targeted.


A seamless experience for all

With that said, the most common problem arises when customers are not communicated clearly on the function and scope of the chatbot design in its respective phases so that the user expectation can be mapped accordingly. This can be avoided by making it clear on the functions assigned to the virtual assistant at that stage, ensuring that there are proper fallback options, i.e. live chat, leave a message, and analysing user behaviour to sculpt the chat experience accordingly.

For employees who are worried if chatbots will replace them, Matthew pointed out that chatbots are meant to empower human agents with its ability to execute data communication 24/7 and at scale. However, he believes the human touch and intuition in such communications can never be fully replaced.

“We envision that with the collaborative application of chatbots and human agents, new job roles and opportunities will arise such as Conversational Designers, A.I Chatbot Trainer, Linguists and such.”

Interestingly, AiChat has established themselves as a leading AI-powered conversational experience platform designed to help brands automate 91% of enquiries and drive 3x more lead conversions via Facebook Messenger and other popular chat applications. Among the clients that have adopted AiChat’s solution includes, Petron Malaysia, Tesco Malaysia, Hatten Hotel Melaka, Marina Bay Sands, Capitaland, Philips Lighting (Signify), Cycle & Carriage (Mitsubishi Motors) and many other enterprises across Asia.

“Our plans moving forward would be to become the defacto chat solution for enterprise needs. The short-term goal centres around growth with deeper partner ecosystems and upcoming product updates as we set eyes on becoming leaders in South East Asian knowledge packages around enterprise conversational AI.”