JB HOMER Retained Executive Search, specializing in executive search for technology and operations talent in a global market

In this issue of the President's Letter, Jeff discusses:

The Influence of Chatbots on both the Consumer and Company

Judy Homer
President, JB Homer Associates

Chatbots like Siri and Alexa are programs designed to interact with individuals through a voice-based interface. At the most basic level, these virtual personal assistants are information access systems and operate on simple, pre-set rules to provide the user with real-time information from queries on topics such as weather, traffic, and news, and requests for music playback.

'Smart' web-based chatbots, used most commonly by businesses in the customer service space, differ from and are becoming more advanced than Siri and Alexa which are their voice-based counterparts. They are designed and programmed to move past a mere question and answer-style dialogue by utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to respond not just to pre-set commands, but also to interpret and learn from the text given to them by the customer in order to determine and to present a series of appropriate responses.

The benefits of smart chatbots to the company are to gain a better understanding of the customer through actionable marketing analytics and insights compiled from the data garnered from these complex consumer interactions. As a result, a competitive advantage is attained, and can lead to a potential growth in revenue and the introduction of new income streams.

The benefits to the consumer are being able to provide them with a cost-effective, user-friendly and personalized experience, keeping them engaged and satisfied with the brand 24x7, and understanding and fulfilling their needs instantaneously.

The use of chatbots as an online service tool is growing, however human interactions are still necessary in cases where chatbots fail to deliver. Embracing this technology can be beneficial, but promising too much and failing to meet expectations could end up being counterproductive to the business.

I would like to hear about your experiences with these chatbots. Have you utilized them, and if so, did you find that they improved your experience as a consumer? How has your industry/business benefited from their use, and how could they impact businesses in the future?

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