In recent years, chatbots have been gradually infiltrating our day-to-day reality. For the companies that choose to deploy them, they offer a range of cost-cutting benefits, improving efficiency on the customer-facing side and streamlining daily employee processes, scheduling, notifications, and more.

Chatbots are an extension of artificial intelligence (AI). They simulate human interaction, either through audible conversations or via text, going on to take required actions based on the data it collects in the process.

As time goes by, AI’s ability to understand the subtle nuances of spoken language is getting better. Combined with machine learning and greatly improved natural language processing (NLP) the technology is getting so sophisticated that soon, we will probably be hard-pressed to tell the difference between chatbots and living, breathing human beings.

In the consumer world, chatbots are already part of our daily lives. In the enterprise, it provides a platform upon which companies can grow, expand their capabilities, and improve efficiency in just about every department.

Chatbots in the enterprise: avenues to consider

In the enterprise, there are several ways in which chatbots can be very useful:

Customer service

Chatbots can reduce help desk calls by a significant margin. This means that businesses can reduce the size of their call center teams as most routine calls can be handled without any human intervention whatsoever. Employees can focus on higher-value tasks while customers can be easily satisfied with efficient and expedient responses to their problems.

Intelligent virtual assistants

Employees in the enterprise spend an inordinate amount of time juggling data from a range of disparate sources and applications, reducing productivity and, over time, taking a chunk out of the bottom line. AI chatbots can sort and analyze this data, integrating seamlessly into communications platforms like Skype for Business and making life easier for just about every department.

For instance, the chatbot can communicate with the sales and marketing department, connecting personnel with business intelligence as well as customer data from the CRM.

In the HR department, chatbots can support a seamless employee experience from recruiting to onboarding and benefits administration.

Employees can also get real-time help with IT issues through the chatbot, reducing the burden on your internal IT support team. In one use case scenario, an IT department leveraged IBM’s Watson Analytics to reduce times to resolution and improve customer satisfaction. Through Watson’s assistance, the team was able to identify the factors that contributed to longer ticket times. Once these issues were realized, they could be addressed.

Project management and team collaboration

Chatbots can be highly efficient as a tool to connect teams. It can provide a central hub for tasks, messaging, scheduling, and contextual events while making the connections themselves more meaningful through the data that is generated as a result.

Chatbots deliver value straight to the bottom line

Through the use of AI and bot-to-bot interactions, much can be accomplished that will deliver bottom-line value to the enterprise. While most of the mainstream applications for chatbots are directed at consumers, there is much value to be gained from AI chatbots in the enterprise.

Greater efficiencies can be realized through task automation, better and more reliable team communication, error reduction, improved recruiting and human resources processes, more effective sales funnels, and greater customer satisfaction – all of which are foundational to support scale and profitability.

As we become more comfortable with chatbots in our daily lives, it is only a matter of time before they become a part of the fabric of our workplaces as well.

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