You probably think of an artificial intelligence (AI) bot as the little pop-up on the bottom of your screen when you open a website. The bot, which sometimes has a human name and avatar, will ask if you need help with anything. You’ll be given information or directed on what to do next based on your response. This type of conversational AI is becoming the norm on all types of websites, but bots are doing even more behind the scenes to help employees. From collecting data during those customer conversations to helping teams work better together, bots are improving the processes that you see as well as those you don’t.
Bots Draw Useful Insights from Conversations
When an AI bot converses with a customer on a website, they use natural language processing (NLP) to determine what the customer is saying and how they’re saying it. Being able to understand a straightforward statement or question allows the bot to reply with a targeted response, like directions for how to complete a transaction. By being able to detect sentiment, the bot can determine if the customer is frustrated or angry, which could lead to the communication being escalated to a live manager. NLP does so much more than that, though. It gets insight from every single conversation that can be used to improve the next one and, in turn, enhances the entire customer experience.
That data can then be analyzed to show a company what their customers feel and act like overall. For example, if every single contact with an AI bot ends abruptly and with an unsatisfied customer, that could mean that the bot needs improvement or that there’s a hiccup in the customer journey. If the same questions pop up over and over, it could mean that the company’s self-service database isn’t providing enough information. By comparing the bot’s experiences with those of live agents, companies can determine where the customer journey or funnel is failing. Bots don’t just have a conversation and forget everything — they learn and report back to the company.
Bots Make Project Management Easier
Employees often have to repeat the same tasks over and over, which can eat up time that can be better spent. AI bots are able to take on some of that work, which frees up time to dive into more advanced work. For example, in a marketing setting, a bot can automate the promoting of a new blog post. Excerpts from the blog post can be scheduled for social media, along with the link to the post and a call-to-action, and posted at a specific time. Then, the marketing team can be free to start planning their next piece of content or campaign.
This type of project management can also be used in a collaborative environment, which improves the overall efficiency of the team. For example, a bot can coordinate the schedules of different team members and then set a meeting when everyone is available. All the team has to do is confirm the meeting. Or, if someone is not actually available at that time, the bot can choose a different time slot. Bots can also chime in during messaging between team members to answer questions or provide statistics.
Bots Can Help With Your Taxes
Nobody likes when tax season comes around, and certain jobs make this time of year even more difficult. Contractors and freelancers have varying income streams and numerous write-offs to go through and organize, making the entire process feel insurmountable. Today, there are bots available to help people with their taxes, but those bots are also helping the tax professionals behind the scenes. In fact, they are looking toward automation to help them at the highest levels of planning and reporting. Even the government is getting in on automation, with the IRS’s interactive tax assistant, which alleviates the number of calls the IRS gets with easy-to-answer tax questions.
While advanced tax questions should still go to an actual CPA, those CPAs are now free to work with individuals who have more advanced tax issues thanks to those bots. Since bots are commonplace today, this may seem like a given — a bot providing FAQ info — but for a long time, they were only seen in e-commerce. The fact that bots are being used in other industries means that they’re growing in popularity and that their technology will continue to improve.
AI bots have proven to be a huge help in the customer service field — by being the first to communicate with customers, live agents can be free to solve in-depth issues and connect with VIP customers. Today, they’re being used internally as well to help improve in-house processes. However, no matter how much AI bots are able to do now and in the future, they’ll never take the place of humans. Involvement by humans will always be needed in order to carry out more complex jobs that require emotional intelligence. Also, humans will be needed to create, train and improve AI bots.