Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots are programmed to answer specific written or spoken language questions. In addition, they recognize simple keywords to solve user’s queries.
Machine learning is the technology behind the development of chatbots which involves:
- A computer program that learns and evolves
- Natural language processing (NLP) to mimic human-generated text and language
Before the advent of the internet, face-to-face meetings and phone calls dominated the communication landscape. Years later, online forms, mobile apps, social media, and emails have taken over as modern forms of communication.
A multitude of industries employ chatbots that help visitors navigate through a website or answer their questions. Given the highly competitive market, customers have increased expectations from brands.
Incorporating chatbots help meet those expectations. Also, AI is constantly evolving, which means that chatbots will become more sophisticated in the future. Hence, we will discuss AI chatbot trends in 2021 that you should consider adopting in your strategy.
Let’s brush up on your knowledge of chatbot statistics 2021.
Key Chatbot Statistics
Before going into the chatbot statistics for 2021 and beyond, it’s essential to look at the state of the conversational AI market overall.
Conversational AI Market
Research suggests that the spending on will surpass $77 Bn by 2022. The forecast for 2019 was $35.8 Bn, which means that it will likely double by next year. A third of that spending will be incurred on software.
Besides, a significant chunk of software spending will go towards AI applications such as chatbots and personal assistants (nearly $14.1 billion).
Apart from that, the market is anticipated to experience a stellar growth at 30.5% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2017-2022. In terms of market size, North America leads the global conversational AI market.
However, when it comes to CAGR, Asia Pacific (APAC) will experience the fastest growth during the forecast period. Besides, the adoption of conversational AI software is widespread in North America.
An increasing government spending, large number of chatbot companies, and rising investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning are responsible for the adoption.
Chatbot Forecasts & Predictions
Listed below are key chatbot forecasts and predictions, divided by year:
- About 50% of businesses will increase their annual expenditure on Chabot creation compared to conventional mobile app development.
- Chatbots are expected to see a whopping investment of $4.5 billion by 2021.
- The implementation of artificial intelligence in customer service interactions is anticipated to rise by 400% between 2017-2021.
- AI will manage approximately 85% of customer interactions by 2021.
- Businesses across different domains would save nearly $0.70 per customer interaction, thanks to chatbots (CNBC).
- About 90% of customer interactions with banks would be automated using chatbots by 2022 (Juniper Research).
- Chatbots are projected to save almost $8 billion annually for businesses by 2022.
- About 70% of white-collar employees would regularly interact with chatbots.
- Businesses and customers will save 5 billion hours on interactions because of chatbots by 2023.
- Chatbot eCommerce transactions are projected to surpass a value of $112 billion by 2023.
- The banking, retail, and healthcare sectors will save nearly $11 billion a year by employing chatbots in customer service.
- The global chatbot market is expected to observe a double-digit growth at 34.64% CAGR between 2017-2023.
- The global conversational AI market is forecasted to reach $15.7 billion at 30.2% CAGR by 2024.
- AI will redefine 50% of user experiences using natural language, computer vision, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
- The global chatbot market is predicted to observe an impressive growth at 34.75% CAGR between 2019-2024. Moreover, it will cross $7.5 billion by the end of 2024.
- Nearly 95% of customer interactions (online conversations and live telephone) will be taken over by artificial intelligence by 2025. However, at this point, it will be pretty tricky for customers to differentiate a chatbot from a human agent.
- Businesses that leverage AI to automate their customer engagement will observe a 25% increase in their operational efficiency.
- The annual revenue of the global AI software market will cross $118 billion by 2025.
- By 2026, the global chatbot market will touch $10.8 billion with an impressive CAGR of 30.9% during the 2018-2026 forecast period.
These statistics indicate that chatbots are the future. However, with further advancements in AI, only capable and intelligent conversational AI platforms shall persist.
In the next section, we will look at the chatbot trends more closely.
Chatbot Trends in 2021
Given the many advantages of chatbots, rising chatbot trends, and the ever-increasing popularity of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence, adopting new technologies has become business-critical.
Here are the top 13 chatbot trends in 2021 that you should consider embracing:
1. Payments via Chatbots
First on our list of chatbot trends is payment gateways. Several payment services, including Paypal, have incorporated chatbots in their payment gateways and digital wallets in 2020.
This shows that the application of chatbots is no longer limited to just customer service. For example, users simply have to type “pay electricity bill” in this application.
The would walk them through the process until the final payment is made.
2. Voice Bots
Voice-driven search, thanks to the advent of conversational AI, is taking the world by storm. It is the next big thing. According to a report by Accenture, most consumers prefer voice-based interfaces over text-based interfaces on messaging platforms.
The trend of utilizing conversational bots to assist consumers over both voice and text is on the rise. In sectors such as education, travel, and insurance, voice bots would be of great help.
It’s all about providing a seamless user experience!
3. Chatbots with Human Touch
Chatbots use artificial intelligence to suggest options when a customer types in their inquiry. Year after year, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of mimicking human conversation.
They will identify the right intent behind a query and provide an accurate response to that query. By learning from interactions, chatbots are beginning to pick up patterns in user behavior.
Hence, chatbots are becoming indispensable for high-impact conversations.
4. Chatbots with Emotional Intelligence
This is slowly becoming a reality with newer, groundbreaking technology. For instance, facial feature detection AI software can detect the feelings of a person.
Similarly, chatbots with emotional intelligence can figure out your mood (happy, sad, or angry) by looking for patterns in your text. It could be capitalization or punctuation or your voice to predict your emotions.
Conversational AI with soft skills will further humanize the interaction between businesses and their customers.
5. Chatbots based on Natural Language Processing
Chatbots driven by NLP are groundbreaking for businesses that have more excellent customer service scenarios. They can determine the user intent and generate responses accordingly.
They learn from past conversations with the customer to provide accurate answers. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), for instance, has already incorporated NLP-powered chatbots to enhance their customer experience.
Check out this blog to learn more about how custom chatbots can help you improve customer satisfaction.
In 2021, you will observe more and more organizations adopting to improve conversations.
6. Analytics and Insights with Chatbot
To measure your performance, you need to track and evaluate data. And for that, you need chatbot analytics and insights. The good news is most chatbots today offer analytics so that you can continue to improve your strategies.
They keep a record of:
- every question asked
- every answer delivered
- every query transferred to agents
Use this information to improve your product or service. Therefore, chatbots allow you to foster strong customer relationships.
7. Multilingual Capabilities
Next on our list of chatbot trends is multilingual capabilities. Did you know that only 20% of the world’s population speaks English? So if you plan to expand your business globally or already cater to a global customer base, you need chatbots with multilingual capabilities.
This will not only offer a boost to your localization efforts but also amplify your reach. But, again, it’s because customers prefer to use their native tongue to communicate with their trusted brands.
Multilingual bots enable you to tap into new markets and personalize the experience for your audience.
8. Supporting Remote Workforce
A recent report by Gartner says that about 75% of business leaders would allow 5% of their employees to work from home post-pandemic permanently.
Apart from that, 25% agreed to permanently shift 10% of their employees to the remote work setting. Hence, it’s safe to say that such a work culture is here to stay.
In such a scenario, chatbots would become pivotal in answering typical employees’ concerns.
- answer FAQs on remote work policies
- track employee health
- notify employees of the latest changes in policies
- offer work from home tips
9. Chatbots on Social Media
Social media is the hub of much social interaction in present times. We have moved on from just making friends on social media to voicing opinions, ordering products and services, offering reviews, and even getting in touch with businesses. Thus, it becomes a necessity for businesses to use chatbots to facilitate interaction on these platforms.
Many industry leaders in various sectors have already employed chatbots to use this vital resource to better understand the customer needs and even improve ways that the business can help the consumers.
Facebook already has a chatbot feature, but it is very limited in its capabilities; perhaps it was only a test to whether chatbots would fare well on the platform. The answer is a resounding yes. Facebook has now become a trendsetter in equipping businesses with the ability to use customized chatbots made by other parties to help in this process. Every social media platform is likely to follow suit.
10. Chatbots Built with Low Code Platforms
The pandemic forced companies to become more agile in their processes. This, in turn, led to the development of low-code chatbot platforms that allow businesses to deploy apps at a much faster rate.
Even less experienced users can build chatbots using these low-code development platforms.
Many organizations have deployed chatbots for sales support, customer support, service desk management, and more with this approach.
11. Recruiting and HR Chatbots
A recruiting chatbot can filter candidates, answer their basic questions, and schedule them for interviews. As a result, they speed up the entire recruitment process.
These chatbots are helpful even after the hiring process is over. During onboarding, they can answer the most basic HR questions. This is undoubtedly a boon for large organizations with massive workforces.
12. Self-Learning Chatbots
To stay ahead in the race, it is of utmost importance to train bots with new data and keep them up-to-date. In 2021, you can expect companies to make chatbots that are self-learning.
This means companies do not have to spend time feeding new data to bots. They will analyze the pattern in every interaction and train themselves to keep the users or customers engaged. In other words, bots will learn to improve their response capabilities based on user feedback.
13. Text Messaging with Chatbot
While every other mode of communication, like email and phone calls, still holds ground, the most personal still remains – a personal message. SMS and WhatsApp are the go-to apps that people regularly check and are comfortable conversing over.
In 2021 and beyond, chatbots are going to be leaning onto this opportunity to better connect with audiences. Many companies like Yatra and MakeMyTrip already use certain chatbot features to send flight tickets directly to Whatsapp and the details via SMS. This has made the process convenient for users, and any progress would only make things easier.
In 2021, you will see SMS and create a personalized experience and facilitate open-ended conversations.
The Future of Chatbots
In a rapidly maturing conversational AI market, haphazardly placed chatbots will vanish. Only the ones that are strategically developed and implemented across channels shall survive.
Across all digital platforms, millions of users will prefer voice-enabled conversational AI to interact with an enterprise. Such is the future of chatbots. Moreover, various chatbot applications will no longer remain siloed.
Businesses would be able to create an intranet of chatbots that can share information and work together seamlessly. In the meantime, chatbots will continue to boost user engagement and enhance customer support.
This article was originally published here