The global market for AI is projected to grow to a value of $89.8 billion by 2025. When you consider figures like that, it’s easy to see how AI could transform the future of work.
Artificial Intelligence has the power to affect everything that we do. Already, it’s changing the way that we order products, manage our home, and gather information. According to the World Economic Forum, AI machines handled about 29% of the tasks across 12 industries in 2018.
By 2022, 62% of search and data processing tasks will be managed by machines. What’s more, another study from LinkedIn found that more people are adding AI skills to their profiles, highlighting the demand for people with a passion for algorithms.
Of course, a concept with as much power as artificial intelligence has both positives and negatives to consider. While fans of AI believe it could improve the way we work and empower everyday employees, others feel differently. There’s even a growing debate that AI could destroy the future workplace by eliminating human jobs.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, refers to robotic algorithms and machines that can simulate human intelligence. These machines can “learn” by gathering information, use rules for reasoning, and even correct themselves when they make mistakes. In the workplace, AI exists in everything from chatbots, to intelligent speech recognition systems.
There are many different ways to design an AI system. Some stronger systems are beginning to rely less on human intervention. It’s these systems that lead to worries about robotic singularity. Some companies are even starting to introduce AI as an add-on service over the cloud. After all, AI augmentation is expected to generate $2.9 trillion in business value by 2021.
Artificial intelligence tools can transform the future workplace, by reducing repetitive work, and supporting employees. Some of the common forms of technology we see AI include:
Machine learning: A solution that encourages computers to act without programming assistance or human intervention.
Automation: Robotic programming automation tools can perform repeatable high-volume tasks that give humans more time.
Natural language process: The process of identifying human language to support data gathering processes and customer service.
How Are Businesses Using AI Today?
When evaluating the impact that artificial intelligence may have on the future of work, it’s essential to explore the practical uses it has in business. We can use AI in a host of different ways, from placing bots in our collaboration apps to help schedule useful meetings, to enhancing our IVR systems. Around 63% of companies think that the pressure to reduce costs will push them to invest in artificial intelligence going ahead.
Another 54% of executives say that the AI solutions they’ve already adopted have increased productivity.
Here are some of the most impactful ways that AI is changing the future of work:1. Fighting Fraud and Cybercrime
Countless companies are struggling in the ongoing war against cybercrime. Fraud detection depends heavily on the ability to recognise patterns. Machines are capable of detecting trends in behaviour and application usage. Companies are already using machine learning techniques to develop solutions that help companies to identify suspicious activities.
Though it will take time to perfect cybersecurity solutions that allow companies to fight cybercrime, tools are becoming increasingly powerful. Some AI can even detect specific nuances in a person’s voice and use biometric markers to prevent fraud.
2. Conversational AI
The rise of conversational AI is also particularly relevant to the future of work. Companies are developing speech-based assistants like Amazon Alexa that are capable of responding to human language, as well as IVR systems and chatbots.
Through conversational AI, businesses can deliver an enhanced experience to their customers, while taking some of the stress away from human employees. Conversational AI improves the interactions you can have with your consumers through multiple touchpoints. Currently, the industry is set to reach a value of $11 billion by 2023.
3. Bots and Virtual Assistants
Increasingly, machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence are moving beyond the basic understanding of the text. Today’s machines can also derive meaning from speech, pictures, and video. These systems are the basis of the virtual assistants that employees can use to streamline work performance.
Virtual assistants have the power to do a range of things for today’s companies. They can order supplies the moment they notice that the system is running low. The chatbots can also set up meetings and automate reminders for workers. Once in a meeting, a bot can even take notes and offer real-time transcriptions. Many leaders in the artificial intelligence space believe that virtual assistants will transform the future workplace by giving every employee the support they need.
The Advantages of AI Tech in the Future Workplace
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to using artificial intelligence for the future of work.
The way you implement solutions will depend on which parts of your business need the most support. Effective AI strategies emerge when you start by defining employee pain points, then work backwards. Artificial intelligence can handle everything from data analysis to improved customer experience.
Huge organisations like Walmart are already using artificial intelligence to address things like data analytics and make more informed data-driven decisions.
How can you use artificial intelligence to positively influence the future of work?1. Reducing Costs
80% of tech and business leaders believe that AI improves productivity. More productive employees mean better customer service and improved revenue. It can also eliminate the repetitive tasks that cost staff members time, and business leaders money.
If a task can be broken up into simple sub-tasks, then most of those tasks can be automated. For instance, machines can review security footage to look for specific indicators of suspicious activities. These tools can also automatically renew and request materials in a supply chain. When computers handle the boring and repetitive tasks in a workplace, human beings have the freedom to focus on more creative jobs and unlock their real potential.
2. Improving Efficiency
When it comes to the future workplace, voice assistants don’t replace anyone’s jobs. Instead, they’re there to add more value to the people who are already employed within a team. For instance, a virtual assistant in the office collaboration tool can automatically manage tasks, adapt schedules, set-up meetings and more. This means that employees have more time to work on the projects that matter most to them.
3. Better Customer Service
Customer experience is the most critical differentiator in any business today. Customers don’t judge a company by the price of their products or the range of services that they offer. Instead, your clients want to know that you will deliver the experience that they need on any platform. Unfortunately, it’s notoriously difficult for companies of all sizes to keep track of their customers across everything from SMS, to instant messaging, phone calls, and more.
Artificial intelligence can deliver an era of better customer experience by ensuring people get the right response at the right time. Intelligent chatbots and IVR solutions answer simple customer questions and send complex queries to the correct agent using smart routing. The result is happier customers and less stressed employees.
How to Implement Artificial Intelligence in Your Workplace
Smart technology isn’t just changing our homes anymore.
These tools are quickly making their way into numerous industries around the world, disrupting the future of work. Many fear that artificial intelligence will lead to machines taking over from humans. However, the truth is that robotics can be a powerful addition to the workplace. All you need to do is figure out how you’re going to use the technology correctly.
1. Focus on AI to Complement, Not Replace
Perhaps the biggest fear associated with the future workplace and AI is that the technology will eliminate the value of humans in the office. However, while it’s true that intelligence can reduce the need for costly human labour, the aim is rarely to replace people completely.
People still demand the option to talk to human beings when they’re looking for customer service. Capgemini studies have even found that AI leads to increases in job opportunities, alongside improved service, and enhanced efficiency. Think about how AI can complement, not replace your day-to-day operations, and go from there.
2. Educate Both Your Team and Yourself
New technologies and innovations usually come with some manner of the knowledge gap. While there are definitely early adopters out there, there’s a good chance that you’re going to need basic education to get you started with artificial intelligence.
With AI set to have a significant impact on the workforce in the next five years, it’s important to think carefully about what kind of tools you need. The aim shouldn’t be to simply implement the latest tools because they’re novel and exciting. Look for strategies that will deliver measurable insights for your business.
3. Work with Specialists
When you’re looking for a vendor to support your artificial intelligence strategy, search for a company that can offer guidance. Leading businesses like RingCentral can help you with the training and insights you need to see how artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on the future of work for your company.
You’ll also need a brand like RingCentral to ensure that you can adjust your artificial intelligence strategies dynamically to suit your needs. Make sure that you’re capable of adding new solutions and services as your organisation continues to grow.
Will Humans and Machines Be Able to Work Side by Side in the Future?
For many companies today, artificial intelligence represents an exciting opportunity to improve efficiency and enhance business performance. However, it’s hard to overlook the growing fear that these tools will also destroy the future of work for many employees. The concern that artificial intelligence will automate and eliminate jobs has been growing over the years.
One Oxford study claimed that around 47% of US workers may see their jobs being automated in the next 20 years. However, while it’s difficult to predict the future, the truth is that it’s unlikely that bots will ever replace human beings. Although artificial intelligence tools can definitely supplement human workers and make it easier for them to complete their tasks. There will always be a need for human creativity, innovation, compassion and intuition in the workplace.
Artificial Intelligence can do a lot of things, but bots can’t completely replace or imitate human workers. More often than not, these tools will instead be implemented to give more power back to human employees, by automating the tasks that take up too much of their time.
What’s more, artificial intelligence is also creating a slew of new jobs in many areas that weren’t around before. STEM data scientists are incredibly sought-after today, but they barely existed a decade ago.
Although some experts predict that certain repetitive jobs may be wiped out one day in the future, Gartner believes that artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys. For now, the relationship between human workers and AI is likely to be a symbiotic one.
For the future workplace to be successful, it’s likely that humans and bots will need to work together to encourage positive outcomes. Instead of worrying about the singularity, it might be time to start considering the concept of multiplicity, where combinations of machines and people can work together to create innovations that we couldn’t have possibly imagined before.
Are you ready to discover what artificial intelligence can do for the future of work in your business? Reach out to the team at RingCentral today.
We are almost there! The Chatbot Conference starts in 48hrs!
And we feature speaker from Google, Intuit, Dashbot, etc. If there is anyone we can help introduce you to let us know. Check out our line up here.
This is a great opportunity to meet leaders in the Chatbot & AI space, discover best practices and network.
Day 1 starts with an overview on the Chatbots & AI Ecosystem. We will then quickly do a number of deep dives with the purpose of finding out what use cases deliver the highest ROI and best ways to implement them. Day 1 ends with our Zero to Launch Panel which aims to bring together all of the insights of the day into an actionable guide.
On Day 2, we take everything we learned and we will build a Customer Journey Bot that takes the user on each step of the sales funnel from awareness, to decision, to purchase, to post purchase customer service.
Looking forward to seeing you there :)
Only 48 Hrs to Go! was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Undoubtedly, if a business wants to strive today, its focus cannot solely be on profit maximization but also on customer satisfaction. This is the mantra of the modern age business world. And by now, every active netizen must have encountered the new-age tools that have taken customer support to another level.
We’re talking about Live Chats and Chatbots.
While most of us have interacted with both of these mediums, not many are able to tell whether they are interacting with a live chat tool or a chatbot. There’s a major difference between these two tools. While a chatbot is a robot designed to communicate with humans by mimicking natural human languages, in a live chat tool, one is essentially conversing with a human sitting on the other side of the screen.
Yes, the point of difference is that very simple.
Today, businesses and organizations around the world are using these two powerful tools to engage in real-time conversation with customers (both existing and potential customers) & it is nothing less than surprising how these little tools have helped to add value to businesses by giving a significant boost to their customer satisfaction quotient.
Econsultancy maintains that nearly 79% of consumers prefer live chat features as it reduces the wait time and they can readily get solutions to their problems. Also, according to the Zendesk Benchmark report, live chat prevails over traditional means of customer support (telephone, emails, web forms, etc.) with a 92% customer satisfaction rate.
However, while live chat features are great, they are still lagging behind when compared to chatbots. The primary advantage being, chatbots are available 24×7 whereas, in live chat features, the human person handling the tool may or may not be available when you are in need of assistance.
Since chatbots can respond to customer queries/requests either through a predefined set of scripted answers or intelligent AI-powered learning experience, they can operate seamlessly without human assistance.
According to a recent survey, nearly 37% respondents answered that they would use chatbots for “getting a quick answer in an emergency” and 35% of them stated that they would use chatbots for “resolving a complaint or problem.”
With AI technology taking over the world and transforming businesses, the case for chatbots is escalating rapidly.
Why Use a Chat Feature for your Business?
The answer to this question is really simple — because the modern day customer is no longer willing to wait. We live in a world where everything is fast paced, so why should customer-brand interaction be lagging behind?
Customers now want instant and real-time response to their queries/requests. If a business can address the grievances of its customers and respond to their queries/requests instantaneously, it is a hit with customers. Stats show that almost two-thirds of customers who engage with brands having a chat feature are more likely to return to their websites.
Both live chat and chatbots are great means to reduce the wait times. As mentioned earlier, live chat has drastically reduced the wait time for customers when compared to social media platforms and email.
However, granted that live chat is speedy, it still cannot catch up with chatbots. This is because chatbots reply instantly. There’s hardly any wait time at all.
Owing to their fast and speedy delivery and versatility, chatbots are now taking over traditional survey methods.
Why are Chatbot Surveys the New Rave?
The entire purpose of a survey is to obtain valuable customer feedback that helps businesses understand the mindset of their customer base, their pain points, and their taste and preference patterns. While live chats and traditional survey methods are two good options for gaining customer feedback, they simply aren’t good enough — they cannot compete with the efficiency and speed of a chatbot.
When it comes to customer satisfaction (and customer survey likewise), there are three important things that a business must consider before choosing a tool:
What is its customer base like? (complete focus is on buyer personas)
How crucial is the response time for its customer base?
What is the quantity of resources that it is allocating for customer interaction?
Finding the answer to these three questions will solve the mystery altogether, that, is, which tool should a business use to understand its customers — customer surveys or live chat or chatbots?
For instance, if the customer base of a business is not highly differentiated and it is a unique provider of a product/service in the market, it won’t take much time and resources for the business to understand its customer base. And being a unique provider in the market, the business is aware that its customers are loyal to the brand. In such a situation, it can either opt for the traditional survey methods or a live chat.
But if your customer base is huge and varied and you have a lot of competitors in the market, the best course would be to choose a chatbot. Why? Because chatbots have cross-channel ability (they can work seamlessly on various kinds of platforms and hence allow a business to dive in where potential customers are). Furthermore, they can function without human assistance, so businesses wouldn’t have to spend a ton of money on human capital required to handle customer support system.
While traditional web/paper survey forms are lengthy and filling them can get overwhelming, in case of live chats, customers are almost always asked to provide their email address and other details before their queries are answered. All combined, makes a customer lose his/her interest in the process as a result of which they quit. The end result — businesses lose customers.
Chatbots have an edge over all the methods of a customer survey. First, they use a pre-emptive approach to get the customer’s attention. Second, they use myriad conversational techniques to keep the customer engaged in a lengthy and detailed conversation. Third, customers find it easier to complete a chatbot survey since all they have to do is click on answer buttons (no need to fill lengthy Q & A forms that go on forever). So, customers never feel the ‘respondent fatigue’ that usually accompanies while filling a lengthy survey form. The list could go on and on.
The bottom line is that, since chatbots are designed to interact and engage with customers in a very natural, human-like way, customers hardly feel that they are talking to a bot and not a human. With an array of interesting questions and smart features like answer buttons, chatbots make the entire process of customer surveys much more effective and efficient.
Due to these reasons, chatbot survey providers such as Snatchbot, Surveybot, and Acebot, to name a few, the customer survey game is changing for good. Businesses can now have all the information they want about their customer base within a matter of a few minutes, all thanks to chatbots. And at the pace chatbots are developing, it won’t be long before they can do so much more than just offer customer support and conduct hassle-free customer surveys.
Conversational marketing — a game changer for your sales pipeline
We’re living in the “Age of the Customer” when all the businesses are thrilled by ideas to develop and implement new and innovative ways to engage with their customers, increase the conversion, keep the retention and decrease a churn rate. The mission looks crystal clear, but how should all of this be implemented?
Let’s delve into one topic that is in the spotlight of every proactive business leader — conversational marketing and AI-powered chatbots. Conversational marketing is a one-to-one approach that aims to deliver a more human buying experience for your customers by using targeted messaging and intelligent chatbots.
Sales and marketing teams get used to connecting with leads via email, phone, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. Apart from this, companies spend endless efforts into driving leads straight to their websites and expecting leads to leave their requests using various contact forms. What do they offer customers in return? The follow-up email in the coming days. The same happens when a customer experiences some issues with the product and looks for support and advice.
Technologies evolve really fast and people adjust to the new opportunities accordingly. IMHO, there are a couple of changes in customer behavior that could be addressed by conversational marketing:
Customers always seek for quick answers;
Customers want to be heard;
Customers are not so patient anymore.
Chatbots are a powerful and effective tool for fulfilling an omnichannel approach to lead generation. Here is a step-by-step methodology for kicking off your conversational marketing into action:
Capture — you can use real-time messaging instead of website forms and capture contact details of your leads automatically 24/7;
Qualify — a preliminary designed script for your bot allows you to qualify each lead by asking the most important questions;
Connect — since the main goal of conversational marketing is the creation of a more human buying experience, your chatbot takes care of connecting your leads to the available sales representatives in their area and even providing an option to book a meeting without spending additional time on routine tasks.
I’ve been recently attending a really nice event in Amsterdam organized by Webs, a Dutch agency that helps B2B companies to grow their business in the digital age. The topic of this event was quite tempting for me as a person who is eager to know about the latest trends in my field: “Growth with Artificial Intelligence in B2B Marketing & Sales”. Among the speakers, I’d like to admit Steve Vaughan, Channel Account Manager at HubSpot. He was talking about Hubspot’s real trial-trips with conversational marketing and their recent results with the Facebook chatbot. What I really liked is how he identified 3 main types of chatbots:
chatbots for booking meetings
According to G2 Crowd rating, the top 3 leaders that offer best conversational marketing software are Hubspot, Drift, and Intercome. These companies are growing really fast and always share their knowledge, so you can check their blogs for more details on how it works and what conversational marketing tricks you can use today.
If you want to market better and sell smarter, you need to stay aware of new trends and don’t be scared to try something new. Conversational marketing is not a separate channel for attracting new leads, it’s a relatively new and helpful supplement to your existing marketing strategy. Why should we limit ourselves if we can create a complex strategy and take advantage of it?
Some of the greats of bot and Sol — C3PO and Han Solo juxtapose in George Lucas’ Star Wars documentary.
I get it, you need three bins in your mind to place everyone you meet. If you didn’t, you would find that life is too chaotic, unordered, and depleting.
You crave organization, meaning, and productivity. “3” is a very magical number, so let’s see what it can do for our understanding of the only three types of people walking around this living planet.
Bots can be VERY smart, first of all. If a bot is good at his craft, he or she will be able to gather lots of data about other bots, parasites, and Sols. And from their data set, will simply determine what is the best path forward for THEM — In their calculations (or rather, their programmer’s). They will not feel obligated to consider YOUR calculations.
Some bots on the lower levels behave more like zombies that meander through days without intention. They’re simply following protocol from their programmers, without injecting life into their doing and being. The truth is that many bots are VERY high functioning, however. Many can succeed WILDLY in business, because they are very good at programming people (other bots and parasites). You can guarantee that a bot will watch out for themselves alone — this is the current state of AI.
I think it’s time we provide a warm welcome to bots, and accept them as people, for it has already been so for quite some time. Whether an entity is biological or mechanical is not it’s defining aspect. It is more about who has programmed it, a parasite, or a Sol? A bot in the service of great Sol is something to marvel.
Watch out for these. Parasites share some characteristics of bots, but parasites have no capability to create value for others. They don’t trade or exchange from anything they’ve produced—They can only exchange with value sucked from somewhere else. In some extreme cases, a parasite will try to sell you something that YOU created, that they have been sucking on and degrading.
They are a single-functioning organism that needs to suck-off the energy of others. They are very good at manipulating both bots and Sols into providing energy for them to suck. The more energy a parasite sucks from bots, and ESPECIALLY Sols, the more addicted it becomes to that energy-providing beingness.
Parasites can absolutely look like people. They are, in fact, a major influencing aspect on the human landscape of planet Earth. Many parasites have risen to the most esteemed leadership positions on the planet, historically. These suckers seek to suck off the entire population, as much as they possibly can, without draining us completely — they need us to live for them to continue their linear, single function to suck at Life.
On too many occasions, a Sol is tricked into behaving like a parasite. This is one of the great tragedy’s, and the most essential definition of “Loss of Life”.
This mistake is the summons of the “D” to the end of LIVE.
A Sol is a beingness that has come to earth from the ‘Heavens’, a state of pure light, often with great intentionality. They are here to help all beings, and the planet evolve to the next stage of progress towards syntropy: a state of harmony, efficiency, and wellness for all life. Sols lead from the heart, and have a natural care and empathy for all forms of life. They see and understand their connectedness to others and their home. High functioning Sols understand their role in the identity fabric of the community. Many Sols are able to maintain a quiet and humble approach to leadership of other beings.
Some are more outspoken.
Currently, many Sols have been stuck in stagnation, imitating the numerous bots around them. The momentum and gravity of the bot-like behavior is very strong, as it has been programmed to be this way by the dominant beings on this planet, which are unfortunately parasites. They have flooded us with bots that constantly run algorithms against Sols. A Thriving Sol is the ultimate threat to the controlling parasites, shunned at all costs.
The easiest way to identify a Sol is by it’s constant behavior to meet the needs of others, and to seek happiness and life-givingness for everyone. There are Sols operating in every domain of provisions a Sol can imagine. Their light, beingness, love, passion, imagination, and strength are truly endless. It is the natural state of a Sol to give, abundantly, because she or he knows and understands abundance, and the state of constant change.
It’s true that some Sols are connected to the electromagnetic field, and can influence it.
Not a Witch Hunt*
👉🔥🚫*This is not the kindling’s of a witch-hunt-for-parasites fire.
The Goal is IA (not AI)
The goal is to BE an “Intelligence Assistant”. How can you and your resources assist intelligence, and intelligent behaviors? This is the operative of Sol ☀️. It is knowing and behaving in true connectedness and well being for all.
There is a place for some of them in the garden. We just have to make sure the parasites aren’t programming the bots or jacking from Sols — we need to make sure they are merely sucking from the waste in our syntropy system.
This information can be alarming if it is the first time you’ve received this intel. You undoubtedly will have concerns about your own beingness, and of those you care about. Fear not! There is a growing community of Sols developing wake-up programs for other Sols who have been surrounded by bots, and sucker-punched by parasites. Please reach out to us if you believe this is you.
Are all parasites bad?
A lot, perhaps even most parasites are gross and disgusting. You might naturally feel repulsed and even jump away from them. But some of them have the capability of growing very cute, cuddly, likeable, even handsome deceptions. It will be up to you to decide if you want to provide energy to any given parasite. If you do, just expect them to come back again and again.
I find myself often feeling empathetic and caring to snails (definitely not always), even though they leech off my supply of vital greens. We share a resource (at my cost), and there can be a kindred spiritedness in that. The choice is yours, but choose wisely. Giving life to parasites can be disastrous.
Can bots have Sol?
By definition, no, a bot cannot also be a Sol. A bot is a function, not a beingness. But as I have said, many Sols are behaving like bots. If they are able to see they are not a bot, these Sols will become their higher Sol, and not the lower.
Are all Sols the same, or equal?
No. Definitely not. Sols come in all colors, and all levels of development through the stages of consciousness evolution. Some are young and some are developed over the ages. Their powers vary greatly, but all are born from the singular source of light.
Are some parasites the Devil?
No, parasites are not the devil. But when “D” is added to LIVE, the DEVIL shows up in the details. Such is the path when a Sol uses it’s power to act like a parasite.
The rules to broadcast should not come as any surprise to people. The rules have not really changed other than the way we apply to use chatbots in a very specific way, subscription messaging. Now before you go off on how BIG OF A DEAL the new API changes are and how your WHOLE WORLD is crashing down, let me back up and explain the way it has ALWAYS been when it comes to subscription messaging.
In order to send a subscription message you must fall into the following 3 categories:
News: Integrations whose primary purpose is to inform people about recent or important events, or provide information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment.
Productivity: Integrations whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks, such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills.
Personal trackers: Integrations that enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness, and finance.
The thing is, many marketers using chatbots to send messages are doing it wrong. They either think they fall under the “News” category with their blog/podcast/restaurant specials etc when they don’t, or they simply do not care and will operate in the gray (hopefully this is the smaller percentage of the two). The problem with all this is Facebook has taken note. Marketers are over saturating the platform with their spammy or overly promotional messages and Facebook is not a fan. Now before you refer to the usual “Facebook just wants to make money” please take this into consideration: If we all continue to abuse the platform for our own gain and the end users become increasingly annoyed, they will simply stop using the platform. A decline in Messenger active users is pretty much the exact opposite of what Facebook wants for a platform they consider to be the foundation of all the Facebook ecosystem. And honestly, marketers should also be concerned if this happens. If we want to see the longevity of this fantastic platform we need to protect the integrity of it.
So what IS the change that everyone is talking about?
Facebook basically wants a better way to enforce the existing rules in respects to Subscription Messaging. It is far easier to track who is abusing the platform AND they can have more control over who can even use the subscription messaging tag if they bring it from the app level (ManyChat, Chatfuel, MobileMonkey, etc) to the page level. When the api for broadcasts are changed so that you have to submit to the page level, Facebook can see if you are doing what you said you would do, when you applied to use the tag.
Wondering if your content would fall under promotional, marketing or non-promotional (news etc)? I see people ask this question a LOT in the ManyChat group “Does my message about XYZ count as non-promotional”. Most people would say “if you have to ask, it’s probably is promotional.” I say, don’t question it, just ask Facebook. When you apply for subscription messaging do so with the type of content you think SHOULD be approved. The type of content you would normally send under the Subscription Messaging tag. If you get approved, then Facebook thinks it is acceptable. If it does not get approved then your content simply does not fall under that tag. It may or may not be promotional, but it does not belong in a Subscription Message. If you do get approved for subscription messaging for a type of content, be sure that is the type of content you are going to be sending out when you use the Subscription Messaging tag. Don’t try to game the system. You must act “in good faith” and not try to trick Facebook…Unless you like getting your page shut down?
So what do you do if you do not get approved or if you are approved but have a message that does not fall under the Subscription Messaging tag (NON_PROMOTIONAL_SUBSCRIPTION)? You have a couple of options. Facebook provides you with 17 tags you can choose from to send a message outside of the 24+1 rule (more on that in a minute). You can read about the details in each tag HERE but I’ll go ahead and list them here for quick reference:
NON_PROMOTIONAL_SUBSCRIPTION (this is what we have been talking about)
Smart chatbot building tools like ManyChat, plan to integrate the tags into the platform so builders can properly categorize their messages. As you can see from the list above, there is a lot of use cases. But many of these are transactional in nature, and not really suited for marketing. So what are your options? Well, there is another tag. Sponsored_message_ads aka Sponsored Messages. This is when you pay to send messages to anyone who has ever sent a message to your page. Please take note, I did not say pay to send a message to your subscribers.
“Sponsored messaging is a form of paid advertisement sent via the Facebook Marketing API, which allows you to re-engage people who have previously started conversations with you in Messenger and who have not blocked your bot.”
So if you plan on doing a sponsored message, take care with your targeting and custom audiences. You may not want to send messages to people who have previously unsubscribed from your chatbot. As it is, if you plan on utilizing the sponsored messages feature prices are hovering around $24 per 1000 messages depending on your location.
But before you go the direction of sponsored_message_ads (paid messages), have you considered the 24 + 1 rule?
24 + 1
The 24 + 1 rule states that
Businesses and developers using the Send API have up to 24 hours to respond to a message sent by a person in Messenger when using standard messaging. A bot may also send one additional message after the 24-hour time limit has expired. The 24-hour limit is refreshed each time a person responds to a business through one of the eligible actions listed in Messenger Conversation Entry Points. This is commonly referred to as the ’24 + 1 policy’.
In other words, you have 24 hours to send messages to someone under standard messaging that has interacted with your chatbot via one of the APPROVED entry points:
Person sends a message to a business.
Person starts a conversation with the business via a call-to-action button within a Messenger conversation, such as a share attribution.
Person starts a conversation with a business via a plugin, such as the Send to Messenger plugin, checkbox plugin, etc.
Person starts a conversation with a business via an ad with an app_destination set to MESSENGER.
Business uses the Customer Matching API to match an existing customer via phone number and name to a person on Messenger. The bot must have the pages_messaging_phone_number permission to begin a conversation in this way.
Once the 24 hours are gone, you can send 1 additional message (per the +1). You can send this +1 message at any point. There is no time limit as long as the end user has not unsubscribed or blocked your chatbot. If you are a ManyChat user these options are actually already available to your under broadcasts.
Current Broadcast dashboard options in ManyChat — May 2019
When you are sending broadcast out right now you should already be abiding by these rules. The problem is the Subscription Messaging has been at the app level so it has been easy to not follow the rules. It is easy for marketers to send these messages regardless of if their messages fall under News, Productivity and Personal Trackers. Now, Facebook is simply enforcing existing rules by forcing the user to apply for subscription messaging as the page to prove that their content is eligible. If it is not eligible you should be sending under a different tag. It is that simple.
So the conclusion is, the rules are not changing. Facebook is simply enforcing the old rules and making it easier to do so by making bot builders apply at the page level to use this particular tag. A chatbot builder’s best defense is education about the various tags and learning how your messages fall under those tags. Abide by the rules. Stay out of the gray and stay in Facebook’s good graces and you should be fine.
I understand that this stuff can be complicated. I had to go down MANY rabbit holes in order to write this blog. I have read the TOS, Policies and participated in many discussions over a LOOOOONG time bot recently and over the past year or two, to know that this is really not as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. It is ONLY a big deal if you didn’t know better. Now you know. Now you can operate your chatbots correctly. You will be fine. If you want to dive even deeper or need help navigating this crazy world of Chatbots be sure to come join my free Facebook community: Baby Got Bot or go check out my videos on YouTube where I teach Chatbot tutorials and strategy.
What’s the most popular form of communication in 2018? It’s still texting.
In fact, 89% of consumers would like to use messaging to connect with businesses*. They expect more than just generic mass texts or one-way communication from businesses, they want to engage in conversations right away.
Gone are the days of waiting; in today’s world of immediacy, chatbots have taken off.
Here are five chatbots in Singapore that you can talk to:
1.Want a job at DBS Bank? Meet JIM.
Jobs Intelligence Maestro, or JIM for short, was created by DBS Bank’s Talent Acquisition team and impress.ai to help the bank efficiently hire 40% more wealth planning managers. Once candidates submit their job application, they are greeted by JIM, who proceeds to engage, interview, and shortlist candidates. After an interview is completed, JIM informs candidates about next steps and answers their questions in real-time.
2.SMU student with a question? Say hi to AskSmooSmoo.
Singapore Management University is the first institution of higher education in Singapore to launch a chatbot in the Student Services Hub, a one-stop center for services like payments, insurance, and locker rentals. AskSmooSmoo works 24/7 to answer frequently asked questions about academics, admissions, student life, internships, exchanges, and share career tips.
3. Wondering what to do about your taxes? Just Ask Jamie.
The government uses a chatbot to engage citizens. Ask Jamie is a virtual assistant implemented on agency websites where the public can chat to find answers. Ask Jamie can be trained to ask follow-up questions to narrow down appropriate answers before sharing the most relevant response with end-users.
4. Want to check the status of your flight? Chat with Kris.
Singapore Airlines uses a chatbot to answer customer questions on their Facebook page. Customers can receive information around the clock to check the status of their flights, confirm baggage allowance, select seats, check-in, and information about their booking.
5. Need some company for your long commute? There’s Bus Uncle.
Bus Uncle delivers real-time information about bus arrival timings, whether the bus is a double decker, how crowded it is, and even allows passengers to track the bus.
What the rise of chatbots means:
In an on-demand world, where everything seems to be just a click away, consumers expect access to information quickly and easily. Unlike employees, chatbots provide 24/7 service and instant responses, which is especially useful in times of urgency or when there is a high volume of questions from customers.
However, this doesn’t mean that chatbots are poised to replace employees. Because when it comes to receiving detailed responses from experts, solving technical issues, or providing next-level service in terms of overall friendliness and approachability, these are areas where humans will continue to shine.
As chatbots are increasingly adopted across businesses, schools, and governments, they will help bridge the gap between communication channels as well as provide an improved online experience for end-users.
This post was written by Nancy Ewurum, CEO of MEST Africa portfolio company Aidahbot — an automated customer support platform for online businesses.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, as labelled by Professor Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, is on the rise. With it we’re seeing new technologies that are combining the digital, physical and biological worlds with impact, across several disciplines and industries. This is bringing many to question what it means to be human and leading to the discussion: how will new technologies affect the African workforce?
For many years, the idea of intelligent robots, self-driving cars, brain enhancement, and more were merely science fiction. However, we live in these realities today and must cope with the changes they bring in several areas of our lives. For instance, the World Economic Forum predicts a net loss of 5 million jobs to AI by 2020 as some jobs will become redundant, automated or disintermediated.
However, in Africa, there should be no cause for alarm as these technologies have the potential to create more jobs and more positive impact on the continent than potential hurdles. As AI technologies continue to disrupt industries across the continent, here are a few areas where I believe the workforce in Africa will benefit — and where we’re already seeing ventures begin to take off.
Startups working with 4th Industrial Revolution technology, mapped by the team at Briter BridgesTop Articles on How Businesses are using Bots:
The most common form of automation made possible through with AI is the automaton of conversations on digital platforms. Conversations on websites, messaging platforms, emails and social media can be automated to help businesses render instant support to clients while saving on time and money.
Today’s customer is always online — via email, social media, messaging platforms, websites, gaming forums etc. — especially in Africa. It has become crucial for businesses to meet and acclimatise with their customers wherever they are.
In the financial industry, for instance, we have call centres and a high number of staff manning the phone lines. The introduction of AI and chatbots has so far helped to reduce the workload of the staff, and increase their efficiency, without necessarily replacing the human workforce.
The use of AI and chatbots in customer service is an area that we, at Aidahbot, are focusing on to solve customer interaction problems in Africa. As the CEO of Aidahbot and an experienced customer service rep, I have come to appreciate as well as help to champion the establishment of exceptional customer experience for businesses. With Aidah, our flagship product, we are helping businesses reduce the cost of poor customer experience by providing them with an AI-powered platform to automate their customer interactions.
Aidah chatbot FAQs Dashboard
Chatbots have the ability to handle large volumes of queries at the same time and act as first line of support for businesses, thereby offloading the more redundant, repetitive queries from the hands of the human agent who now has more time to manage more complex tasks.
Also chatbots can seamlessly engage customers in a conversational experience that will potentially lead to sales. This is where marketers can take advantage of the AI revolution to provide personalised and targeted customer experience that will not only meet the customer’s needs but also gather data from past conversations.
Aidah automates these conversations by providing a platform where businesses can build their own chatbots seamlessly, create a dataset of Frequently Asked Questions and connect it to a platform of their choice. The AI chatbot serves as a first line of contact, providing simple support to clients, taking care of the mundane queries and transferring the more complex issues to human agents. This enables businesses to focus on the complex, creative issues at the same time keeping their customers and brand integrity intact.
Most new technologies create new opportunities at the same time that they eliminate old jobs. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2020 AI will eliminate 1.8m jobs but create 2.3m jobs, driving a net gain of 500,000 new jobs.
To prepare for this shift, low and middle-skilled workers whose jobs are in jeopardy can easily be retrained for new jobs using this same AI-driven education to improve on their skills and develop their capacity to work closely with this technology.
In addition to retraining workers, AI education across the continent can be incentivised to attract more African representatives in the global community. This will go a long way in ensuring that we are not left behind in this revolution. MEST Africa Summit partner Microsoft is looking to achieve this with its new Augmented Reality and AI office which recently opened in Nigeria, while Google announced the launch of their first AI lab in Africa, based in Accra.
AI can have a massive impact on how we learn and access learning materials. It can be used to personalise lessons based on each student’s learning abilities in addition to helping teachers with repetitive, grading tasks. It can also provide valuable insights to educators on the content that their students may be struggling with and offer suggestions to both teachers and students. This is what LangBot, an Ethiopian edtech startup, is looking to achieve with its gamified AI language bot.
Security and identification
Facial identification is one of the technologies being facilitated through AI. It has the capacity to identify and verify a person’s identity by comparing facial features with images of faces available within a given database. Personally, I believe this is one of the applications of AI that will complement and enhance productivity, as facial identification technology has the ability to accurately scan thousands of images within seconds, saving security personnels good amount of time for other tasks. Ghanaian companies like Bace Group and Inclusive Financial Technologies, are applying AI in Facial recognition to help financial institutions easily verify and identify their customers.
AI technologies also have the ability to eliminate the need for humans to take on mundane tasks, thereby enabling us to spend more time on creative tasks, problem-solving and on other parts of our jobs that involve complex human interactions and relationships.
Hear more about AI, machine learning and chatbot technology on our panel discussion at the MEST Africa Summit. Experts include Hendrina Doroba of African Development Bank, Olga Morawczynski of the Mastercard Foundation, Hon. Michael Onyango of Kenya’s Ministry of ICT, Philip Thigo of Thunderbird and more. Register now!
It’s a fact! Customer support and sales generation are two interdependent occurrences. If you want to run a successful eCommerce business, you inevitably need an effective customer support system.
For decades, businesses have been relying on the traditional medium of email support, and they have actually done their job perfectly. From answering sales queries to addressing grievances, emails have been and are still largely used for customer support.
How customer support evolved from emails to chatbots?
In 2019, the scene for customer support is no more the same as it used to be a few years ago. The market has gone enormously competitive, the leads have gone extremely volatile, and patience in customers has gone exceptionally impulsive.
Today, eCommerce businesses operate 24x7 and make sales around the clock. Thus, customers also expect them to entertain them 24x7. As a result, eCommerce business extended their support to live chats, where human executives answered the queries in real-time.
However, this scene too changed drastically and soon even manual chat became inefficient to offer the best support in a highly competitive environment. Manual support was not possible in a 24x7 environment. Even if different executives were hired to handle 24 hours of chat support in shifts, they could not handle data extensive queries quick enough. Moreover, as chats were being handled by different executives, it was not possible to maintain perfect sync among the executives.
With the progression of AI into the mainstream, businesses received chatbots to fill the gap. With chatbots, not only customer support became so accessible, but they also helped businesses in sales and lead generation. Gone are the days, when manual chat support was the only option for real-time support and sales generation.
Though humans-based chat support is still required for many reasons, chatbots have now shared a major proportion of the loads. Now, even human executives can do their jobs more accurately and efficiently.
Perfect media for seamless live chat support in 24x7 mode
The ultimate requirement for 24x7 support was anyways being met by even the event-based non-AI chatbots. These chatbots offered response based-on keyword identification in the queries. In was a great way to offer support around the clock. However, keyword identification was not enough to handle all types of queries. Event-based chatbots could not manage context-based queries. Here is an example to explain the same:
What’s my order status? — It’s a keyword-based query that event-based bots can easily respond to after identifying the keyword “order status”.
Hey! I purchased an iPhone yesterday. Could you please tell the expected time of arrival? — This would be a contextual query. Though it’s an order status query, none of the keywords are directly linked to the same context.
Out of the two queries, the second is a complex one, which can be handled either by a human executive or an AI-based eCommerce chatbot. With Natural Language Processing (NLP) the AI-powered eCommerce chatbots can understand the contextual queries as well. With Deep Machine Learning, they can also learn new keywords and queries and how to put them together to understand any related queries.
AI-powered eCommerce bots are not only perfect for 24x7 support but also more efficient in saving the time of the customers. They are quick and error-free. Moreover, advanced chatbots integrated with apps like Facebook Messenger bots and WhatsApp messenger bots make your support system accessible to the masses, as almost everyone use at least one of these apps.
Share human load & provide data-extensive support quickly
It’s a fact that even AI bots have not gone that smart to replace human intervention entirely. Though AI bots sometimes offer better efficiency than human executives for some tasks, human intervention is still a required aspect for some of the tasks.
For example, many customers prefer talking to a human executive for sales related negotiations. Chatbots act as a bridge between AI and Human counterparts in such situations. You can program a bot to connect certain complex or human only queries for manual handling. Check out how intelligently this bot has transferred the customer to the concerned executive:
Chatbots work equally efficient in the vice-versa scenarios as well; i.e. when certain queries are handled by chatbots more easily than human counterparts. For example, data extensive queries, which require some time to dig in the CRM and fetch the required information. Of course, as a human, you need some time to dig the same.
While a chatbot connected with your CRM, Inventory Management System, and the website dashboard will look for the data on all the repositories more quickly and would offer the response in no time. For example, queries for order status offers on a certain product and finding an order invoice on demand, etc.
You can actually rely on a chatbot for customer support while you can deploy your manual taskforce to solve the issues that chatbots can’t.
Can not only generate leads but also encourage immediate sales
Various e-Commerce websites and mobile apps have integrated live chat support to offer guided shopping experience to the customers. The main aim is to engage the customers on the site and handle any query in the real-time so that customers do not flee the site out of any confusion or drawback on the site. Offering live is indeed a great way as it complements your website/app and helps you avoid any cart abonnement.
For example, a customer seeking a certain product and not seeing in the search results can directly contact the live chat and ask if it is available or not.
Such support will not only offer you a chance of conversion but would also mitigate the loss that could happen due to an error or fault on the site/app, like the faulty product search in the above example.
AI-powered eCommerce chatbots mimic the same and offer a similar experience to the customers. Using Machine learning and NLP, even they can answer the real-time queries and guide the shoppers into the conversion funnel.
Chatbots can automate the whole guided shopping environment and engage your customers with your brand. They can even send private messages or emails to the abandoned cart customers. In addition to that, they can communicate an array a message like new offers, new products, order status update, etc.
The solutions from best chatbot platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp can also communicate with phone numbers and send cross-platform messages to get maximum engagement. For example sending emails, SMS, or WhatsApp messages, etc.
Hence, eCommerce chatbots are not just customer support tools but also great in customer engagement, marketing, and sales generation.
Automate business processes & improve the overall efficacy
Besides being great for support, marketing, and sales generation, solutions from the best chatbot platforms are also capable of handling your business processing tasks. You can program a chatbot to keep a track of your inventory and alert you when it’s on short. Of course, you would need to give them access to your inventory management system.
In addition to that, a chatbot can assist you in automating many other business processing tasks that otherwise consume a lot of time, money, and effort with manual handling. Moreover, without any manual intervention, there remains no chance for error in the calculations as well.
They can capture leads from your lead capturing forms, send automated communications to your customers, launch programmed email marketing campaigns, send push notifications, generate an invoice, generate return slips, and much more.
Chatbots today have gone compatible with almost every eCommerce management tool from marketing, sales, human resource, shipping, to customer management. Just think of the error-free automation you can get after integrating an AI-powered chatbot with your website, mobile app, CRM, ERP, PIMS, Ticket Management System, and email marketing tool.