Julien Rio responded saying speed is really the main reason why he'd engage with a chatbot. Other than that, having a meaningful conversation with a human representative is more important.
A1: I prefer a chatbot if my question is simple and straightforward, because it is faster, but I DEFINITELY prefer talking to a human being when I have a personal or complex question, because I need clarity and I want the company to care. I'm a customer after all!
On the opposing side is our very own Jordan Wahl, saying human representatives are an important part of a brand's image.
A1: Human rep for sure. Fun fact: This was my first job at@G2dotcom and a lot of the time, those reps are the face of a company. It's important that customers feel they are actually being heard. #G2Fireside
Next, we were interested in seeing whether or not businesses are using chatbots now or plan to in the near future. Sylvain Perron says Botpress uses an internal bot:
A2: Yes, we do internally. His name is Gordon. We use it to automate various business processes. His training was fast, he doesn’t sleep and never forgets – so far we’re proud of calling him a valuable and reliable coworker. #G2Fireside#ChatOps#BI
Julia Rose says a chatbot for her business is on the horizon. This will allow more users to interact with her brand in a communication style they prefer.
A2: We are planning to set up a live chat in the future to extend our customer service capabilities and options for users. Everyone prefers different styles of communication, so it's important businesses adhere to those personalization preferences. #G2Fireside
On the other hand, Julien Rio says his business prefers to interact with every visitor in a more personal manner, and that chatbots shouldn't be used at random.
Not today, because we want to respond in a personal manner to every enquiry. Deploying a #chatbot should really be something you do when there is a need for it, not for the sake of having one.#G2FireSide
Chatbots have traditionally been used for customer service tasks, but more modern approaches are using them for marketing and sales. Our very own John Thomas Lang brought up an interesting use case:
Marketing and sales teams can better leverage chatbots by qualifying leads quickly and effectively without using any human capital or resources. Use chatbots to identify pain points in your consumer to better fit your product to their needs. #G2Fireside
Joseph Huber from Sprout Social goes with customer service or sales for his answer and provides some insight on how to map out your next bot.
A3: Im going customer service or sales. Paths to route people instead of manually triaging them is extremely helpful. You have to have those triage plans mapped before you build your bots, though. Be sure to check accuracy, too. You might have to adjust. #g2fireside
Kat Hammoud acknowledges that customer service has been an early adopter of chatbots, but says it really depends on where the chatbot user is in their journey.
A3.) Depending on where a customer is in their journey (awareness, consider, ready to purchase), #ChatBots are currently MOST used to help w/high volume customer service, BUT I have absolutely seen some websites use chatbots to engage new visitors or help convert. #G2Fireside
One of our G2 contributors, Rebecca Reynoso, takes the question a step further and says chatbots can be beneficial during the different phases of e-commerce.
A3. I'll do you one better. I think online retail/e-commerce benefits from chatbots the most b/c they can offer product recommendations, lower cart abandonment, + gather demographic info from the customer to see what people REALLY want to buy. #G2Fireside
Kat Hammoud describes her experience using Sephora's chatbot, regarded as one of Facebook's top performing customer service and sales bots.
@Sephora uses chatbots to help answer simple questions, and if their bot doesn't recognize the question, they will direct you to a representative with ease. They tell you where you are in the queue and use on brand language when engaging with you! #G2Fireside#Chatbots
Chatbots aren't just text-based, they can also be AI-powered voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa or Microsoft's Cortana. Although, not everyone is fully on board with using these assistants regularly. Synthesio says voice assistants still lack the personality humans seek.
A5: Although the idea sounds very plausible, it lacks the personable connection and communication many seek for when using human representatives. Or when using interactive chatbots. #G2Fireside
Remesh explains that while voice assistants are a path to the future of AI, there are some ethical questions to consider.
A5: These #AI assistants have opened up new doors for the future of A.I. technology. They have the talent and the data, but what about the #ethics of A.I. usage with the advancement of these products? https://t.co/zT3cp6xr4f
Q6: Any other good examples of AI that you've seen?
Artificial intelligence has been around for quite some time and there are many great examples of it applied today. Sylvain Perron describes an application of AI that interests him most:
A6: Anything addressing cybersecurity a/o fraud prevention is of real interest to me. With massive data breaches multiplying recently and being part of the @DesjardinsCoop 2.7m client security breach, that interest has only multiplied! #G2Fireside
A6: Interest in robotic process automation has exploded, up 440% in the last year! These tools (https://t.co/kmsmRN8Pzi) use bots to automate routine tasks to save employees time and resources, with the help of machine and deep learning #G2Fireside
Q7: Which industries will be affected by AI in 2019?
For some industries, the use of AI is imperative. For others, there may be use cases not yet discovered. Bentley University starts off the conversation by listing the many use cases of AI in healthcare.
-For diagnostics -For teaching -For treatment -For research -Etc. #G2FireSide
Julia Rose wraps up the question by saying we all are in some way affected by AI and/or use it in our day-to-day.
A7: We all are affected, whether we realize it or not. If you're part of modern society, you are using AI every day whether you're conscious of it or not. Of course, the technology sector is the most affected. They need to lead and evolve quicker than the rest. #G2Fireside
Our final question explores some of the fears of AI in the near future. Matt Schlicht explains how AI is already "taking over" social media platforms like Facebook.
A8: Depends how you look at it, technically the AI in the Facebook newsfeed, and other social networks, already hijacks your brain in order to keep you scrolling and engaging with ads. Sure, humans are monetizing the AI, but the AI is what is controlling you.#G2FireSide
Kara Kennedy, G2's Director of Market Research, responds to the apocalyptic claims that AI will "take over."
A8: To say that #AI is going to take jobs from humans or replace us all is too extreme. The media latches on to that for the buzz, hype and clickbait factor. AI will eliminate task types, sure, but that just frees up time for skilled workers to focus on innovating. #G2Firesidepic.twitter.com/WS9bFbqzIh
I agree that most of these claims are silly, but skewed data used to train AI can have negative impacts on the public.
A8: Lol can't say for sure, but I think this is a good reminder that while #AI will lead to more breakthroughs, it's important to look at the data behind these models. This story by @TechCrunch is just one of many examples. https://t.co/CB4lfGDlSc#G2fireside
Aishwarya Ashok finishes up our Twitter chat with a more positive outlook on the future of AI.
A8. AI is made intelligent with smart people who know how to tap its potential. Even some magic can go unnoticed if there’s no magician and the audience to watch it. So, AI will not take over the world, rather, AI will streamline things in the world of smart people. #G2FireSide
Devin is a former senior content specialist at G2. Prior to G2, he helped scale early-stage startups out of Chicago's booming tech scene. Outside of work, he enjoys watching his beloved Cubs, playing baseball, and gaming. (he/him/his)