The Corona crisis has had a major impact on both – our private lives and the corporate world. For a long time, digitalization in Germany was a rather restrained process. But now we can see an enormous acceleration, especially in the area of automation. Many companies have recognized: Without digital and optimized processes, you can hardly survive this crisis.
Also interesting: Using Chatbots For Crisis Management And Beyond (Part 1)
Around a third of the companies have increased their spending in robotic process automation (RPA). Around half are planning a further increase in 2021. What’s interesting is that it is not just the optimization of supply chains or the support of remote work that is playing an important role. The expansion of Conversational AI solutions such as chatbots and voice assistants is also essential for companies.
Since Conversational AI makes it possible for machines to interact with humans via natural language, the use cases go far beyond the use of a text-based chatbot. Conversations in spoken language are also getting more and more common in the corporate world and for interaction with customers.
This article gives you a comprehensive overview of Conversational AI statistics and upcoming trends. As a business, you should keep an eye on them!
Conversational AI statistics – What’s the current state of chatbots & voice assistants in business?
Chatbot use in enterprises
Let us start by having a look at the use of chatbots in enterprises. The study “The Power of Bots” by The Academic Society for Management & Communication offers exciting insights into the usage, benefits and concerns about chatbots. Respondents to the study indicate that they use chatbots primarily for the following three use cases:
- Customer service support
- Internally by employees (e.g., for knowledge sharing, networking, onboarding)
- Personalization of their online presence
The primary benefits of using a chatbot are that it takes over repetitive tasks and thus frees up time so that employees can do other tasks. This not only creates additional resources but also reduces costs at the same time. In addition, customer service response times become shorter and useful insights into user behavior and preferences are gained thanks to data from chatbot conversations. This allows companies to continuously optimize their communication with customers.
Also interesting: The 10 Most Important Benefits Of Chatbots For Companies And Users
Challenges Conversational AI has yet to overcome
However, companies are not only seeing the benefits of bots. The main concern from a company’s perspective against a chatbot is a lack of trust in the system. The chatbot could answer a question incorrectly or inappropriately and thus annoy users.
There is also a need to catch up in terms of the technologies used. 42 percent of the companies surveyed use rule-based bots, although AI-based bots have significantly more potential for success and customer satisfaction. The study “Conversational Business 2020” by Aalen University also comes to a similar conclusion. Only 17 percent of companies use technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or NLP (natural language processing). Yet, it is precisely the use of these technologies that promises success if companies want to exploit the full potential of chatbots and voice assistants.
What also becomes clear from the results of the studies: The area of voice commerce still receives little attention in the corporate world. Studies that look at the acceptance of chatbots from the user’s point of view also come to a similar conclusion.
Chatbot acceptance among users
In the “Conversational Business 2020” study conducted by Aalen University, 600 consumers in Germany were surveyed on the use of messengers and voice assistants. The study clearly shows that chatbots have already arrived in society. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) have already communicated with a chatbot. Another 15 percent would be open to giving it a try. The willingness of users to interact with a chatbot is therefore given.
However, the main focus is on service and advice (58 percent) and searching for information, such as shipment status (45 percent). Only 24 percent of respondents state that they have purchased products or services via a chatbot in the past.
This could be due, among other things, to the unwillingness to pay via messenger services. 66 percent of respondents state that it is not likely that they will pay via messenger.
Whether this is due to the lack of offerings by the companies or the concerns of users: The topic of commerce via chatbots is still in its infancy. However, it is probably only a matter of time before this opportunity is used more by companies and accepted by users.
In addition to concerns about using a bot to pay for a purchase, there is also hesitancy in using voice technology to communicate with bots. Only 28 percent use voice messages to communicate with a chatbot.
Use of voice technology
Voice assistants have been taking the market by storm in recent years and are expected to continue to do so in the coming years. The International Data Corporation, for example, comes to the conclusion that global smart speaker sales will rise from $4.4 billion in 2017 to $17.4 billion by 2022. If this projection is correct, that’s a growth rate of 31.6 percent.
Exciting insights into why the acceptance of voice assistants in online retail is still low can be found in the master’s thesis by Alexander Dickkopf. He identified decisive influencing factors along the customer journey. According to his findings, one decisive factor is the perceived benefit. In addition, data protection concerns are proving to be another obstacle to the use of voice assistants in commerce.
The bachelor thesis “Influences on trust and user acceptance of voice commerce in Switzerland” by Livia Mosberger also comes to a similar conclusion. The results of her literature analysis showed that trust in voice assistants as well as voice commerce is primarily influenced by one aspect: the perceived benefit. If the benefits from the user’s point of view outweigh any possible concerns, for example about data privacy, the concerns will be pushed into the background.
For companies this means one thing above all: they must find ways to communicate more transparently with users. Moreover, the purchasing process via voice technologies must become more trustworthy. In addition, further improvements must be made to chatbots and voice assistants. The aim is to make interaction with users even more natural and intuitive. New technologies in the field of Conversational AI make this possible. They can have a huge impact on the market in the future.
Now that you have learned more about Conversational AI usage in these statistics, let’s have a look at the top 3 Conversational AI trends.
3 Conversational AI trends to follow
As a company, you should keep an eye on the following Conversational AI trends. These will allow you to be at the forefront of new developments and prepare your chatbots and voice assistants for the future.
1. Knowledge Graphs as the foundation for a new era
Data plays a bigger role in the business world than ever before. Every company has an unmanageable amount of data and information available, scattered in manuals, databases, or guides.
Knowledge Graphs can help structure and model this information and in turn draw relevant insights from this ever-growing stream of data. Knowledge graphs will permanently change the economy and society in the next few years.
Chatbots and voice assistants can reach a new level of quality thanks to Knowledge Graphs. However, Knowledge Graphs offer far greater opportunities. It is about a full-scale transformation process that will permanently change the way we obtain information and manage knowledge.
To learn more about the preparation of data using knowledge graphs and the optimization of chatbots and voice assistants, download our whitepaper.
2. Greater focus on voice technology
The transformation from simple rule-based chatbots to AI-based chatbots will continue. This is because, with the new technological possibilities, user requirements are also increasing. A simple bot that can only respond to rudimentary questions is no longer sufficient to enable personal and customer-friendly interaction. In the future, bots must be able to grasp complex issues, understand human emotions and respond accordingly.
New technologies in the field of Artificial Intelligence and speech recognition will make this possible in the future. According to a study by Deloitte, the following areas will play an important role:
- Automated Speech Recognition (ASR): enables the conversion of a speech input into a text
- Natural Language Processing (NLP): AI-based ability to derive meaning and information from human speech
- Dialog Manager (DM): enables the decision and execution of necessary steps to answer a query
- Text-to-Speech (TTS): converts text into an audible voice output
3. Voice commerce on the rise
Today, the use of voice commerce is still restrained. However, this will change in the future. Deloitte’s Beyond Touch: Voice Commerce 2030 study, for example, concludes that voice commerce will lead to a greater spread of online sales. The decisive factor here is convenience for the customer. The study also assumes that around 30 percent of e-commerce sales will be generated via voice commerce by 2030.
A decisive step here will be the development of new payment options. Payments must be able to be processed quickly and meet high-security standards. This is the only way to satisfy user concerns about a lack of security and the high demands placed on the user experience.
For companies that want to play an active role in voice commerce, it’s time to address these trends. Only by offering communication solutions that meet high convenience and security standards will you be able to exploit the full potential of Conversational AI and succeed in online commerce in the long run.
We hope these Conversational AI statistics and trends have been helpful. You can find out more about Onlim’s Conversational AI solutions here.