Robotics, AI & Big Data Tue, Jun 5, '18
How Chatbots and Robots Empower CIOs In the Age of AI


It’s not news to most CIOs that their job description is rapidly expanding. As data collection, measurement and learning through every step of the customer journey becomes a core part of a winning technology—and business—strategy, the CIO has a unique opportunity to support the entire organization in driving bottom line performance through the adoption of new solutions that enable data collection, personalization and agility through every channel.

And as firms like Bain & Company report that companies with superior customer experience grow revenue 4-8% faster than the market, an engaging customer experience becomes a top priority for most leading companies. Here, the CIO can play a critical role in scaling more personalized and engaging experiences that drive bottom line results.

Chatbots Provide An Opportunity For CIOs to Make an Impact

As organizations look to drive business efficiencies without sacrificing customer engagement, chatbots have enabled sales, marketing, and customer care teams to deliver personalization at scale.

No longer the scripted text solutions from previous decades, today’s AI bots are built on machine learning and natural language processing to provide familiar, on-brand and personalized experiences that are consistent across all brand touch points.

When used in digital sales and customer care applications, chatbots have proven to be incredibly powerful customer engagement tools for several reasons:

1. Chatbots allow companies to scale personalization, generating 1:1 conversations with billions of users
2. Chatbots allow customer care reps to focus on more impactful tasks by enabling the automation of time-consuming conversations that rely on basic questions and answers
3. The ROI of chatbots can easily be measured through the time saved per interaction, increased interactions, customer retention, and more.
4. Chatbot interactions yield a tremendous amount of data and insights, which help businesses understand consumer preferences, patterns and actions at scale

Why Chatbot ROI Has Been Limited To Digital Channels

With the development of natural language processing and machine learning, chatbots have enabled increasingly natural conversation over the computer, ensuring a connected brand experience that attracts and engages customers. That’s why 80% of all companies will be using—or planning to use—chatbots by 2020.

While chatbots have been incredibly effective in the digital world, where it’s easy to control the conversation over text, deploying natural, conversational technology inside a physical business setting such a retail store or hotel has proven to be more difficult.

For one thing, most organizations haven’t found a good interface that mirrors the level of real-time engagement and responsiveness that shoppers expect when interacting with a real person in the store, where customer conversations happen in real-time, and non-verbal cues like gestures, pauses, and expressions are a critical part of communication.

A bigger challenge comes from the fact that most stores don’t have the technology in place to physically deploy chatbots. Even if a store has kiosks, these interface fail to provide the truly engaging, dynamic and interactive response customers demand.

For CIOs making significant investments in chatbots to drive better results across sales, marketing and customer success teams, it’s critical to find new ways to extend the ROI of that investment. To that end, robotics, and particularly humanoid robotics, have emerged as a compelling solution for creating a richer, more dynamic and engaging customer experience in the physical environment when paired with chatbots.

Chatbots and Robots: A Unique and Valuable Solution for In-Store Retailers

When your retail store fronts provide your least interactive customer experience, your brand suffers. If no one is there to facilitate the entry point into the store, customers leave, and those are missed revenue opportunities.

But what if a humanoid robot could interact with potential customers as they pass by, offering details on current promotions and latest trends, or enticing them with a coupon?

Robotics creates new opportunities for brands to leverage their chatbots, thus taking the conversations from solely online to offline. This helps drive deeper connections with their customers across various touch-points by expanding the reach of an existing technology.

With conversational robots at the front of the store, retailers have a fixed-cost way to drive interaction with every single person that comes into the store. And while the chatbot interaction still isn’t perfect, it can fill 80% of the customer use cases, and if it’s smart enough, it can assist in attracting human support for the 20% of use cases that are too complex.

Should You Adopt AI-Powered Robotics?

When maintaining a high employee to customer ratio is no longer cost-effective, robots are a great way to drive more efficiency through your human staff. By deploying an AI bot onto a humanoid robot you’ll offer deeper, memorable, and more meaningful connections with customers in the store.

Always on, and always on brand, humanoid robots can help capture customers you’ve been missing for years. To decide if a robotics-based chatbot solution is right for your organization, consider the ROI delivered by chatbots through your digital channels. If that ROI is significant then consider this: of all of the foot traffic that passes by your business each day, what percent are you interacting with? If it’s less than 100%, you could drive more interactions with a chatbot-enabled robot.

Click here to learn more about Pepper.

Kass Dawson

Written by Kass Dawson