22 September 2021
What is in the future for live chat software?
Some examples of the future of live chat software and technology.
The world has been going through a technological boom over the past thirty years or so, and live chat software has gone along for the ride. Since 1997 when AOL first provided the general public with an instant messenger solution called AIM, things have changed a lot. There has been a whole range of different instant messenger solutions, some that have fallen by the wayside. Then there is the monumental rise in smartphone instant messenger solutions which show no sign of falling away any time soon.
The fact of the matter is that the future of communication is going to become more and more digital, and live chat is an integral part of it. Live chat will become more popular as personal communication continues to navigate online at an ever-increasing pace and businesses picking up on this trend. Customers want and expect real-time communication with everyone, from their friends to the businesses they want to purchase from. The drive to online is real. However, technology isn’t stopping here. Live chats are still evolving with fantastic developments in things such as AI communications, chatbots, voice recognition software, and even great conversational marketing tools for customer analysis. All this means that the future of live chat may look as alien to us as the AOL instant messenger solution of 1997 looks to GenZ.
Conversational marketing is the term given to the technique where a business engages with a website visitor in a fast, reliable, and real-time conversational way. The aim is to turn the visit into a lead or sale by using this dialogue-driven method. The method has been harnessed because it offers a great customer experience, due to the fact that the conversation is quick, to the point, polite, and expert. This is a service unique to live chat as it is instant. Emails, contact forms, social media platforms, to name a few, cannot offer such a service. A potential customer has the ability to fire a question at a business and receive results instantly. This is a huge advantage when you are thinking about sales. Conversational marketing is the digital version of a real-life chat. The future of live chat is to enable the best ever conversational tool.
AI and Chatbots
A lot of research and development has been going into AI and chatbot functionality over the past few years. This means that this software is slowly becoming more reliable and therefore is growing in popularity. With the fusion and advance of AI integrated with chatbots, live chat is set to change and evolve ever more in a continual process of improvement. The more a chatbot is used, the better, more intuitive and understanding the associated AI integrated software will become. Chatbots are being tag-teamed with human agents to improve the ability of AI to process information from a constantly renewed perspective. AI is becoming more able to create sentiment-based analysis and offer personalised responses from its ever-expanding program base. The ultimate aim will be for a customer to interact with a chatbot without realising it is indeed fuelled by AI technology. They will have the impression they are talking to another human. This will clearly have a massive impact on a business bottom line. Chatbot technology is enabling businesses to streamline their live chat customer journey, and as time goes on, the more intelligent and attentive to a customer needs the chatbot will become.
Voice Recognition Software
Voice recognition is another hugely popular technology. Most smartphones allow you to ask questions straight into them via Google Assist, for example. In addition, many homes are equipped with Alexa connected to an encyclopedia of knowledge online. All you have to do is ask a question in the right way, and you will have an answer read back to you, among other functions. As programmers improve the capabilities of natural language processing (NLP) systems, voice recognition software will only advance with faster processing abilities of voice commands. This will result in more human connections via live chat software. Therefore, the future of live chat on a business website could mean a visitor or potential customer simply asks a question vocally straight into the chat command box.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is a way technology can enhance the real-life experience. It does this by utilising digital visual aspects as well as sound and other sensory elements that can be transmitted via digital communication. AR can merge the real and virtual, as was demonstrated by the game Pokémon Go. By using the camera on a smartphone, an enhanced reality can be created, and the possibilities of this are only just beginning to take off. That means that the future of live chat software can include this sort of AR solution. Suppose a customer has a camera on the device they are using. In that case, they could connect through live chat video, and AR may be able to give them a visual interpretation of something they wish to purchase. Alternatively, the live chat agent may be able to use AR to solve a problem for the customer. The implementation of virtual images can overlay a video feed, which enables the customer to follow clear, visible, and precise instructions. In the future, AR could make online support as effective as on-site support, if used correctly.
Now, this may conjure up images of Star Trek and the holodeck, among other things, but this technology is not as space-age as it may seem. With advances being made in 3D technology when it comes to film viewing, it’s only a matter of time before this translates to other technology too. 3D technology could greatly enhance the human connection between business and customer. It isn’t unfeasible that an agent could present as a hologram projected into your living room during a live chat communication. That way, a more humane service could be conducted as if the agent is actually there helping you.
Live chat clearly has a lot of opportunities to change for the better. With the advancement of AI and various other technology, a company has the chance to engage better with their customers and provide better solutions catered to each customer’s individual needs. The future of live chat is going to be very different from today’s experience.