Engineers at LiveWorld have developed a chatbot management tool for Facebook Messenger that allows brands to automatically hand off the conversation to a live human when needed. The company plans to make the announcement on Tuesday
Let's say the consumer wants more information about a product or service and the chatbot isn't equipped to answer the question.
"Chatbots will eat into search rather dramatically, because people will have alternatives through an automated system to find information," LiveWorld founder Peter Friedman told Media Daily News. "When you make it easy to have a regular conversation with a bot to find information, it becomes much more natural."
Gartner estimates that 85% of all customer interactions will not require human customer service reps by the end of this decade. The firm believes that automated analysis of social-media channels, CRM software and personalized chatbots that recognize faces and voices will greatly reduce the need for traditional call centers.
That bodes well for Facebook's recent integration of chatbots into Messenger for automated customer service.
Companies are investing in chatbot technology -- about $140 million since 2010, estimates Tracxn, a startup research platform. Although this may not seem like much, the most notable investments in 2016 include New York-based X.ai, which secured a $23 million in a Series B funding round in April, and AI-assistant Ozlo, which secured a Series A funding round in May.
Even Chinese search engine Baidu launched a medical chatbot for doctors and patients.
LiveWorld's software facilitates the conversations in Messenger, complete with tools to track and manage the interactions. The open API integrates the brands chat bots with LiveWorld's platform to improve on the customer's experience.
The conversation management platform isn't entirely new. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others, but the company has made some very specific modification for Facebook Messenger that allow the handoff between chatbots and humans.
Friedman, a former VP and GM of Apple’s Internet Services Division, said the software organizes the data and rolls the information into the brand's customer resource management (CRM) platform for safekeeping.
"Chatbots are great up until the instance they are not," he says -- which means that "as soon as the customer determines they are caught in a phone tree the whole thing can backfire," he said. "A bad experience can make the customer hate the brand."
Software tracks the conversation, with a report showing the entire dialog that occurred between the human, the chatbot and the consumer.