If you envisage your mobile application as your office, then it’s time you start considering app bots as your office assistants. Think of a layer above the complex workflows that disrupts all hierarchical flows and gives you what is important to you —introducing you to the mobile app bot. A mobile app bot can interface with you via voice, chat, gesture or simply by observing your behavior pattern. Looking beyond 2017, mobile app bots will be the norm of user experience that will compel enterprises to adopt this emerging trend. The early adopters will gain the first-mover advantage in the enterprise space.
There is huge momentum for rolling out app bots because enterprises want to cut down on their costs, yet improve their services by delivering it on-time and in-context. Today’s app bot can order food, select merchandise, book a trip, and manage workload; hence we are witnessing a growing demand for mobile app bots.
Mobile App bots – What is in it for enterprises?
Enterprises focused on CRM systems are the first to move forward and adopt this emerging trend. Instead of moving away from their existing platforms or enterprise apps, businesses can enhance and connect with other relevant services to pull and push information for their consumers utilizing app bots. Additionally, e-commerce and transport businesses can boost their customer acquisition opportunities by enabling mobile app bots to execute various tasks on behalf of their consumers. Moreover, these app bots can also work in collaboration with other entities to provide a seamless experience to the consumer.
Mobile app bots have the potential to mimic a person, listen to their consumers and deliver value as they want it, not the way enterprises think it should be. However, it is as controlled, centralized and yet as human-like experience as enterprises want it to be.
What enterprises need to do to get rewarded?
It is quite evident from the current market trends that chat is a preferred option over a phone call and a phone call is a preferred medium over the help manual. A significant paradigm shift of consumer behavior, especially among young consumers towards chat conversation indicates that the endpoints of the enterprise backbone have to be chat enabled. Quite a few enterprises have already initiated their digital transformation journey to capture digital immigrants and digital natives to add business value and improve their ROI. If your enterprise falls in this category, then your strong digital foundations will certainly pave way to exploit the mobile app bot revolution.
What are the pitfalls?
Mobile app bots are only the endpoints that deliver an experience to your consumers, but there is a lot that goes behind. Needless to say, strong foundation of the full stack of services and their integration is essential. The four key components that will ensure successful deployment of an enterprise strategy pertaining to mobile app bots include:
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
There is huge investment being made by tech giants to crack the natural language processing engine that fuels the trend of mobile app bots. To begin, the U.S. way of speaking English has been a success; however, understanding the meaning and language styles across the world is a key to transform the usability pattern. To get around this problem, Stanford and Berkeley researchers are readying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand the ways we pronounce a sentence — and how a context can change the meaning of a sentence. DeepText, t-SNE, SyntaxNet are some pioneers in this area.
Holding natural conversations using software is much more complex than it seems. The learning process begins once the software is data-trained with millions of combinations. An unintentional racist twitter-bot Tay (Thinking About You) developed by Microsoft, was a disaster. ‘Repeat after me’ capability of Tay was exploited, which led to Tay’s controversial tweets. Instead of considering it as an egg-chicken problem, machine learning must be utilized to train mobile app bots the way enterprise want them to function. It is more or less like investing in your child’s education that would reap benefits for the new world’s businesses.
Initially, it might feel a daunting task, but usability will drive enterprises to adopt mobile app bots. Start with simple customer problems and one step at a time to make it happen for enterprises. Look for the low hanging fruits, think simple and implement app bots there to propel your enterprise forward.
Poor Fall Back Options
What if an app bot faced a unique situation that was not foreseen? Well, this happens with humans as well. All we do is either refer the situation to an expert or apologize for our shortcomings. For example, Siri or Allo would give search results from the web, if they fail to understand your question. However, for enterprises relying on the web is not an option. If all possibilities are exhausted, then the mobile app bot should be able to provide elegant alternatives, before giving up.
Although, mobile app bots may seem like a distant dream in the enterprise world, but both tech leaders and tech-driven enterprises are confident that app bots will be omnipresent in the near future. With rapid technological advancements app bots will simplify the way enterprises conduct their business.
Kankana heads the Mobile App Development Practice at Evoke. She is passionate about emerging technologies and its intersection with mobile, cloud and analytics. Kankana worked on some complex business and technology problems and provided effective solutions during her stint at Wipro, PwC and Huawei.