How about being interviewed by a robot, or before buying a sofa, checking how it will look in the room? Here’s a look back at technologies that used to seem like something out of the realm of science fiction, but have now become commonplace.
1. Robots: Help HR
At least once in your life you must have talked to a robot – for example, when you wrote a message in a chat window in an online store or called the bank’s support service. Voice and chat bots help automate routine work and solve typical customer problems that take up too much of an employee’s time.
The online store’s bot can answer standard questions about delivery and payment terms and prompt how to place an order.
For example, 58% of millennials have had at least one conversation with Chatbots, and 67% of those surveyed said they are willing to shop with androids.
The love of electronic assistants is easy to explain: the robot is always online (even on weekends or in the middle of the night), it can simultaneously work with multiple customers and responds faster than a human.
An android can even replace a specialist in human resources. Of course, the final decision about hiring a candidate rests with humans, but robots will help at the initial stage of selection: they will contact applicants, find out if they fit the company’s requirements and invite them to an interview.
Androids are indispensable when you need to quickly process large amounts of data – for example, in mass recruiting, when you need to study a hundred or two resumes and call applicants.
2. Smart Assistants: Make Shopping Easier
Saying something is easier and faster than writing a text message or searching manually. Voice assistants help find the right item by asking clarifying questions so that the buyer does not have to delve into the assortment of the store for a long time.
For example, on eBay with the help of “Google Assistant” you can specify what item you are looking for, and the assistant will show the appropriate options and give information about the cost of goods.
Seems incredible! But what about a robot barista? Starbucks launched a voice ordering service: it remembers what kind of drink a person prefers most often, offers to choose the type of payment and informs which café to pick it up at.
Papa John’s voice assistant knows how to order takeaway food: you dictate the names of dishes, specify the address and delivery time, and it sends this information to the nearest restaurant.
3. AI: Provides Customers with Personalized Offers
When you choose a sweater or cat food in an online store, all your actions are analyzed by artificial intelligence. It tracks where customers are coming from and what they’re looking for, so that it can offer them relevant products.
If a few days later you receive a mailing with a selection of pet products or sweaters that are currently on discount, don’t be surprised: it’s a greeting from artificial intelligence.
Smart recommendations are based on a study of buying behavior patterns.
To simplify things to the extreme, customers can be divided into categories based on their preferred products and brands, and then each new visitor can be assigned to one of those categories and shown the products that people with similar interests buy most often. And yes, this approach works (for example, it brings in up to 35% of sales for Amazon).
The online store YOOX went further and launched a clothing line created with the help of artificial intelligence. It analyzed trends and customer preferences and identified the most popular models and color combinations. The designers use this data to create new collections of 8 by YOOX.
4. Facial Recognition: Keeps Customers Safe and Enhances Loyalty
Smile, you are being filmed! Video surveillance is not new to business, but the ability to recognize the face of every customer has joined it.
Such technology is actively used by banks: a client has to confirm his identity not only with the correct password, but also through a verification procedure with the camera.
It compares his photo with the database of fraudsters, thus protecting bona fide customers from account theft.
You can even use the photo to send money transfers.
You don’t have to specify the telephone number: you just take a picture of the person you want to transfer the money to, and the facial recognition system searches for the person among the customers and shows his/her card number in the application.
Retail chains also use recognition. For example, Walmart has technology that allows them to monitor the facial expressions of customers. If it finds someone unhappy, the system will notify the store employees. So you can improve service before customers start complaining.
At the same time the system correlates emotions and purchases to see how dissatisfaction affects shopping habits and the average bill.
5. Augmented Reality: Saves From Long Shopping Days
Here it is, the dream of an introvert. Forget about exhausting runs through the malls and queues in the fitting rooms: you can shop from home using the app.
True, with online shopping, there is a risk that clothing or shoes will be out of size or will somehow sit wrong. In this case, stores are developing virtual dressing rooms on the basis of augmented reality.
The same can be done with furniture. For example, you bought a new sofa, but in terms of shade it stands out from the overall gamut of the room.
You can either fumble with the return, put up with it, or check before you buy to see if the new piece will fit in with the interior.
IKEA has such an app: using a camera, you scan the room, choose the necessary furniture in the catalog, and see how the new closet or bed will look in real life.
Don’t Miss: Recent Trends in Educational Technology
Undoubtedly, technology helps businesses to work more efficiently and get more money, but still they remain only a tool in the hands of professionals: it is people who decide how to use them with benefit. Until now, even the most advanced technologies won’t work effectively without people.
Jean S. Hartley is a professional writer for write my essay service. For 7 years now, she has been helping students learn to write correctly, and also assists in preparing for exams. Jean worked for an IT company and writes about it on her blog.